We'll Call You: Fortnum & Mason

Some of Mole's best mates are geese, and we love to stuff ourselves - but on a voluntary basis. So we were disturbed at reports of cruelty by Fortnum & Mason's foie gras suppliers.

Fortnum & Mason
Fortnum & Mason

Fortum & Mason Good afternoon, marketing.

Mktg Hi, I want to speak to someone in customer services about this foie gras news.

FM How can I help you?

Mktg I want to know what is going on with it. I have been a customer of yours for years, and I've read lots of reports saying you use suppliers that treat the birds really appallingly. Now Roger Moore is asking people to boycott your shop. I want to know what you are doing about these accusations.

FM What I can do is give you the statement we have and we are investigating the issues, as it's been reported.

Mktg I don't need an email, I just want to find out the situation. Can you tell me what it is?

FM We are still selling foie gras. It is a customer's choice whether they buy it or not at the moment. And we are to reassure customers that the farms we get this foie gras from meet our standards, and they are top standards in terms of welfare for geese.

Mktg But this documentary said that some birds are fed so much they can't even stand up. And on your website and...

FM [interrupts] I can't comment on that, as an investigation is under way.

Mktg How long will it last?

FM I can't tell you, I'm afraid.

Mktg So for customers like me, I just feel like...

FM [interrupts] We will update our customers, absolutely, and I do understand the distress it might cause.

Mktg It just feels like for a shop with royal warrants and a brilliant reputation, it feels like a really macabre issue...

FM [Interrupts] I can't comment at the minute, I'm afraid.

Mktg How are you going to be contacting us?

FM I couldn't comment... as we haven't got that in place. We are doing the investigation at the moment and will then work out how we communicate that.

Mktg Is there a chance you could pull all the foie gras until you're sure it is coming from a good source?

FM I do apologise, but I can't comment at present.

Mktg All right. Thanks then.

FM Thanks, bye.


Verdict 3/10

The store passed our call to almost every department before it ended up with someone in marketing - who did little to ease our concerns by persistently interrupting. With such an explosive issue, Fortnum & Mason should have a more robust response in place across its customer service, to avoid brand damage.