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Ashley

The Range Stores - Obsessive Cake Disorder

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One of our social media posted and CC'd us in on the frustration they felt when they visited their local Range store and saw two wall images, 'I have OCD' - Obsessive Cake Disorder and Obsessive Cat Disorder.

I had emailed asking if I can discuss with s product stocking manager (but I could only find generic email, so it may take a few days before that gets answered), so this morning I visited my local store and sadly they also stock the same two items.  So I remained calm, and asked to speak to a store manager. I politely explained that she may not be familiar with OCD, so I tried to explain whilst no offense will have been meant, for those with OCD they will be offended by such posters.  To be fair she listened, and offered to discuss with head office and call me back in a few days.   So I will keep fingers crossed they agree to at least stop stocking once they sell out, ideally remove all from sale immediately.

 

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Nope.

I called them back today, and spoke to another lady who was obtuse... I remained calm, but persevered in challenging her comments...

  • - The apologise if offense caused, but they call it 'taste' and not every design will be to everyone's taste. I pointed out it's not 'taste' it's plainly wrong and would they stock items which said 'I had HIV', I'I have cancer'... her reply, "that's hypothetical so I refuse to answer" (or words to that effect).
  • - Refuse to meet with us to discuss. 
  • - Refuse to let me discuss with their purchasing executive. 
  • - Did make one comment about there being 'one' complaint about it (ours), so I did ask how many complaints would she like!
  • - Advised they won't be entering into any more communication with us.
  • - I had asked for a compromise, that I accept they can't just unstock. But I had asked that they will simply stop selling as the stock expires. Her reply today "if it sells well, we may well restock".

Despite this I am not done.  I will be writing to the chief executive to raise a formal complaint about the product, and their failure to meet and discuss with us. In the meantime I have reached out to another organisation for their advice and help. They may suggest we become more active on social media over it, but I have just held back from doing that so far to give The Range chance to communicate with us, which they don't wish to do. 

I will await the response from the other organisation (tomorrow I hope) before I decide next step. 

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Letter sent to the CEO... Final attempt before we might need to ask for everybody's help to pressure them. 
 

Quote

 

Dear Mr Oddy,

I am writing to you in your capacity of Chief Executive of The Range.  Whilst reading about your appointment, I read the following: ‘Oddy is a consummate retail professional having spent over 20 years with M&S and the past decade in director-level roles at House of Fraser.’… ..   I sincerely hope this is true and you will bring that consummate professional approach and dare I say some common sense to a problem I am having with your company.

I would very much welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss this problem face-to-face, but if I can summarise.

I am writing to you from the national charity OCD-UK, (Registered Charity 1103210). It was brought to our attention by several of our followers that you are stocking and selling the following two items:

OCD Metal Wall Art  (code 162666)

I have OCD – Obsessive Cake Disorder

I have OCD – Obsessive Cat Disorder

To be frank, both of these could be described offensive and insulting, at best! In addition, they are also adding to the misconceptions about OCD, and adding to the stigma that people that ‘suffer’ with OCD face.  Please note the word ‘suffer’ in that, people with OCD do suffer.

The response of your staff was at best ‘dismissive’, one told me:

                 ‘These products are meant to be humorous novelty items, however as with all products of this nature we can’t guarantee that they will be to everyone’s taste.’

And another made it clear that if these products sell you will continue to restock them. 

I appreciate that you may not be too familiar with OCD, and the severity of the condition and therefore why these items are considered highly offensive, trivialising and stigmatic, and why your description of them being humorous novelty items is completely unacceptable.   

Therefore if I can take a brief moment to explain What Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is?  

OCD is a serious condition, often trivialised and mocked (like in this product) but the reality is that OCD is so severe that it can often impact on every aspect of a person’s life, their education, career, relationships can all suffer in consequence of OCD and sadly sometimes OCD will result in sad and tragic consequences. It was so severe the World Health Organization (WHO) once listed it amongst the top ten most disabling illnesses.  The fact is, that the D in OCD stands for ‘disorder’, which doesn’t mean quirk, it means severe impact on their quality of life.

I have sent subsequent emails, and spoke to one of your team who promised to get back to me, both the email and the return call never happened. I was eventually told The Range will not be entering into further communication about this.

All I am asking is common sense prevails and we have a conversation about finding a solution.

I truly hope that you will engage me in conversation about this, and that The Range will take a proactive stance against mental health stigma, and be part of the solution rather than the problem.

Yours sincerely,

 

 

 

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That's a great letter Ashley. I hope so much you get a response. Best wishes, Phil.

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It's a good letter and it ought to get a response. 

I hadn't heard of this company before now, and of course rightly my reaction to their stock  is one of repulsion and anger. 

Would they mock cancer or strokes?  I doubt it. Then they should apply the same thinking to OCD. 

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Great news Ashley and thank you as I a sufferer and I'm surely collectively thank you for approaching the company. Your friend, Phil.

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