Minted: Man receives Polo prize 17 years after finding promotional green sweet (From This Is Local London)
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Minted: Man receives Polo prize 17 years after finding promotional green sweet
6:00am Saturday 24th August 2013 in News
An 11-year-old boy was left disappointed 17 years ago when he found a promotional green Polo mint and was never awarded his promised prize.
But last week James Barnard, now 28, who lives in Surbiton, finally received the £10 he was still owed for finding the sweet.
He had written to the company telling of his devastation at their forgetfulness, which he said had left “a void in my life, like the void in the centre of your sweet”.
He was prompted to write by seeing a small child eating a green sweet.
He told the Comet: “I emailed the letter directly to Nestle, then posted it to their Facebook page.
"Their page is so littered with complaints from angry consumers already that I’d assumed it had just become lost in the ether.
“But to receive a reply, a cheque for £10 and a huge box of Polos was fantastic, even if it was 17 years late.
"I'm giving away the 48 packets of mints I've received hand over fist to friends and colleagues, but there's still half a box left.
"I'm a fan of fruit Polos, mainly because large quantities of mint Polos can induce laxative effects."
The graphic designer said in his letter: “Do you know what a tenner in 1996 is worth these days? £15.90, but that’s not the point.
“Ten pounds of entertainment to an 11-year-old boy is utterly priceless.”
That money could have gone towards replacing the battery pack in his beloved Gameboy, he said, which had melted from hours of play time.
The cheque Mr Barnard received in the post
Mr Barnard wrote: “You are not just fashioning sweets – you are fashioning a child’s development, you are shaping memories and therefore ultimately influencing potential world leaders.”
In reply he received a letter from customer services executive Daniel Sanderson, plus a whole box of Polos.
The letter, which was originally reported in the national press, read: “Please find attached your prize. We sincerely apologise that it is 16 years late.
“We appreciate that it may not give you the excitement that it would have given you as an 11-year-old child, which is why we’re also sending you some Polo mints as a gesture of goodwill.
“We would like to thank you for your contact and we hope the delay in receiving your prize has not put you off entering any of our future promotions.”
Mr Barnard has framed the cheque.
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