Sucheta Dalal :Coke and the art of losing customers
Sucheta Dalal

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Coke and the art of losing customers  

April 9, 2010

The next time you have a strong urge to down a bottle of Coke, do make it a point to hold up the bottle (as you would do with a Rs1,000 note) and examine it minutely to see if it contains any insect life.

On 7th April, your correspondent gulped down an insect or two from a 200-ml Coca-Cola bottle.


 (Please see:


You would imagine that the soft-drink multinational would have taken prompt action—at least an apology over the telephone—for what obviously is a major slip-up at its end, which could have had potentially hazardous ramifications.

But Coca-Cola India feels that an apology to a customer would be stooping too low. It has told Moneylife that it wants our article (see above link) pulled out.


Since the numerous executives who are ‘in charge of customer service’ for the multinational’s operations in India have failed to respond in a satisfactory manner, we even went to the extent of contacting its Atlanta headquarters.

But the deafening silence continues from Coke’s end.


Coca-Cola India now wants to ‘inspect’ the bottle with insects floating around in it. An executive from its public relations department (Amit Govind) has told Moneylife that Coke wants to ‘scrutinise’ the bottle.

We’ll keep you posted on what happens after Coke’s sleuth inspects the bottle.


So the next time you want to enjoy the ‘real thing’, do ensure that a Coke executive is around before the bottle is uncorked. If you have some flora and fauna floating around in the liquid, the soft-drink major will have all the ‘proof’ it needs to take any further action—if it chooses to do so, of course.  — Aaron Rodigues

-- Sucheta Dalal