There is a lot of talk amongst Mummy Bloggers at the moment, about Bounty and their presence on maternity wards.
If you’re not sure what a Bounty Lady does, let me educate you: They circulate maternity wards (where Mums go with their new babies post-birth), taking photographs of newborns and handing out “Bounty packs”. They then offer to sell you the photograph (for a fairly high price, of course) and take down your details in order to add you to their mailing list.
In the bounty pack is a variety of leaflets and freebies. We used the freebies, and chucked out any of the leaflets we weren’t interested in. Vouchers were cut out and used. A lot of the information was really helpful, especially the first time around when we had Georgie – there’s nothing like being a new parent to make you feel overwhelmed and clueless!
When we had Georgie, we allowed the Bounty lady to photograph our brand new baby girl, and then politely turned down the purchase of any prints when we saw the photograph and the prices.
The pack was gratefully received and dug into. I was kept in overnight as Georgie was so sleepy from the long labour and refusing to feed, so reading the magazine and rifling through the contents gave me something to do!
With Lydia, I was feeling very tired and vulnerable. When the Bounty lady came to my cubicle on the ward, I was extremely weak still, and she could see that I’d obviously had a tough time of it. There were still needles in me! I had been too weak to shower, only having had a bed bath since Lydia’s birth – so I was still fairly sweaty, incredibly pale and had a faint odour of blood, sick & diarrhea about me from the haemorrhage and ensuing drug side effects. Compared to me, Lydia was incredibly beautiful, obviously. She didn’t even have much of that newborn look about her.
We had recently bought my lovely Samsung camera, and so knew we would be able to get some good shots of Lydia and get them printed. James & I had already discussed this before she was born, and so when she asked if I’d like her to take Lydia’s photo, I politely said “no, thank you, we are taking our own photos” and she was absolutely fine about it. There was no pressure, and she simply gave me my pack, took my details with a friendly attitude, and moved on.
I watched her work with the lady across the ward from me, and she was kind & gentle with the baby, posing it nicely and getting some really lovely photographs. She sold the woman a portrait package, but her sales manner wasn’t too tough, she just explained what you got with each package and let the mother decide.
I was happy to get the child benefit form straight away like this, as James was able to send it off & get it organised asap. Money is always tight with a new baby on the scene so the sooner you send off your form the sooner you get your money! It costs HMRC less to distribute them this way than by post, and personally I think going to pick one up from a post office with a newborn in tow sounds like a huge challenge for a new mum, so I don’t buy into that idea!
During a chat with a Bounty lady in the past, I asked about the nature of their job. She had low targets of mums to see, is told not to go round special care units every day, and considers her job to be about providing a service, not about sales. She liked to think she left the mothers she spoke to happy, not hassled, and told me that there is a strict policy & code of conduct for them to adhere to.
I went onto the Bounty website and read their code, as well as what they do for charity and safe sleep research, etc. I think the good outweighs the bad here.
Yes, they want your details, and sell them onto mailing lists for life insurance and the like. If you think this is abnormal behaviour for a company these days, you’re in denial. Every form I fill in these days seems to have a whole bunch of “shall we share your details with our partners” checkboxes, it’s just the way the marketing world works. It’s not that great, but it’s not evil either, and there are other things to worry about than a bit of junk mail.
I’ve seen a few negative stories being shared, and in the overwhelming majority of them, the Bounty lady is violating their own code. If they do this – report them! If you had poor customer service anywhere else you would complain about the specific agent, not the company as a whole, so do that. We should be teaming up together to send in complaints about the specific bad Bounty employees, not to shut down the whole service completely.
If enough people complain about the individual “bad bounty ladies” then they’ll get the sack, Bounty will improve training in future, and the whole experience will be improved. Shut them down completely, and all the people that are destined for a good Bounty experience won’t get to have their baby photos, info packs & freebies.
If you don’t want the Bounty lady to talk to you, give you a pack, or take a photograph of your baby… just say no. To the representative who shows up at your ward, not the whole scheme. Don’t deprive the people who want the service from getting it, just because some don’t.
To say no to the Bounty Mutiny, please sign this petition.