Mama Geek

A slightly bewildered geek's journey through motherhood!

My 2¢ on the Bounty Mutiny

This entry was posted , in Deliciously Random. It has 19 comments.
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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!

Georgie was very blotchy & had a cone shaped head as a newborn, thanks to her long labour.

Georgie was very blotchy with newborn rash & had a cone shaped head as a newborn, thanks to her long labour!

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!

Lydia had very little newborn rash, especially compared to her big sister at birth!

Lydia had very little newborn rash, especially compared to her big sister at birth!

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.

Just be glad you can't smell this picture. And this was before I was even done with the vomiting and diarrhea. Ick.

Just be glad you can’t smell this picture. And this was before I was even done with the vomiting and diarrhea. Ick.

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.

19 Comments

  1. anna

    I feel largely the same as you. I have heard some awful stories but really I quite liked getting the bounty packs and never felt any of their people stepped over the boundaries with me. I was in ages with my 1st baby as he wasn’t well and reading the bounty magazine gave me something to do after visiting times had finished, so it came in handy! Perhaps they should make it clearer to the mums that the details will be passed onto mailing lists etc and make it easier for those to opt out who want to, but again I’m quite happy to be on mailing lists – I like getting voucher and discounts etc coming through!

    Reply
    • Zoe

      Thanks for the comment! I think that it’s only fair for people to speak up about their good experiences, not just for the bad ones to be shouted about.

      Reply
  2. The Lazy Girl Blog

    Very good post, well balanced. While there are some bad ones out there, this is the same for every business- it’s like saying that due to a few naughty journalists who hacked phones, all journalists should be banned. Or because one teacher ran off with his pupil, all teachers should be banned. It wouldn’t happen so why should the Bounty Lady be any different. Bounty has been around for yonks, when my mate had her first baby in 1999, she got a free Bounty pack, and said no to a photo. Why act to ban them now?

    Reply
    • Zoe

      This is exactly how I feel – take action against the representatives causing the problems, not against the whole thing, which has been around for years with nobody minding. Bounty provide a service to HMRC, a service to parents, and are a valuable source of income for the NHS. I think a lot of parents would be disappointed to miss the opportunity for an early days photo of their baby.

      Reply
  3. Claire

    No one has said that the bags should be stopped. Direct
    marketing has no place in wards, however politely it’s
    done.

    Reply
    • Zoe

      I’ve seen plenty of people say they should be stopped, complaining about what they contain. They are part of the marketing bounty do, not just the photography.

      However, you can say no to as much or little as you want, when you’re on the ward. I don’t see why the people who want it should be denied it, because some people are in a snit.

      Reply
  4. Jenny @ The Brick Castle

    I also feel pretty much the same as you. With my first child I had to go to the local DSS Office with my brand new baby to collect a Child Benefit form, when baby no.2 came with one in his Bounty bag I was ecstatic.
    They’ve only done photo’s recently, and I had no.5 at home, so I’ve only experienced that side of things once, and she was polite and didn’t even begin to hang around or hassle me. I think it’ll be a real shame if the Bounty ladies stop, they’ve been going forever!

    Reply
  5. Angelia B. Potts

    One midwife was said to have chased a Bounty lady off a ward after she “ripped open” a patient’s privacy curtains, which were closed while a catheter was removed, and exposed the woman to the ward. The Bounty lady had been trying to get “better light” while she snapped pictures of a newborn next door.

    Reply
    • Zoe

      As I said in my post, in this case they should have reported her. If more people stood up and complained about the Bounty representatives that are causing problems, Bounty would improve training, and weed out the insensitive and unpleasant ones. Don’t tar them all with the same brush because some people have had bad experiences. It’s like saying all human beings are awful because some are.

      Reply

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