Yes you read that right. I have written “that controversial post” that risks losing me followers due to a difference of opinion. Although I’d assume that anyone up for questioning the ethics of Bounty and the NHS must have a sense of ethics when it comes to respecting the differing opinions of others too?!
WARNING: This post contains a heavy amount of sarcasm, which some may find offensive! (I tried to write maturely, honest!). If you are a sensitive person, stop reading now!
So… what is this whole Bounty Mutiny really about?
Well Bounty is the person (for arguements sake we’ll use “lady” in this post) who comes to visit you just after you have had a baby. She does two things.
1) Gives you a big bag of baby-related freebies
2) Takes a photo of your newborn, which you may or may not decide to buy.
Why are people up in arms about getting free stuff and having their baby’s photo taken?
Well to be honest I think this whole campaign has gone way too far. It is a massive over-reaction of the people who have had bad experiences with unprofessional individuals.
Some people don’t like the contents of the bounty packs
Some people don’t like all the leaflets within the bounty packs
Some people don’t like a stranger visiting them when they are “vulnerable”
Some people don’t like the “hard sell” of the photograph.
Is it just me who finds this all very trivial?
Here’s my experience:
Baby 1: I was overwhelmed by a mass of emotions, I’d never held a baby before, yet here I was, holding my own, that I had only squeezed out of my uterus a few hours before. I’d had a fantastic birth, yet couldn’t complete “stage 3” so I was given a spinal block (and yes that is completely different to an epidural), paralyzing me from the chest down so I was confined to my bed. This combined with my emotional state probably would deem me “vulnerable”. A lady knocks on the door, she comes in and takes a photo. She comes back later with said photo. It’s horrible. My beautiful baby looks blotchy and strange. She asks me if I want to buy it. Shock horror. What should I do? Well, I look up at her and say…
…wait for it… “No Thankyou”. Wow that was hard!
She then gave me a massive bag of freebies. It contained a flannel, a full sized bottle of fabric conditioner, 5 nappies, a standard sized pack of baby wipes, a miniature pot of Sudocrem (well you don’t want to lug a big one round in the changing bag do you?), a few sample packs of baby friendly, non-bio washing detergent, and a ton of other things. Then there are about ten leaflets, mostly with coupons attached. Yes there are some adverts in there – how do you think they fund the freebies? I can’t say I’m massively influenced by adverts at my age.
Baby 2 & 3: I had a 75% chance of surviving after my pre-eclampsia developed into HELLP Syndrome. My Liver and Kidneys were failing. I was anaemic and kept haemorrhaging, I was drugged up to the eyeballs on a concoction of different things and I was attempting to breastfeed twins. I was terrified and having the worst time of my life. No Bounty lady visited. I was very disappointed. Aside from the fact I’d have liked to chat to her, some freebies would have cheered me up a little. Photos of my beautiful but tiny premature twins would have cheered me up, as I couldn’t get up to take any myself.
On Day 10 in hospital, weak and wobbly, I walked down the hall and went in search of her. I found her. She was massively busy but took the time to apologise for not getting to me. She knew I was ill and didn’t want to bother me. She gave me the Bounty packs and a apologised again for my not getting the chance to have the photographs.
The bounty packs this time didn’t have the full size bottle of fabric conditioner, but they had really soft baby bath towels with hoods. They were brilliant! It had all the other stuff similar to before. Maybe a few more leaflets this time. I kept the ones I wanted, and recycled the ones I didn’t.
If you don’t like the adverts… don’t read them! You know where the paper recycling bin is (I refer to my earlier comment about challenging ethics and apply it to recycling). If you don’t want the coupons – give them to someone less well-off than yourself, who would really appreciate them. If you don’t like the freebies – do the same.
If you don’t want the photo – say no. Unless you have lost your voice, no matter how emotionally insane you are, you are still perfectly able to say no. Blimey if you are strong enough to carry a baby in your womb for 9 months and then either squeeze it out of your lady parts or undergo major surgery, you are capable of saying no.
If you don’t want to see the Bounty lady at all, when she knocks on the door, just say “no thankyou, I’m not interested”. You are an adult!
Here’s the thing. People are saying that they were “pressured into buying the photo, which they later decided they didn’t want”.
Well here’s a scenario for you…
You are ill, , therefore “vulnerable”, for arguements sake, we’ll say you have Cancer (like me). You go for a short walk as you’ve not left the house in weeks. You pass a bakery and end up buying a dozen cream cakes. You eat them. You then decide you probably shouldn’t have eaten them, because
a) they lack in nutritional value
b) you are dieting and they will make you fat
c) you couldn’t afford them
d) any other reason.
Do you then campaign against said bakery and try to get it shut down because they they sold you something you didn’t want, at a time when you were vulnerable?
(I’d like to point out, I only bought one cream cake and I did not regret it).
What about all the good Bounty do? Have you ever looked on their website or twitter page? It’s full of helpful articles to guide new mums and help solve mum issues. What about all the people who really appreciate the freebies? I’ve always been skint around the time of having babies and especially with twins, it all helps. What about all the women who love the photos of their newborns? If you are campaining to get Bounty off the wards – all the women who enjoy the benefits of Bounty will lose out too!
I won’t be signing the petition to get Bounty off of maternity wards, because if I had another baby, I’d welcome the chat with the Bounty lady and I’d want the freebies and the opportunity to buy a photo. I also wouldn’t want to ruin that positive experience for the other people who wanted it.
Therefore I’m signing the petition against the Bounty Mutiny instead, so that other women can have access to Bountys maternity services. Click here if you want to sign it too.
Whatever your negative experience of Bounty, ask yourselves these questions:
a) Is it “Bounty” that you are against or is it one individual employee of Bounty who acted unprofessionally? If it’s one employee… COMPLAIN (to Bounty)!
b) Is it worth hundreds (maybe more) of people losing their jobs? People like you and me, who have children and families to support who are just doing their job, taking photos of newborns and handing out Bounty packs. The majority with no sales pitch, just a gentle demeanor and trying to help.
c) Is it the brands who advertise in Bounty that you are against? Don’t confuse brands, advertising and Bounty with endorsement or the NHS – they are very different things!
What I AM against:
I am against Bounty staff approaching women who have tragically lost their babies. However, I have to ask – whose fault is that? Is it the fault of the Bounty lady, who had no idea – or should someone from the hospital have informed the Bounty lady of who not to approach?
I am against unprofessional behaviour. A member of Bounty staff who does pressure sell, or who returns twice to the same mum, is acting unprofessionally. That is out of order – but that’s not Bounty as a company – that’s the individual employee.
Perhaps what we should learn from this is the following:
a) We all have different opinions and experiences – that doesn’t make any of us “wrong”
b) There should be a tick box on a mum-to-be’s birth plan which states whether or not she would like a visit from Bounty. Therefore making this experience an informed choice.
We’ve all heard about those who’ve had bad experiences of Bounty, so how about we hear from those who’ve had good positive experiences of Bounty for a change? I don’t like ranting and I don’t like arguements, so let’s keep this blog positive – like the saying goes – if you don’t have anything nice to say – don’t say anything! If you’ve had a good experience or you loved your Bounty packs or photos… drop me a comment below!
I only had the Bounty lady after my first two births. No photos were taken, I was just given a coupon to collect my pack at Boots at my own convenience. Each time she was polite, friendly and actually nothing more than one more person in a line of people coming and going throughout my hospital stay. After my son was born, she was literally the only friendly professional face I saw and I was grateful for that. I don’t see the problem either to be honest. But I have not had a negative experience with one of them- I had far greater things to think about instead!
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Sarah MumofThree World says
I haven’t really been following this debate – being so many years on from giving birth, but you make some very valid points here. I hope others give this a read and have a think about what you’re saying.
I agree with you Emma, firstly because I love freebies! Of course I didn’t end up using everything I got (my little guy has eczema so we don’t use regular baby wipes or products) but I happily passed things on to others who could use them. I also had a good experience with the Bounty lady on the ward, as I really wanted a photo of my newborn baby I kept asking her to come back and she kindly did come back quite a few times (but the timing was always bad and she was completely understanding). I think that it is all about the individual and maybe Bounty should look at retraining some of their staff, but please don’t take away the freebies 😉
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Interesting post. I must say I wasn’t aware there was a Bounty Mutiny. I had Bounty packs when I had my children and they were okay, who doesn’t like freebies? Mine weren’t as exciting as yours though, I had the little sudocrem (which was brilliant!), a mini can of diet coke, a mini fabric softner and a heap of leaflets. I did look at the leaflets, they were relevant, but sadly all the coupons were out of date, I assume that’s not a common issue but who knows.
The lady who came round to take pics went straight past my bed when I has my son. I don’t know why but can’t help but assme it was because of his cleft lip. (I hope not but I had no explaination).
I don’t have any strong feelings for or against it, the freebies were nice but overall set up not perfect.
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Laura Huggins says
Absolutely 100% agree with you!
I never had a Bounty lady with Cameron. Are they in all hospitals?
Laura x x x
Laura Huggins recently posted..The Pregnancy Diaries – 21/06/2013 – 27/06/2013
Wow, the contents of your bounty pack was much better than mine lol.
I didn’t get a photo taken, she literally came in, dropped off the bags & left as I was already registered with bounty.
When I had syd, I didn’t see her at all, so got nothing.
I appreciated the bag the first time round though – the teeny tub of sudocrem has been refilled several times & lives in my changing bag.
The 2x free nappies helped me choose a brand to stock up on – the tesco one was much better than the pampers one, and the Huggies ones I’d bought in advance.
I like the bounty packs, but think maybe the midwives should give them out, not someone on the ward. I appreciate why some people don’t like them, but I agree people can say “no”.
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I loved my Bounty box of goodies too – I ignored most of the leaflets and used what I wanted. Especially with my first, it had things in that I hadn’t even considered that I’d need!
I haven’t read anything negative but I’ve been offline for a while but I wonder if there could be a way that you could say in advance whether or not you wanted a visit – I bet not too many would say no bearing in mind all the free stuff you get.
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Claire Lazy Girl Blog says
Welcome to the sarcastic ba**ard club! (Oh and wait for the “clever” anonymous comments).
I couldn’t agree more. It’s not the Bounty Lady who is at fault in most cases, it’s the pre-birth stories people tell that worry women into thinking the Bounty Lady is akin to Pol Pot, Hitler or Bin Laden.
How hard would it be for the NHS to give a little sign for on the bottom of your bed or on the curtain cubicle saying “no outside visitors please”? Problem solved.
I loved the Bounty packs, I collected them all, and liked the vouchers I got sent monthly for free and money off savings.
I say this as someone who had one negative experience where a Bounty Lady came in, and was a bit snide after finding out Eddie was in SCBU. She was reported to Bounty and sacked. Simple as.
I really do not think that everyone who has had babies is vulnerable, most people go home within hours. I had my c-sections, and the first one I met was lovely, showing me how to bath Chrissy as the Midwives were frazzled.
There are ways to do it, but tarring a person who is doing a job as all nasty horrid people is daft!
Michelle Willis says
I didn’t have a visit from the Bounty Lady with my first child because I gave birth in a small midwife led unit, but the midwife left the bag on my bed when she sorted out my room for me.
With Bear, the lady that came was lovely. She gave me the bag and asked if she could take a picture of the baby. There was no pressure to buy the photo and when she showed them to me, she said that they’d be available on the internet the next day if I wanted to think about it. She wasn’t pushy in anyway though! She was gentle and quiet.
I agree with you about the campaign. Yes the adverts in the Bounty bags are annoying, but do we complain about all the junk mail that comes through the door and campaign for the post office to be shut down? No! The Bounty Lady provides a service.
I agree with the tick box on the birth plan though.
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Mary Keynko says
Darn tooting – totally with you! Back in the dark ages when my baby boy was born I had the most wonderful Bounty lady! Splosh was in special care, the woman next to me had gone home with her perfect baby back in her skinny bitch clothes without so much as a goodbye (in fact in the three days we shared a room she never once opened the curtains or acknowledged me!(Maybe the red hair and ring in my nose put her off!) But the Bounty lady came at the point I had disolved into tears, with hours to go before visiting time, totally alone and feeling a failure! She doubled checked I wasn’t in need of a nurse and then disappeared only to return with 2 cups of tea and biscuits. She sat with me for an hour just chatting, held my hand and made me smile! She never tried to press a picture on me or made me buy something I didn’t want. But left me with a bag of goodies which was a great help as we were broke and I have to say the rest of the packet of biscuits. I’m totally with you! if a person was crap at their job then get rid of them, but don’t take away the joy of investigating the contents of the goodie bag! Sorry about the essay!!
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Well said! Condemning a n entire organisation because of a few is harsh and unnecessary.
When I had my twins I was bunged in a room by myself, I could have wept when the Bounty lady pop her head round the door.
At a time when I was feeling isolated from the other new mums on the ward and honestly scared witless, a friendly face was a godsend.
There was no pressure, lots of cooing over my twins and assurances I would be okay.
I feel sorry for the women who have had a bad experience with Bounty reps, but they are surely a minority, and as you’ve rightly pointed out, the freebies and offers are welcomed by those who need to watch the pennies.
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I don’t support the mutiny either. There are pushy Bounty women out there and some probably even bully or whatever but you are right that a simple “no thanks” would mostly suffice and if there is a bullying approach going on then the hospital should definitely address it and stop them harassing vulnerable women. The NHS is in dire need of money and they get millions from Bounty. I think it’s a stupid knee jerk reaction on the part of hospitals to cut ties with them all together would mean they lose out on a lot of funding. They should be getting round a table and changing the approach. Not ending relationships.
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mummy barrow says
And if I didn’t bloody love you before today I do now.
Oh God how this cheered me up.
The world has gone farking crazy if this is all people have to complain about.
Whilst I agree with you in principle, events this week have made me see things from the other side. The bounty lady was fantastic with me, I turned down the photo and got the bag, which I have to say has gone downhill massively in recent years – it was full to bursting when I had my first child, but that was 20 years ago!
What I witnessed this time was a vulnerable, stressed out mum being pushed to have a photo done. She obviously couldn’t afford it but was being told she only had to put a £10 deposit down and the rest when she received the pictures……after about 10 minutes of pressure she caved in and that isn’t right!!
I’m all for the bounty bags – in fact I was miffed I missed out on some of mine as I didn’t have the traditional maternity care, but get rid of the pictures or make them free – that way the pressure is off!!
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Emma Day says
Thanks for your comment. Do you not think perhaps that employee should just be retrained or fired? Most of them act kindly and sensitively without a hard sell. x
Respect for writing this post!
I do disagree with you 100% but total respect is due.
My take on it is that all the leaflet, freebies and photographs are NICE but actually a massive cover up for what actually provides Bounty what I expect is their largest source of revenue – collecting new mums’ data which they then sell on to other companies (Boden, Party Pieces etc) for £1 a time.
The handing out of freebies and taking photos just gives them a reason to have access to the maternity wards. And the advice on their website will be for the same reason – it makes them look like a caring sharing company when all they want is cold hard data.
The NHS should not allow this to happen when mums have just given birth. End of.
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Emma Day says
“End of”? Wow I thought that phrase died with my adolescence! So what is it you disagree with? That women should have a choice? That women should be allowed to have photos of their newborn taken if they choose to? That women should be given useful freebies and coupons if they want them? Many have said they took comfort in chatting to their bounty lady. I don’t think Bounty is the big covert scam you seem to think it is. Thousands of companies sell on your information. When filling in any form, you should always read the small print. There is a little box which you either tick or don’t tick, depending on whether or not you wish to receive marketing communications from third parties. This is standard and really nothing new. I never received a single call or email. Always read the small print.
Oh dear! Sorry – I shouldn’t have written “end of”… I was just getting into the swing of what I was saying and then had to finish quickly and get offline.
I wrote a blog post about my feelings towards Bounty two years ago (so way before any Bounty Mutiny came about). I won’t link to it here as I know that’s not appreciated by some bloggers but if you Google my blog name and “Bounty lady” it comes up.
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I like your post, it’s good to see the other side. I’ve had 2 children in 2 hospitals and unfortunately both we’re the rude arrogant hard sales women who pulled back the curtain and wouldn’t leave me alone. I have signed the petition because I don’t believe they should be allowed on the wards, however maybe there is another way they could do their job, have a set up in the hospital entrance for example, people could approach if they wish.
I think there are many different view points and I think the campaign is giving the woman a voice who for whatever reason didn’t complain at the time, I guess they were a little busy! 😉
I turned down a photo each time without any issue. There are a lot more important issues to fight over this is just distracting people!
Hilda Hazel Wright says
I’d heard of the Bounty issue but didn’t really know what it was. Your blog post makes perfectly good sense to me 😉
I had no objections to the bounty lady she didnt take a photo of my baby but she took my email and phone number in return for the pack I was then inundated with sales calls from other companies for the first 6 weeks of my first baby I had problems after delivery and was very ill which also contributed to pnd but I complained directly to bounty about this at the time and stopped answering phone calls from unknown numbers knowing the hospital or doctor would leave a voicemail not ideal but saved me getting upset and angry at sales people when I wanted to enjoy being a new mum.
With my second baby I refused to give my number and gave a fake email as I was told I would not get my child benefit form in the bounty pack if I didn’t give them contact details (I thought it would be easier to give a fake email that use the government website for a free download and apologies if someone is now getting tons of baby related spam)
I don’t particularly like bounty but agree it is our choice to send them away and this whole vendetta against them seems petty when their are much more important campaigns in need of support x
Emma Day says
That’s really unusual. Are you sure the phonecalls were a result of that? I never got a single phonecall or email. I was already registered with Bouny so I didn’t give any details in the hospital. x
Mrs T says
I’ve had 7 babies. I’ve never met an unpleasant bounty rep ( in 4 different hospitals) I’ve never bought the photo which was never a problem and I love free stuff and vouchers !
Distressed Housewife says
I didn’t have many dealings with Bounty with any of my children, just picked up the packs from Boots. I had PND after my first child and would have quite liked a photo to look on to try to feel positive about when I couldn’t reach him due to a catheter and drip!
I had more issues with how I was treated by a couple of the midwives but I’m not about to condemn all midwives because of one bad experience. The midwife who delivered babies 2 and 3 was amazing. It boils down to the same thing; there are always individuals that give a company a bad name. There are unpleasant people in the world who will undertake a variety of professions, that’s just life.
I completely agree that it’s anyone’s choice to say ‘no’ and that should be respected. Great post; if you get negative comments, it’s probably from the aforementioned ‘unpleasant people’ (ooh, get me being all controversial!) 😉 xx
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I loved the pictures my Bounty reps took of Tori and Arthur (I had a bounty man with Tori!) and bought them both.
They were friendly and respectful and very gentle with the babies. It was lovely to have a chat with someone from the ‘outside’ too at a time when visitors had left and I was feeling a bit lost on my own with a scary new baby!
What a sensible post! I totally agree with you, you need to work out what the issue is and whose fault it is, not randomly attack Bounty for it. Your bounty packs do sound much much better than mine!! Didn’t get any bath towels or flannels. Sad. 🙁
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Mummy Glitzer says
I am really pleased to hear some positive stories as all I have heard are negative ones but then I guess that’s the same with anything, negative experiences are far more commonly shouted about. Maybe most reps are actually nice.
I am not against the whole Bounty thing per se but the tactics that some people use which, as you rightly point out, is perhaps more to do with individual employees hopefully rather than Bounty “training”. Although another part of me thinks it seems to be so common that actually they are in part at least to blame. Yes we can say no but personally, I had to tell the rep (interestingly at the same hospital as Kara) about half a dozen times over the 2 days I was in! If that’s not a pressured sales tactic I don’t know what is.
I am not signing either as frankly there are far more important things with maternity care to worry about! .For example, should women who have just experienced a still-birth even be on the same ward?
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Mummy Glitzer says
Oh one more thing; perhaps wards could have a Bounty rep in a side room rather than approaching women? The HCP could make women aware that there is an opportunity for a newborn photo (must admit I was gutted Harry’s came out horrible) and then it really is your own choice?
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Emma T says
I was ambivalent to my visit. In the run up it was exciting to get Bounty packs, although apart from washing liquid samples, sudocrem and a nappy, I don’t think I got much else other than coupons and leaflets. But then I don’t mind junk mail as you never know when you’ll get something interesting.
I knew nothing about Bounty reps/photos, so it was a total surprise when one turned up – I was in 3 days due to a cs so was always going to see one at some point. I didn’t take to her – she was pretty rude to me in asking why I only had white blankets and babygrows so it was hard to get a newborn to stand out…we didn’t find out the sex, so why would I have bought anything other than white!
Apart from that it was ok – I’d had an easy time in hospital, but I didn’t want the photo – let’s face it, I thought my son looked adorable, but I’d taken nicer photos than how he looked in the ones she took. I just said no, she didn’t have any packs so I was told I’d have to get them from wherever afterwards, got given forms in case I wanted to order later (I didn’t, but just deleted the millions of emails – that I’m still getting now about ordering copies 2 1/2 years down the line – although I did somehow manage to get one free via Snapfish when it turned up in my account). The woman in the bed opposite was prepared – planned cs, knew the baby’s sex, and it was no.3. She asked for the rep to come back later and she did. All fine.
I do think though, that midwives/when you’re taken to the ward that you should be warned about it. Noone tells you so of course it’s a shock. It would work better if you knew and could sign up – then it would allow for planning and if you’re only in a short time and have missed it, then you could hopefully get one another time.
I’m sure some can be rude, and I’m probably quite pragmatic about these types of occasions – I might have felt differently if I’d had a horrendous time in hospital/with N. But I do agree with you that there are more important things to be campaigning for.
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michaela britton says
Emma. I totally agree with you! Our Bounty reps were lovely both times.
The first time was straight forward. I came onto the labour ward, she gave me my pack, took some details and asked if I wanted a photo. I said ‘no thanks’ and off she toddled (after having a natter about babies)
With my second pregnancy I was poorly (ok not anywhere near as you) the injection they give to make the placenta come out, made me sick. I couldn’t breastfeed and holding Charlie made me feel ill. I felt crap.
The Bounty rep wasn’t there, no one at all. There was a pack which a nurse brought round. The same as you, I was a bit gutted that I didn’t get to speak with someone.
My sister on the other hand, had a stillborn baby at 20 weeks and the hospital put grieving mums onto a separate ward and Bounty did not go in there as there was a sign on the door saying so.
I have never had a problem with them and actually loved the freebies. I never read any of the leaflets, they went straight into the recycling but found that the samples were great for testing out brands and the sudocrem for putting into my changing bag.
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I also agree with you. I think there are some issues with individuals, but in any large organisation there will unfortunately be people whose customer service skills are lacking. The problems with these individuals need tackling, and I strongly believe that Bounty itself needs to avoid a culture of sales targets or performance related bonuses (but I have no idea if this is how they work).
What I really, really don’t understand is people getting up in arms about “cash for access” on the NHS. You want good care? More midwives for one to one care for all? The money needs to come from somewhere. Unless you fancy paying higher taxes (and my guess is many of the anti-Bounty brigade aren’t the biggest supporters of many of the economic policies proposed in recent years) then organisations like Bounty are incredibly important. I worry that Bounty will be barred from maternity wards taking thousands of pounds with them.
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Emma T says
Whoa, sorry, huge comment!
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Lisa Clegg says
I have had 3 children all in the same hospital and have felt no pressure from any of the bounty women I met. The freebies were very helpful-particularly the small pot of sudacreme and wet wipes travel case that I kept in my change bag after we left hospital. I’m sure they used to put the child benefit registration forms in the pack too didn’t they? I found that very helpful!!
I’ve had 3 sections so I guess you could say I was in a fairly vulnerable state when approached, but at no point did I feel that I had to buy the photo they took. I didn’t even have to pay a deposit as some people have said they had to do-I was just given a voucher with the photo reference details on and told I could go online and purchase it if I wanted to.
I totally agree with your post that people should complain against a particular member of staff if they act unprofessional in any way regarding pressure they put on mums who are not interested.
The freebies are really helpful to many mums and if there are certain leaflets and things you don’t like in the bag, you can just ignore it or throw it away!
Becca Masters says
When I had my baby 13 weeks ago, I had already decided I didn’t need the bounty photos, as I’d been promised that someone (family member) would come an take some newborn photos. (It didn’t happen though and I wish I’d had some “professional” photos done now). So when she asked, I honestly told her that a family member who is a photographer was going to do my photos and thank you but no thanks. She was absolutely fine with it. No pressure at all. No hard sell, no making me feel guilty.
She came to see me every single day. She was lovely! I was in the hospital for 5 days and very lonely at times and she knew I had a poorly newborn so she stopped by every day to say hello and see how we both were.
I didn’t get the free pack, which was sad, but I did pick up the last pack from super drug a few week ago.
I don’t understand why there’s a petition. If a member of bounty staff is not behaving as they should, then remove them and replace them. Simple no?
Why are people so afraid to say no? I just don’t get it.
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I loved the free stuff. I only got offered the photo for 1 out of 4, which is a shame because my camera broke for 1 of them and I have no photos of his first day. You can always choose to ask them to leave you alone if you don’t want to speak to them.
Emma Smyth says
Totally agree with this post, the bounty lady that came to see me took Harry’s pics and then gave me a link to be able to view/purchase them in my own time if I wanted, she didn’t try to pressure me into buying them there and then or even at all! TheBounty pack wasn’t as good as your one sounded but I can’t complain as it is all free!! I don’t understand the argument at all, like you said perhaps some members of staff need retraining. I think the idea about having it in your birth plan is good though that way everybody is happy, no need to get rid of a service that benefits most because of a small minority who have got their knickers in a twist!!
I didn’t have a Bounty visit with either of my two. I was disappointed. I would have liked the visit.
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I loved the bounty lady, when my son was in scbu and I was ill in a room on my own she without fail came to say hello each morning and checked that it was in hand I would be taken to see my son. Seeing as I had been transferred 60 miles from home I wasn’t getting many visitors so the bounty lady and very chatty cleaner became my ‘friends’ when my son was finally in my room with me it was the bounty lady I first showed him off too and after previously agreeing with her I didn’t want her to photograph him with tubes the day she did photograph him- totally tubeless like a ‘proper’ baby was a milestone I am grateful for. I love my bounty photo, yes it was £50 but I didn’t have to buy that pack, I chose too and I love my picture of my son looking like a little baked bean and I loved the normality of the lovely bounty lady saying no each morning. Ill be gutted if there’s no bounty lady when I have my daughter later in the year.
Kelly Jackson says
I completely agree with you. Bounty are good.
I found my bounty lady to be kind and calm. My baby was struggling feeding and i was upset i couldn’t feed her, so i guess by some peoples definition i was vunerable, when she arrived at my bed. I explained the situation and she politely left me to it, asking before she left If I wanted her to return. She then came back around an hour later. Being respectful and kind. She gave me my bounty pack. Then asked if I would like her to take her photo and left the details for me to buy should I wish to. I was under no obligation at all to buy. I was not pushed or encouraged. I would have just said no had I not wanted the photos, please is it seriously that hard to say no! I guess that you really only have yourself to blame if you allow someone to push you into doing something you dont want to! I kind of think people need to get over it and put it perspective! More to the point just say NO!
Fab post! Xx
Katie @ My Homemade Happiness says
I had my daughter in May 2011. A bounty lady visited me on the ward and was there for about 2 mins. She asked if I would like a photo taking which I declined and that was that. She left me with my pack and moved on.
I think as you say, if people have issues with individuals then that should be addressed as a separate issue. If I had a problem with a member of staff in Tesco (for example) I would complain about that person, not try to close Tesco down. Also highlighting your choice on the birth plan is an excellent idea xxx
Here bloomin here well said!
When i had my first the Bounty lady came when I was feeding..she offered to come back but didnt so I didnt get a chance to have a photo of my newborn. Second time a lady came took some lovely photos I bought a small pack few months later Bounty emailed me and offered me jpegs of ALL shots for free that would be sent to a snapfish account (a ploy to get people to use snapfish..I already do so no biggie to me). So I got all my lovely photos that I can print off when and how many times I want. At no time was I pressured or felt intrusion. I like the BOunty forums on the website. Its chance to see what issues other mums have.
The packs can be alot of guff that ends up in a bin but theres vouchers and samples all of which Ive used.
I really cant see a problem. As you say we have a voice and can say no!
Helpful Mum says
I never had a problem with a Bounty rep. The first one asked if I wanted a picture but I declined. With my daughter I wasn’t on the ward long enough to see a rep. I was given a voucher by my midwife to pick up a pack from Boots.
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Stay At Home Mum ~ In Training says
My Bounty lady was lovely! She didn’t pressurise me in any way. She actually told me about the free photo keyring I could get if I went online and said I could look at the photos then too. No pressure at all. To be honest I can’t even remember what was in my bounty pack but I do remember how nice it was to see a lovely friendly face. I think it would be a great shame if they were ousted from our mat wards. I’m also quite sure if you said no they would just leave. My lady hovered at the door to check I wanted her to come in first. Xxxx
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Very well written and 100pc agree.
All I will say is ask yourself who is driving the petition . Is is a mum who has been wronged ? Nope it is a competitor to Bounty fuelled by the NCT who are also a competitor to Bounty and somewhat miffed at he reach and influence Bounty has
~your post is very valid and I am sure the average intelligent mum in this country can see through this competitive attack
Kath Knitty Mummy says
Without the bounty pack I would have starved in hospital. I threw up my breakfast during labour, was a tad busy pushing to have lunch, then just missed the dinner round when I got down to the ward. Then the midwife who checked me in to the ward didn’t tell me I had to go down to the breakfast room for breakfast until after they’d packed it all away. So I just sat there until the bounty woman arrived with the pack – which contained cereal bars! My first food in over 24 hours! My saviour! I still told her to go away when she wanted to take the photo.
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I loved getting bounty stuff- all 7 times. I did feel a bit upset when one approached me when I was in danger of losing a baby – she didnt know why i was there- but I smiled and said “not just now thankyou” and she told me to get well soon and hoped all went well.
All the pics I bought were dreadful but 19 years later still make my heart sing with the memory of how I felt – so proud of my blotchy newborn.
It’s so nice to read all the happy Bounty stories.
I had good experiences too – with firstborn it actually felt a bit like a celebration – that the world cared enough about my brand new baby to want to come and give me free things and photograph him! I enjoyed the attention.
When baby 2 came along I had realised that ok, I didn’t need a full pack of different sized photos of my newborn, so I said no when she came round. She did try to persuade me (‘view online and decide later’ type thing) but ‘fortunately’ my second born was a crier so after about ten minutes of her hanging around waiting for baby to stop crying long enough to take a photo she got bored and left my packs.
It must be horrible for the women who felt intruded on and pressured at a vulnerable time, but then you’ve got to balance that with the women that felt comforted, celebrated, reassured, befriended etc. Surely their feelings matter too, and what we should do is make the service better for everyone somehow, not just remove it?
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Hayley @ Sparkles & Stretchmarks says
I completely agree with you.
And even if the issue IS with people not wanting their details passed on to third parties – the same point still stands. What about those of us who actually don’t mind having our details passed on in exchange for some free samples and photos being taken?!! I know I don’t mind – so I have to say “no” to a few extra calls or delete a few extra emails – I don’t personally care!
I looked forward to having the Bounty photos done when I had my son – I specifically took in an outfit I wanted him to wear in the pictures. And I loved the Bounty Packs – it felt exciting to me!
I’d seen my family & friends get them before me and now it was MY turn, almost like a rite of passage!!!
I would personally be rather upset to see Bounty taken out of hospitals.
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Claire H says
What a great job it must be to be a Bounty rep – a good one of course. Think it would be great to be lovely to new mums and their babies and hand out freebies. Think I may apply… oh, hang on, wait… I forgot… they’re closing down our local Maternity Unit.
Kelly Finn says
Well said, I just don’t understand what all the fuss is about! I loved all of my freebies and used nearly all of my money off coupons. I was given a voucher so I could collect my pack at my own convenience. Crazy!
sarah pellew says
Excellent post. Excellent! My boys are big now so Idont even remember the Bounty lady … think I had to go and pick Iit up from Boots but I would have liked a chat with a friendly person. I also agree that I could probably have gathered the courage to throw away/recycle anything I didn’t want! You are right to highlight this issue. Thank you! Sarah
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Danielle Askins says
Fab post, and you are so right, why take it away from the people that do want it x
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Ruth Davies says
Never saw the Bounty lady when I had my daughter in hospital. I suspect because it was New Years Eve and then New Years day when I left. I wouldn’t have minded in the slightest. I did get a pack from a voucher given to me by my midwife, the same midwife who then delivered my son two years later at home. I was concerned about getting the pack – I too like a freebie and made sure I got my coupon to go get it! Why oh why oh why are people campaigning to stop the Bounty lady? For goodness sake, as you have mentioned there are surely bigger fish to fry? A simple solution could be found just like your tick box idea. Alternatively, to save changing forms she could just sit at a desk and people could be informed of her and go to her… What a shame!
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I had a positive experience with my first she was polite and friendly. I never saw her with my second.midwife gave the bounty packs they were waiting on your bed in the ward.
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Alison b says
Every time we fill in a form online, in a store or enter a completion someone somewhere is buying our data. Are we going start a campaign to sack all postmen because they put junk mail thru our doors. This debate has got totally out of hand, everyone has a choice just say ” no thanks “
This is nothing but a vicious attack by a competitor to bounty. They have been trying for years to get access to the nhs. The owner is pocketing millions of pounds for herself, at least bounty give to charity and actually help mums. I loved all 4 of my bounty packs and never got a single phone call from them.
A few other people have mentioned this competitor that is apparently behind this campaign? Who do you mean? Are you having a dig at mumsnet?
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Emma Day says
I’ve not mentioned mumsnet or their competitors! I am a member of mumsnet, I’m not sure how much involvement they have in this. I’m just blogging my own opinion.
No, I know you didn’t mention anything about a competitor in your post, just it has cropped up in a few of the comments, and I’m trying to work out what people are talking about as I can’t fathom it.
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Emma Day says
Mumsnet is a competitor of Bounty. It’s believed by many that Mumsnet are trying to shut Bounty down for their own financial gain. I don’t know enough about this view to comment. Xx
Actually Mummy... says
Eeek! I’ve seen all the debate, and I’ve had discussions with Bounty myself recently about exactly this. I think there is a moderate line that is more akin to what you’ve written here than to what the mutiny campaign upholds. Hospitals allow this to happen because Bounty “donate” a lot of money to them which help them to run as well as they can. Without these funds, the care in maternity units would be worse. Awful, but that’s how it is. And I agree that an adult can quite easily say no, thank you and move on.
Where the problem lies, is not in the photos and freebies, but in what Bounty then do with the information you give them, and with individual members of the team who try to do the hard sell. Bounty recognise this, and are taking steps to improve their processes. Salespeople who offend need to be dealt with, same as any other business. And information sold on to 3rd parties needs to be subject to some usage criteria that doesn’t allow telephone bombardment of new parents. As I understand it they know this, and are planning big changes.
So I don’t support the mutiny at all, I support balance and rational argument, and if Mumsnet have sparked that, then it’s a good thing. Posts like this are crucial to providing all that balance. x
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Vicky Charles says
When S was born, we stayed in hospital for 2 weeks. She was in NICU for 2 days in the middle.
The Bounty lady dropped by my bed whenever she was in; she could see I was struggling with being stuck in hospital, especially when my daughter was in NICU. She had extra stock so she gave me extra Bounty packs, and also nappies – they were no use at the time, because S was so small – but I kept them and they came in useful later!
I think in the end i had about 4 Bounty packs when we went home. The lady was always so nice to me. Every time she came in she’d gingerly put her head around the curtain of my bay and go “oh no, you’re still here, you poor thing! How are you doing?”
Considering S’s father didn’t visit us every day, and I had no other visitors after the first day, she was a welcome distraction from the waiting to go home!
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I was gutted not to get my bounty lady chat 3rd time around, the packs helped us out with decent freebies, in fact I had a very traumatic time 1st birth and I BOUGHT the photo because I wanted it! I never received calls or 3rd party emails etc, and have always found the bounty website to be trustworthy. I think individual staff should be fired if the rumours are true.
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I love this article. I was, up until a year ago, a Bounty lady in a hospital and I absolutely loved the job. It was an absolute pleasure to go to work and I loved the interaction with the new mums, sharing their happiness, listening to their stories and of course getting to photograph the babies. It really was a dream job from that perspective. Unfortunately, I felt I had to resign as behind the scenes things were quite different. Whilst the people I directly reported to were nice people, the targets were so demanding and I felt that unless you pushed hard for a bedside sale, you were never going to realistically meet them. It was such a shame to have to leave a job that I loved but at the end of the day my decision was based on the fact that I couldn’t bring myself to push mums into a decision which is what they wanted you to do. From a new mums perspective though I think the initiative is great…
Kate, that’s a really interesting perspective, and I actually think you’ve hit the nail right on the head. The reality is that most Bounty ladies are LOVELY (mine was) and actually that’s not really the point. The point is that these lovely people are being sent to new mums’ bedsides to sell to them/collect data. With loads of pressure being put on them by Bounty to make as much money as they can. And that’s just not on.
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I didn’t think much of the photos taken of either of my babies, but I use the get out everytime that I wanted to ask my husband before making any decisions so would check online when I got home.
personally I spent my whole pregnancy looking for free samples, anything to test a product or get some for free is a bonus
Sue | London Life Coach says
I think there’s nothing wrong with the freebies. 🙂 I also think they will understand if we don’t allow them to take photos of our babies. We’re just being protective. I bet they will do the same with their own.
Mum in a Hurry (@mum_in_a_hurry) says
I’m another one that has only just realised (through reading blog posts about it) that there even WAS a bounty mutiny. I completely agree with you though. If there is a problem with pushy sales people acting inappropriately they should be dealt with and any complaints levelled at Bounty itself. I never had any problems myself. They took the photos but I never bought them. Took quite a few good ones myself so didn’t feel they were needed.
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Well done for putting your opinion out there and so so sorry that you got flack for doing so.
I had a very positive Bounty experience, but it is now hard for any of us to blog about that for (a) being accused of jumping on the bandwagon or (b) getting shot down in flames for having a different opinion.
Anyway good on you for speaking your mind from your perspective.
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Stacey G @ Nobody Said It Was Easy says
I had a fairly positive Bounty experience, the lady came in, gave me my pack, asked if I wanted a photo, and guess what – I had the inclination to say no, because I didn’t! You’re right, it’s not hard.
I’m with you on this one x
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Kate Thompson says
100% agree with you! I just wish MY Bounty bags (years ago) had been quite as good as your were 😉
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