Would YOU Eat This Cheeto? Cheetos Fail and Testing Frito Lay’s Customer Service, Part One

What do you do when you’re dissatisfied with a purchase? In my experience, people tend to fit into 3 general categories: Fire-and-Pitchforks, Mildly Annoyed, and Indifferent (Meh). I definitely fall in between the extremes, just like most people. For the most part, I don’t make a fuss as long as what I bought is in the ballpark of what it should be. And when I do make a fuss, it ends up being such a hassle that I usually just wish I had lived with the problem.

However, I do have my breaking point, and that point was reached last week over a bag of Baked Cheetos.

Here’s the back story: my wife had been looking forward to a bag of Cheetos all day. During lunch, I went out and got her a bag. But…crap! I accidentally bought her the wrong type (Flamin’ Hot Cheetos), which was strike one against me. Fortunately, we found a co-worker who was willing to trade for his bag of Baked Cheetos. I was saved!

But this is the kicker to my Cheeto story. When she opened it, expecting nothing but cheesy goodness as usual, this is what she saw:

Baked Cheetos or unidentifiable blob?

Is this what passes for a Baked Cheeto nowadays?

My first reaction: “OMG, WHAT THE F@#& IS THAT?!!!”

My second reaction: “I’m STILL in trouble.”

My third reaction: “I have to show everyone!”

And I did show everyone in the office. Everybody had pretty much the same reaction to the deformed Cheeto, which was something along the lines of curiosity combined with utter disgust. The cheese-covered blob you see in the picture not only looked disgusting, but it was as heavy as an entire normal bag by itself. It didn’t even appear edible, to tell you the truth. It took a while, but after the novelty wore off I decided that Cheetos needed to hear about this. You mess with me, and I get over it. But mess with my wife and I change teams over to the Fire-and-Pitchforks I mentioned earlier!

I felt that this incident would be an excellent case to make transparent to all of you to see how well a company takes care of its customers. Even though it may have been a justified mistake, Cheetos (owned by Frito Lay) is in the wrong here; no one should have large, heavy clump of anything ruining their delicious snack.

I’ll soon be sending an email to their customer service, and I won’t be expecting anything less than A+ service. That doesn’t mean I’ll get it (heck, they might not even respond) but I’m firmly committed to that Fire-and-Pitchforks attitude at this point! I’ll keep you updated if I receive any correspondence from Frito Lay on this issue. Side note: can you imagine how much OUT of trouble I would be if I could somehow get my wife a month’s supply of Cheetos? Wishful thinking. *Disclaimer: The views in this post are my own and don’t reflect the views of QLP as a whole.

Do you think I’ll get a response from Cheetos/Frito Lay regarding this seemingly-inedible, cheesy monstrosity? Have you ever had a similar experience with a product and taken the time to contact a company representative?


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  1. Laura Porretto

    Wife here hopes we get an all expenses paid trip down to Texas to tour the Frito Lay factory and see how the QC and packaging system works. But I will take the free month of Cheetos 🙂

    • Vern-Matic

      Or just do what Kevin Smith did when he was to fat to fly on Southwest Airlines. Blast them back to the stone ages via Facebook and Twitter

      • Jana Quinn

        I’m not gonna lie: that clump looks fairly horrifying. It reminds me of that deep fried chicken head from McDonald’s. *shudder*

        You said: “And when I do make a fuss, it ends up being such a hassle that I usually just wish I had lived with the problem.”

        That’s exactly what roundabout customer service is intended to do. Why do you think they make you wait through automated messages to select this number and that number to get to a human being? They’re hoping you’ll give up.

        Unfortunately (for them), this generally makes the perceived problem that much more annoying for the customer who was calling to complain in the first place. A great customer service experience after a pretty annoying error can make a customer even MORE dedicated to the company if the customer is convinced a) it was an honest mistake and b) the company is proactive and interested in making things right rather than evasive and reluctantly willing.

        • JPorretto

          Jana! Shhh!! Err…. I mean…. Thank you for the preview of my follow-up post =/

  2. Amanda Sneed

    This bag of Cheetos cracked me up when you showed me! That clump seriously looks like an owl pellet or a clump of kitty litter! hahahaha But it makes for an excellent blog post experiment!

    I think that you will get some kind of positive response from Frito Lay. A month’s supply? Hopefully, but doubtful. I’m thinking you’ll get some coupons for a few free bags of Cheetos….which I see as a win! 😉

    Hopefully you hear back soon! I can’t wait to hear what they do about this.

    • Jana Quinn

      Do you think if Jeff dissected it, he would find the bones of Chester Cheetah?

  3. That Guy At Work

    I’d say send it back to Cheetos, but imagine how much the shipping costs would be due to the weight! =P

  4. Vern-Matic

    I generally fall into the category of indifference, but if I have to call customer service I am very calm and collected. I have worked in call centers and the only thing making a fuss does is get you put on mute and laughed at and only to have cube-mates join in on the call to poke even more fun at the customers expense. Recently I upgraded my phone and was told that it would be FedEx’ed the next day to me, well unannounced to me Verizon was beta testing their new delivery system and after three days of getting the run around that the phone was on its way by the salesman I was working with I decided to call customer service. I was then informed that the phone had never left the warehouse and that they had no way of contacting the warehouse to send it. Once I heard that I GLADLY joined the pitchfork and torches mob to hunt the monster that Verizon is. Unfortunately I did not get a year of free service (or even a month) just a Verizon chip clip and a crummy aluminum Verizon water bottle to remind me of my experience.

    • JPorretto

      I thought you were going to blow a gasket. 2-year contracts mean they don’t have to give a s* about you for at LEAST 18 months…

  5. cyberneticSAM

    Oh I guarantee you are gonna hear something back, though they will probably send an apology and 10% coupon off your next bag of Cheetos. I am always on the torches and pitchforks of fury, but I never do anything about it. If I were you, I would demand they give you a lifetime supply of cheetos and an all expense paid cruise to help cope with the stress that they unknowingly put you through. Oh! You should also demand that they bring back Cheetos X’s and O’s!!!!!!!! 😉

    • JPorretto

      If they offer me their overstock of 10 year old X’s and O’s, you’ll be the first to know 😉

  6. Bret Bonnet

    If a Cheeto gets you THIS upset I don’t think you should ever turn on your TV to watch the news – SERIOSULY! 🙂

    When you think about how many bags of Baked Cheetos Frito Lay Company probably makes every single day, one bad Cheeto, in this case, one that looks like a scorched turd, out of the HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS they make is BOUND to happen eventually.

    I’ll give you $100.00 to eat it (if you still have it).

    You’re a dork.

    • Amanda Sneed

      Oh he still has it…..and I would fall over laughing if he ate that thing. 😉

      • joel

        scorched turd was my nickname in college

  7. Scooby DOO!

    I’d like to get a side by side of the cheeto and jeff. I am curious whose taller!

    I look forward to part DEUX mr. Pitchfork!

    • JPorretto

      *who’s =P

      • Scooby DOO!

        So by omission, I’ll assume Chester was taller. Roger roger.

  8. joel

    I recently found a 3 inch long beetle in my spinach from dole.
    I called, and politely described it, they apologized and sent 4 coupons for free bags and more and more coupons.

    I’m still fearful of leafy greens.

    So whatever you might get to placate your frustration, remember, THE EMOTIONAL SCARS MAY NEVER HEAL!




    • Scooby DOO!

      Did you freeze little jimmy?

      • joel

        i kept him for a few days just to be sure they didnt want me to send the carcass for an autopsy.
        i know i would.

        im just scarred from potentially eating all that bug excrement


  9. Juliette

    After reading this post and all the comments I admit, I’m now eyeing my box of Cheez-Its as though it might contain some unnameable horror.

    Still, that is one really creepy looking Cheeto. I’m all curious to find out if you get a response and what kind it might be. Can’t wait for part 2 of this one!

  10. Joseph Giorgi

    I really hope you hear back from Frito-Lay, if only because I’m curious to see exactly how they’ll address the matter. Maybe in your e-mail you could sarcastically suggest that they create an official line of Cheetos identical to the “clump” you found in your bag.

    Oh, and I agree with one of the earlier responders to this post: you should definitely request that they bring back X’s and O’s as a means of compensation. Couldn’t hurt to ask.


  11. Kyle

    I’m kinda surprised no one else has said this, but that looks pretty delicious… Mmmm so much cheesy goodness condensed into one bite-sized Cheeto… 🙂

    • Amanda Sneed

      Part 1–Jeff writes to Frito Lay
      Part 2-We find out what Frito Lay is going to do about this
      Part 3- We all watch Kyle consume that nasty Cheeto blob!
      (With Jana and I standing by to perform the Heimlick if it is filled with Chester’s bones, bahaha)

      That would be too funny! What do ya think?

  12. Peemo

    I’m glad Kyle spoke first about huffing that bad boy.

    I would have eaten it and written a thank you letter to Mr. Cheeto for his delicious cheese nugget.

    • Kyle

      UPDATE: Upon further investigation, we have come to the conclusion that this previously unidentified object is in fact a giant mass of pure Cheetos cheese powder. Whether this is the most delicious/disgusting thing ever is still up for debate.

  13. Funkenstein

    OMG i found 3 clumps in bag soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo……………GOOD! salty cheesy oily goodness from the gods =P. i really did eat em. really salty

  14. Cyril Celestine

    I was hoping to see how fritolay responded. I too found something inside my bag of cheetos natural puffs white cheddar. I would like to post an image of it. Let me know if I can send it to you.

  15. Mark

    Actually, I remember getting those solid Cheetos nuggets in old bags of Paws and X’s & O’s back in the mid 1990s as well. They just melt in your mouth. Mmmmmm.

  16. tyrone jefferson

    THANK YOU…..

  17. Ken

    So tonight I was driving home from the store with bunch of groceries. I had bought a big bag of crunchy Cheetos, and I was hungry so I opened the bag and was eating while I drove. It was dark, and I was driving, so I was just grabbing a handful and putting them in my mouth whenever I had the chance. I start chewing and whhuuuaaaahhht the heck is that in my mouth? Uuuggh! It was giant ball of cheese mush. I’m doing like 50 mph in traffic, I rolled down the window and spat that crap out. Hope I didn’t get anyone’s car! I got home and searched Google for “clump of cheese in cheetos” to see if this was a common thing, and found this post! Damn that was nasty.

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