Reactions to our Bounty reps campaign
This is a round-up of some of the reactions we've had to our Bounty reps campaign on social media, in the press and via email.
- Twitter reactions
- What Mumsnetters said
- Letter from MP Adam Holloway
- Letter to Bounty
- Health minister tells trusts to "get a grip"
- Jezebel article
- Former 'Bounty lady' shares her story
- A Puppet Opera blogs about her Bounty experience
- Me, The Man & The Baby
- Miss Independent Woman on her Bounty experience
- A trainee midwife shares her view
Below are some of the replies to our thread about Bounty. Read the full thread here.
- [The Bounty rep] was very pushy and rude and eventually, just because I was completely exhausted following my c-section and just wanted her to go away, I agreed to fill in her form - but I would not have normally done so and I afterwards I felt like I'd been bullied into it. The maternity ward is not the place for the hard sell, a woman who has just given birth is extremely vulnerable and Bounty are exploiting that. I strongly agree with this campaign. Vikirose
- Seven years ago my baby was in SCBU. I couldn't move after an emergency c-section and the lady burst in and was so incredibly rude. She told me that I 'wouldn't be needing a picture', and then (while I was still high as a kite on morphine) told me I had to give her my details as it was a government requirement I didn't know any better and signed. For the next six months we were bombarded with calls from baby-goods-related people and the crap that came through the door was ridiculous. DoughaDeer
- I had a really bad experience with my last child and a Bounty rep four years ago. I was extremely tired and tearful, my husband and the midwife were there with me. [The rep] marched in and started asking for details, my husband say it was a bad time, she refused to budge, said "it only takes a few minutes", so he politely told her no thanks and her response was something along the lines of "it's useful information for your baby, you know", in a really aggressive manner and then added something like "but if you are not interested in your baby then just say and I will go". It was terrible. musicalfamily
- I had a terrible birth, stricly no visitors and yet the fucking Bounty rep was allowed into my room. It's appalling. I told her leave, and had I been less drugged up she would have gotten a mouthfull. lavenderloves
- When I had my first baby I had no idea who the Bounty people were and thought it was something to do with the hospital. I remember feeling really resentful when I left hospital as I'm normally really careful about who I give personal info to. I was only in hospital for one night and when they came round I was in no fit state to understand what was happening. soimpressed
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One couple copied us in to their letter to Bounty, protesting at the behaviour of one of its reps after the birth of their son.
Dear Sir / Madam,
I am writing to you in regards to the photos that were taken of my newborn son on Thursday 28th March as I am not at all happy with the forceful mentality your company seems to employ with your photography packages.
My wife had a traumatic caesarean section with our son and rather than being offered a leaflet with information on your packages, your staff instead entered the room whilst I was temporarily out and then "assumed" that it was given that we would use you, rather than giving us some time to consider your packages. When I returned the pictures were already being taken and then we were given a variety of expensive options with the photographer flicking through a brochure in front of us.
The whole time I felt that it was all about selling the packages (it makes me wonder if your staff are incentivised on what they sell?) rather than capturing the precious moments of our newborn son, as we were told on more than one occasion that for "an extra £x you can have this or for an extra £x you can have this..." I work in the photography industry and have done for the last 15 years and can only describe the whole process (including the photos themselves) as very amateur, but at a very professional prices.
To top off my disappointment in your service, when the "photographer" had finished and we were asked to pay, I handed my card to her as I was changing my son for the payment to be taken. It was only when they left and I checked the receipt that I realised we had been charged an additional £4.95 for postage and packaging. This was at no point mentioned and I am sure there are laws and regulations against adding additional charges without mentioning or showing the customer!
I look forward to your response so I can consider my options, as if this is how you treat all new mother's it seriously needs to be brought to the attention of the NHS.
Mr & Mrs Tomkins
May we say that we are saddened to hear of any individual situation which falls short of the high standards that parents demand of us and we demand of ourselves.
Our staff are required to adhere to a strict code of conduct which includes offering our services on the basis of choice.
We take any short fall in our code of conduct very seriously and we will be investigating this matter with the member of staff to ensure compliance and refresh her training accordingly, including reference to P&P.
We apologise once again and wish to assure you of our commitment to resolving this apparent training issue.
Head of Stakeholder Relations
The NHS watchdog will be given powers to take action against hospitals that allow firms such as Bounty access to new mothers, says health minister Dan Poulter.
"The Telegraph reports on a new birth trend: being subjected to the disgraceful marketing strategies of sales representatives who pay British hospitals for access to new mothers, whom they hope to take advantage of for profit. Sometimes the salespeople will begin badgering new parents mere minutes after birth. So much for respect for the miracle of life and motherhood.
According to the report, nearly 150 National Health Services hospitals permit sales representatives to have access to new mothers. Sales firms will pay from 30p (around 50 cents) to £5.50 (about $8.60) per infant — bargain! — for the opportunity to pester and attempt to exploit new mothers. Because the best kind of customer is one who's exhausted, disoriented, and oftentimes in pain after going through, oh, you know, FUCKING CHILDBIRTH, a process that that involves pushing a small human's head and body out of yourself..."
"A "Bounty lady" who resigned over her superior's behaviour around new mothers has come forward to tell The Telegraph her story. While she wishes to remain anonymous, it gives a remarkable insight into what has become common practice in maternity wards under paid-for deals with the NHS."
"Just hours after I had given birth to my sweet little Isabelle, a stranger with a camera appeared at my bedside on the maternity ward, with no real introduction to who she was, asking for my tiny baby's details for her database and suggesting she take photos of my newborn baby (for a fee, of course), insisting that "they change so much at this age - even hourly!" I politely declined (after all, I was in my pajamas and hadn't taken a shower since well before I'd gone into labor the previous day) and she became more insistent, to the point where I had to ask her to leave. I was confused, embarrassed and felt violated to have had a stranger by my bedside at this vulnerable moment. But when I found out this unwelcome visitor was a sales rep from Bounty, all those emotions turned to fiery rage."
"I was there because my baby needed antibiotics every few hours. He was taken away from me to the NICU, we had breastfeeding problems those first days and the experience of a tongue tie. The last thing I needed every day was the intrusion of someone who actually didn’t really matter to us. She wasn’t there for the wellbeing of me or my baby."
"I was given one day to rest and then I saw the rep come around. Me being me, high as a kite on anti pre-eclampsia drugs and pain relief, I saw the lovely little gift bag and happily handed over all my details. I then met a photo rep, then a rep from Emma’s diary and then nightmare began.
Supposedly enjoying being a new mum, I was actually at home for the first few months being bombarded with phone calls to the house from various well and not so well-known companies. Energy companies, educational companies, clothing, television companies. We had them all."
"As a trainee midwife, one of the aspects of my clinical practice I find most satisfying is that no matter the time of night or day, the presenting issue or the length of stay, not a single penny changes hands between patients and practitioners. One of the most precious aspects of working within maternity care is that the relationships between midwives and women are distinctly, and quietly, non-monetary. It is powerful to give and receive health care and support as a 'social gift', for this is what it is when care is not mediated by commercial ventures."