One day a decidedly non-literate friend in the service was sitting down at a desk with pen in hand writing a letter. I asked him what he was doing and he said he was writing to (this was in the days of snail mail) the maker of his favorite chewing tobacco ('Red Man' - I just googled it and see that it's made by the Pinkerton Tobacco Co.) telling them about how much he enjoyed their product and wished they carried it more often at the Post Exchange. He asked me to look over his letter and make any corrections I might see fit to make but I didn't have the heart to make any changes at all (or as he might have written 'don't have no hart to be mak of no chagens') Anywho, fast forward several weeks - he walks into the barracks with a freakin' ENTIRE CASE of Red Man! The company shipped him the complimentary product samples and enclosed a hand written letter thanking him for using their product and taking the time to write! My guess was that the company saw a sales opportunity and figured he'd share his bounty with all the other guys that worked with him in the motor pool and maybe they'd start buying Red Man - sure enough he doled it out to all his friends. So this got me motivated to try my hand at writing several letters. I probably wrote maybe a dozen letters to various companies, but no one saw fit to shower me with any free product samples. If they sent back anything at all it was usually a soulless form letter and a paltry few 'save 30 cents on your next purchase...'' coupons.
Have you ever written a letter to a company either praising or blasting them for their product? Have you known of anyone else writing a letter and receiving a windfall like the one descibed above?
EDIT: I take it back now that I think about it Anheuser Busch sent me some cool Really Big Stickers featuring their brand logos (Michelob, Busch, Budweiser). A case of beer, however, would have been even more welcome.