Before I get into the topic of the day, I have a situation that I need to share with you regarding customer service complaints.

A gentleman emailed the paper to complain that he resented us advertising for a business that does not return phone calls or answer it's phone. We forwarded the email to the advertiser to handle. We here at the paper have no idea what goes on in another's place of business and if there is a problem with getting messages and returning calls, the owner needs to know so that they can fix it.

Well apparently, the discussion between the potential customer and the business owner was not favorable from the customers point of view and now we are being threatened, maligned and bashed by this customer for handling his email with "such little couth" as to forward it to the business owner.

Let me make an obersvation....

We sell advertising, we do not run these businesses. As a newspaper service I am responsible for the interactions between myself and my customers - I am not responsible for the businesses who advertise with us, I have no control over them or the way they do business. Try calling the Sun, the Journal or any other newspaper with a customer service complaint about an advertiser and see what happens. As with the RFBA, which this business is not a member of...we will assist in remedying customer complaints by putting the two parties together and then stepping out of the way.
We are not referees but we will do what we can to help, always have, always will.
We could treat you this way, but we value all of our businesses, subscribers and web site
users and take your concerns seriously

Ali and I work hard - 16-18 hours - 7 days a week doing the work we do within the community in an attempt to bring value to it.

I feel that being taken to task for putting two people together to resolve an issue in the right way - being threatened with this man taking his issue with how we handled his complaint - public - is insulting to the work that Ali and I do.

And I quote: "I will be very verbal about your handling of my concerns to the public also." End Quote

I care about this community - every advertiser, every subscriber and every visitor to our web site.
No one is more or less valuable than the other. And I know Ali feels the same way.

If you have a problem with a company, before you email or call me with a concern or issue, I want you to be clear on what you want as a resolution.

If all you need to do is vent, I can listen. If you want something resolved - I will faciliatate by putting you and the other party together. If you need to find fault and bash some one - pick me, I have big shoulders and can handle it, because as long as you are beating me up then you are leaving someone else alone.

Now that I have that off my chest, let's get to the serious news of the day.

The Legion is threatening a Veterans motorcycle group with legal action over the use of a poppy in a crest.

This is obscene and morally wrong in my humble opinion. The poppy may be a registered trademark but this is one trademark I highly believe has no right to exist.

The poppy is a symbol of remembrance and the Legion makes a lot of money off of it - money that they say goes to veterans and their families.

And I quote: "But it's also a registered trademark, owned and so closely guarded by the Royal Canadian Legion that a motorcycle club of veterans isn't allowed to include a small one in its own logo without lawyers threatening legal action.

Capt. Michael Blow, president of the Canadian Veteran Freedom Riders (CVFR), who devoted 35 years of his life to the military, has one in his club's crest. It's a little difficult to see, but it's there." End Quote

Can some one tell me where on God's Green Earth should a veteran be denied to wear the symbol of remembrance?

If these people were making money from the poppy - I could see the lawyers, but they are not.
If the poppy was prominent in the logo, I could see the lawyers, but it is not, if the poppy was identical, I could see the lawyers but it is not. Further - NO WHERE on their web site does it state that you need permission to use the poppy - no where does it say it is a registered trademark...

And I quote:
"Legion secretary Bill Maxwell agreed it might not sound fair, but there's a reason for the trademark.

"Normally, for personal or private logos, we don't authorize use of the poppy. The poppy trademark was registered in 1948 to ensure that it would never be used for commercial or personal gain or used inappropriately."

He added the image on any logo in the country would most probably not be approved for that reason.

"That's because it's not being used as a symbol of remembrance, but as part of a logo." End Quote.

See the image below and you tell me why that itty bitty tiny little poppy should not be allowed to be present in this logo....seriously.

This, in my humble opinion is the most disgusting treatment of a veteran that I have read of and I have heard/read of plenty of sad tales....this one makes my stomach turn - that one of God's most perfect creations, a flower, a symbol of remembrance should be denied to a veteran, what a sad, sad state of affairs. Look closely at the logo and tell me that the entire logo is not a symbol of remembrance.

I am undertaking a one woman boycott of the poppy and the Royal Canadian Legion.

The crap that happened in Orangeville earlier this summer, where motorcycle riding veterans were forced to leave a Legion Show 'n' Shine and now this - how much more insult does this community intend to take?

From the Royal Canadian Legion's web site:

Canada's Largest Veterans Organization

Legion is the largest of the many veterans Organizations in Canada with over 340,000 members
Member categories—Ordinary, Associate, Affiliate; open to all Canadian citizens and Commonwealth subjects; app. 40,000 members of Ladies Auxiliary; "Military Member-At-Large category for serving members of the CF
Legion is non-profit, dues-supported, no financial assistance from any outside agency
Since inception in 1926, Legion strives to secure adequate pensions and benefits for veterans and their dependants, dealing directly with Federal Government
Major responsibility for the perpetuation of "REMEMBRANCE" in Canada through the Annual Poppy Campaign reminding Canadians of the 117,000 men and women who gave their lives in the wars and military missions around the world
Poppy funds collected are used for assistance to veterans, ex-service members and their families who are in need
Legion supports programs for seniors, community, housing, Long Term Care, youth, education, sports, Cadets, Guides and Scouts

There are 5 pages of poppy trade marks in the CIPO data base - here is the Legion's:

If like me, you find this situation to be untenable, please write them and tell them so.

The Royal Canadian Legion
Dominion Command
86 Aird Place
Ottawa, ON
K2L 0A1

Phone: (613) 591-3335
Fax: (613) 591-9335

As an update to this editorial - here is the link to the ACT to RESPECT THE Royal Canadian LEGION

The last revision was in 1981 - I think it is long since past the time when this act is ENTIRELY overhauled.

Here is the letter I sent:

To whom it may concern,

I read with much dismay that the Royal Canadian Legion is threatening legal action against a motorcycle riding group of Veterans because there is an itty bitty tiny poppy depicted on the helmet of a soldier kneeling - over top of the caption "We Will Remember Them."

I think that the Royal Canadian Legion owes this 35 year veteran a huge apology.

While you may have a poppy trademarked, you do not own a veterans right to wear a poppy in remembrance.

The money you raise by selling poppies is meant to support veterans causes and it is my belief that you could have handled this situation with so much more dignity and care than through a letter from a lawyer.

If the poppy was identical, if it was a focal point, if they were making money off of it for personal gain - I might be able to see the point behind a lawyer but none of the above is the case.
The group in question raises funds for the same causes you do and the members are veterans themselves.

You might end up being right legally - which I doubt, but morally you are a disgrace to this country and every veteran you profess to serve.
I will personally be boycotting the Royal Canadian Legion, am calling for others to write to you and I will be boycotting the poppy because I refuse to aide your organization in it's efforts to look good as fundraisers and community people.

I will donate to the same causes with out making you look good. I support my troops - ALL OF THEM.

In Other News:

In business news, Harley-Davidson target of leveraged buyout? MAYBE...

In the US - the Motorcycle Riders Foundation has put forth their strategy for 2012 (We NEED this type of organization in Canada)

In Nova Scotia the 2011 Motorcycle & Scooter show should be a real hit

There is a ton of other news in the feeds that might affect your day or life, I hope you will check them out at where we sift through the news so you don't have to.
Have a great Wednesday and PLEASE - write the Legion and support our veterans.

Belt Drive Betty
Editor & Rider

Post a Comment

  1. Anonymous6:23 AM

    Thank you for the support, but I would like to emphasis that my issue is with the Legion Dominion Command not the Legion as a whole. I will continue to support veterans by attending the Remembrance Day parade and holding repatriation ceremonies for our fallen which hopefully will not happen again in my lifetime. I only ask that the Legion show some common sense, as I stated in the article, it is based on the British design which, by the way, they are fine with being used. I urge all of you no to boycott the poppy campaign as the only ones that will suffer, for the most part, are the veterans it supports. Thank you, Honour and Freedom, Michael "Smokey" Blow

  2. Dear Smokey - I WILL Boycott the Poppy and the Legion but I will NOT abandon the veterans of our country.
    There are many, many better organizations to make look good like supporting the Military Families Foundation, the Chosen Soldier project and many others.

    The Legion has once again gone too far in their callous disregard for common sense and I intend to make the see the errors of their ways.

    I urge EVERY rider, every Canadian to take the money they would spend on a poppy and make a donation to the Military Families Fund in the name of the CVFR.

    The Legion has done a great dis service to you and every vet and I take personal offence to that.