Nestlé owed James Barnard £10.
In 1996, when Barnard was 11 years old, he found a green Polo in a package of white mints — a find worthy of a monetary prize.
He followed the instructions on the packaging and sent it away to claim his prize.
But his prize never came.
This summer, Barnard wrote to Nestle to inform them of their failure to follow through on their £10 promise.
"Ten pounds of entertainment to an 11-year-old boy is utterly priceless. You robbed me of a chain of countless childhood experiences, that ultimately could have led to a successful career in French film, or seen me develop the Mario franchise to global domination. Careers worth tens of millions of pounds," he wrote.
"Instead, you left me with a subconscious feeling of loss; a void in my life, like the void in the centre of your sweet."
He concluded his letter:
"I write to you today, openly, to make sure that this kind of thing doesn't happen to anyone else. To make you better understand your responsibility to children, and in turn, the world. You are not just fashioning sweet, you are fashioning a child's development, you are shaping memories and therefore ultimately influencing potential world leaders. You are shaping the future."
"P.S. I WANT MY BLOODY £10!"
Read Barnard's entire letter here.
[ More Lighter Side: Young tycoon Mollie Price opens her third candy store at age 6 ]
Nestlé responded. Barnard posted their reply — and a photo of their cheque for £10 — on imgur.
"We sincerely apologize that it is 16 years late. We appreciate that it may not give you the excitement that it would have given you as an 11 year old child, with is why we're also sending you some Polo mints as a gesture of goodwill."
Moral of the story: It never hurts to ask.