Over the last week,Â second year Kingâ€™s Law student Saima AhmadÂ has received international media attention over her Kit Kat disaster.
Last month Saima bought a KitÂ KatÂ that, to her horror, turned out to be wafer free. Â With her friendsâ€™Â encouragement, Saima wantedÂ to testÂ her luck at the sweet possibility of having a lifetime supply of her favourite chocolate bar toÂ â€˜act as quality controlâ€™Â for Nestle. Genius.
Soon after, Saima sentÂ a letter of complaint;Â atÂ worst expectingÂ never to hear from anyone again and, at best, a replacement Kit Kat (with wafer).
What she didnâ€™t expect , however, was the thousands of attacking comments that were to follow after The Daily Mail, Fox News, Daily Star and ITV portrayed Saima as someone who wasÂ â€˜making demandsâ€™Â andÂ â€˜threatening legal actionâ€™.
Saima speaks to Roar in an exclusive interview to tell her side of the story:
Saima, how much do you love Kit Kat?
I would normally say that itâ€™s my favourite one, but not anymore.
SoÂ youâ€™re going to stop eating Kit Kat because of this?
No Iâ€™m not going to stop eating it but Iâ€™m going to take my time to get back into it because if someone sees me eating it theyâ€™re just going to call me a hypocrite.
So because of this situation, you canâ€™t eat kit Kat publically anymore?
Ok letâ€™sÂ talkÂ about when youÂ first opened that waferless Kit Kat. What was it like?
My sister-in-lawÂ ate the first one out of the multipack and she said â€˜oh my god, thereâ€™s no wafer in this!â€™ Then I ate mine and I knew something wasnâ€™t right. It tasted really different. There was no wafer, it was fully chocolate. It wasnâ€™t nice at all.
So when you say fully chocolate was it like Dairy Milk or was it hollow?
No it wasnâ€™t hollow, it was just a block of chocolate.
SoÂ it wasÂ a Kit Kat chunky, without the chunky?
Yeah. It was upsetting, but I still ate it. I do have a bit of it left though.
So, hang on, you still own a bit of the waferlessÂ Kit Kat?
Yes, itâ€™s in my bag at home.
What are you keeping it for?
I wasnâ€™t going to keep it, but myÂ familyÂ said keep it for memories. This was before it all blew up. I still have it in its wrapper in my bag now and havenâ€™t got it out since.
So you havenâ€™t been tempted to eat that last bit of Kit Kat?
No, but the funny thing is the photographer brought round four Kit Kats for the shoot so Iâ€™ve been eating that.
‘Kit Kat Girl’ Fame
Are you being recognised on the street as Kit Kat girl?
No, thankfully not. I donâ€™t know what I would say to people if they asked if I was Kit Kat girlÂ on the street. I have been recognised in lectures though!
What do people in your lectures say?
Someone who Iâ€™ve never met before stared at me in the middle of my lecture yesterday and when she went to leave she turned to me and said â€˜youâ€™re the Kit Kat girl!â€™ So I replied â€˜yeahâ€™, to which she just goes â€˜youâ€™re an f*ing legendâ€™ and walks away. I didnâ€™t really know what to say to that.
So how does it feel to be Kit Kat girl?
If I could do it again, I donâ€™t think I wouldâ€™ve done it.
It just got over exaggerated. Itâ€™s not an important story, so for that to go out there like thatâ€¦
Â Writing the Letter
Can you talk me through what made you writeÂ the letter in the first place?
I wasnâ€™t going to write a letter at first, but I was procrastinating and thought it would be funny to give it a go. Next morning my brother sent itÂ to Nestle on my behalf and, unbeknownst to me, aÂ press agency too. The press agency got in contact with me shortly after and said â€˜We understand youâ€™re upset over the wafer, can we come and chat to you and weâ€™ll send a photographer?â€™. My initial reaction was no. But then I spoke to friends and they said â€˜Itâ€™s a joke. You get paid for it. Youâ€™re not going to lose anything.â€™
What was the content of the letter?
My initial thought was: Iâ€™ve got a Kit Kat and itâ€™s supposed to have wafer in it. SoÂ I picked a specific quote from a judge that says â€™duty of care to third parties who donâ€™t buy it but who eat it.â€™ [She laughs] It was all a joke.
At the endÂ of the letter I ask forÂ aÂ lifetime supply of Kit Kat to act as quality control. I said one line whichÂ was kept out of Â most Â ofÂ the newspapers-â€˜you need me more than I need youâ€™-because thatâ€™s what made the whole thing seem less serious.The press then interviewed me and took quotes that made it sound like I was going to sue.
What line was itÂ specificallyÂ that made you sound this way?
I still remember my exact quote: â€˜I wouldnâ€™t rule outÂ taking this further unlessÂ NestleÂ apologiseÂ or compensate meâ€™. Now that doesnâ€™t mean Iâ€™m going to sue. It does mean that something could go further, but it doesnâ€™t mean that Iâ€™m going to go to court.
Have you heardÂ back from Nestle?
Not directly, no. They commented on the article saying â€˜if someone has a problem they should come to us directlyâ€™. But the thing is I did go to them at the same time as the press agency through my letter of complaint.
Kit Kat also posted on their Facebook page that â€˜research shows that young people are stirrers. Tag a stirrer.â€™ Â I think this was directed at me.
What was your Â reaction after you saw that Daily Star had reported your story?
I found it funny when Daily Star reported it. What happened was, I didnâ€™t know the story was out because the paper hadnâ€™t told me. I started to receive messages from people I didnâ€™t know saying â€˜why do we care about your chocolate bar?â€™ So I typed my name into google and there I was on the Daily star website.
At the time it was all a joke and my friendsÂ and I thought it was funny. But then Daily Mail published the story, and thatâ€™s when it just blew up. Thatâ€™s when it went too far.
What has the reaction beenÂ since then from the public?
People who know me find it funny, whereas other people havenâ€™t been so nice and havenâ€™t found it so funny. You only have to look at the comments on the Daily Mail website.
Would you say that this has affected you then?
I donâ€™t think so no. I donâ€™t really care that much about the compensation orÂ the wafer. It was annoying at the time but basically itâ€™s not that deep. Â What has bothered me slightly though is the way Iâ€™ve been portrayed in the mediaÂ and the unfair comments that have escalated from it.
So, for the record, you are not planning any legal action against Nestle?
I am not. Â It never even came to my mind that I would go to court.Â How could I afford it anyway?!
For the non-law students, what entails a legal claim?
It has to have some sort of standing and mine doesnâ€™t at all because having no wafer in a Kit Kat doesnâ€™t actually cause harm. All I did was use a quote about duty of care that they owe their consumers, thatâ€™s it. I did talk about emotional significance, but this was a joke. Iâ€™m not actually crying about the wafer.
Any final comments?
All of this started as a joke.Â The second part of it was that when weÂ learntÂ about Tort LawÂ IÂ had a lecture about compensation culture and that â€˜where thereâ€™s a blame thereâ€™s a claimâ€™. Â We learnt thatÂ this is not actually true because the newspapers create this compensation culture: itâ€™s a myth. The courts donâ€™t actually face these kind of cases. So what I was doing was experimenting with the tabloids to see if they actually do this kind of thing, and thatâ€™s exactly what happened.
That’s a good place to end it I think. Thank you, Saima.Â