Sunday, January 31, 2010

Work, Already!

Why don't things work anymore when you buy them?! I am so frustrated! Two of the things I bought Patrick for his birthday didn't work now.

The first one was a Klutz book that was about making toothbrush robots. It seemed like a cute idea, and it came with two already-robotized tothbrush heads. One worked really well, the other not so much. Ten minutes later, neither one was working at all. It totally sucked, because the kids were really excited about them. I wrote to the company, saying that I was disappointed, and saying that I was concerned that now their company was getting larger their products may not be as well made. I got a kind of snippy email back talking about how that product had won awards, and people really liked it, and that sometimes one out of thousands of things won't work. To their credit, they did offer to send me new brushbots, so I have to send them our address and we'll see what happens.

Even more annoying was the microscope we opened up today. Yes, he's had it for two weeks now, but we didn't open it until now. First of all, it wasn't the heavier-weight metal that it looked to be made of - it was *painted* like it was. The actual parts were lightweight, and the dials were cheap silver-painted plastic. Second, it wasn't a plug-in model like I had thought it was. It got light either from a tiny mirror that had to be positioned just right underneath or from a very small lightbulb that was supposed, according to the instructions, turn on automatically when the mirror side was turned down and the lightbulb faced upwards. It didn't work AT ALL. The lightbulb doesn't fit in the casing properly, and the electrical connection doesn't function, period. It's a total piece of junk. It wasn't a really cheap one, either - it was $50. So, we spent all that time getting everything out, and getting out the prepared slides I had bought him, and he got all excited, only to be disappointed again. WTF.

The thing is, I know that there are going to be some people who would hear this story and say, well, it was only $50, what did you expect? I think we've gotten to a point where we almost expect things to not work at all, and companies know that, and play on it. If a company can't make something well, why sell it? It seems like a lot of effort on everyone's part on what is basically a bet that the consumer is so brow-beaten that we won't bother to return faulty merchandise. I don't have the receipt for the thing, but I do have my bank statement, and since it's the only thing I bought there, I'm going to print out the page and bring it with me. I got it at a small hobby store about an hour from here, and they seemed like the kind of people who will respect that and give me a refund.

This just goes right along with the phone and internet problems I've had this month. Things don't work, and the companies don't seem to care. It's totally obnoxious!

So, once I return that, I will probably go to another store and get a more expensive one,


LoriD said...

That kind of thing drives me nuts. We've had so many craft kits that just have not worked (iron-ons that wouldn't transfer, sequins that fall off the next day, etc.) that I refuse to buy kits like that anymore. It's so frustrating to have a child excited about something, only to be so disappointed. I think $50 should have bought you a decent child's microscope.

Not Your Aunt B said...

It makes me crazy too! I don't care if it was $50, $5 or $500! Things should work and shouldn't be made so cheaply. It is frustrating, aggravating, and annoying. It's not just with kids' toys either. It seems like more products these days are not built well.

justsomethoughts... said...

alls i know is that i want a brushbot

the end

Kristin.... said...

Things are made too cheaply these days and unfortunately, I think as a society we've just come to accept that. It's just wrong.

As an aside, I just want to come sit under the tree in your header and read a book. :)

Sherendipity said...

They say that you get what you pay for. Well, if I spend 50 bucks on a microscope I would expect more than a cracker jack version. $10.99 maybe, but I think $50 should return at least a half decent product.
Oh, and I want a brushbot too.