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Stroller Fury

penny stroller

Penny in our stroller, in happier times

If you’ve got two or more kids, and they’re little, you know how vital a double stroller is. As much as you might pore over the options before your first kid, the rubber really meets the road (literally!) when you’ve got more than one a squirmy, selectively-deaf toddler and a helpless, wailing newborn.

I picked the Kolcraft Contour because it imitated the pricier City Select the seats could face each other if I wanted them to, there was a place to put the carseat, they went in front of each other instead of side-to-side for minimum sidewalk hogging at a much lower price-point. But last week, as I headed out for a stroll with my parents and the kids, the front end of the damn thing collapsed, and I found myself wishing I’d sprung for the deluxe model.

Apparently there are two pins that popped out of the front; I immediately sent an email to the company (I wanted a paper trail, plus I had the kids climbing all over me), and got the news that they were sending me a replacement… for the pins.

“But how do I know they’ll work, when the first ones popped out?”

“Well, they should work.”

I couldn’t worry about it in the moment and with the chaos of the day already overtaking me, I let it slide, figuring I’d check the email later and follow up. Yesterday, I realized I hadn’t gotten anything yet, so I looked back at the email. I was horrified to realize that they’d mailed out the pins and I could expect to have them in 5-10 business days.

I emailed again; I was told, essentially, “yeah, they’re on the way.”

Compare this to the experience of a friend of mine, who had a Phil and Ted that had a small defect; the company fedexed a new stroller, and told them to trash the old one they didn’t need it back. Now, part of that is when you deal with Mercedes, you get Mercedes treatment. My little Isuzu stroller just doesn’t have the same level of service, and I get that.

But come on. I’m not asking for a new stroller but couldn’t they have FedExed me the pins so I’d be inconvenienced for as little time as possible?

I complained via Twitter, which resulted in Kolcraft immediately following me (!!), a second set of pins going into the mail (via priority mail? Seriously?), and assurances that if I wasn’t happy, the mysterious Twitter person would some how make it right. But she also pointed out that this is a manufactured item, and sometimes they have issues.

I am having trouble figuring out how mad I should be. On the one hand, I get their point. On the other hand, when it comes to products for children, shouldn’t manufacturers take things a little more seriously? Even if they aren’t concerned about my kids’ safety (and they’re clearly not), shouldn’t they be worried about bad publicity?

I’m actually asking I don’t know if I’m being hysterical or unreasonable. What do you guys think? Is Kolcraft being penny-wise and pound-foolish as they drag their corporate feet? Or do I need to be more understanding about things not being perfect?

p.s. Thank goodness for my sister, who has a spare Joovy Caboose that I’m now in love with. I may never go back to the crapping Kolcraft.

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