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.