Sunday, February 14, 2010

Packaging that drives people crazy

Just about everything you buy is double or triple wrapped with safety foil, have un-squeezable plastic caps and hard plastic impenetrable covers. Some of them, I could not open when I was younger; but now opening anything without help is impossible. Of course you know packaging is a plot of manufacturers to have less returns. If you damage the product trying to get it out of the package, they will not take it back because it did not come damaged - you damaged it. All warranties are void and you cannot get your money back.

I purchased a robot dog for my granddaughter one year. Not only was it taped and tied in the package with little ties, it had big plastic screws (that would not unscrew) that you had to remove first before you could move the dog. This took my neighbor's 17-year-old three hours to figure out the code of which plastic handle to move first so that the other screws would undo. I am thankful for her patience and knowledge as I would have used a hammer and told my granddaughter that the dog died in shipping. But of course I would have to go back to the store and spend another $85 to get a replacement, so I am happy there was help available.

The packaging I hate the most is the squeezable caps on detergents and other poisonous house-cleaning items. My arthritic hands cannot squeeze a tomato, so my new bottle of Clorox toilet bowl cleaner (with bleach) looked like it was going to remain unopened for at least a decade. After reading the directions several times and trying to squeeze and open, I decided it was not going to happen. I grabbed a table knife and tried to pry the lid off holding the plastic bottle steady with my knee - stretch, stretch, pry, and pry - phoosh. The lid came off and the contents managed to squirt all over the toilet, the wall, the floor, the toilet carpet, my clothes, and even the ceiling.

Quick, towels to wipe up the messy gel; not quick enough, I have bleached streaks on the toilet, the wall, the floor, the toilet carpet, my clothes, and even the ceiling. The bottle was nearly empty and not one drop got inside the toilet. I poured the remaining gel into the toilet and still had to scrub to get the hard-water stains out. Great, here is a product that bleaches everything in sight except for what it is suppose to bleach.

I painted the ceiling, bought a new toilet carpet, got new wall paper and wall tile, new linoleum, burned my clothes and even replaced the toilet. The next time I have rust build-up, I will buy a new toilet, it is way cheaper than a bottle of Clorox toilet-bowl cleaner in the long run.

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