Whatever happened to quality?

You know what I’m getting really sick of? Every time I buy something with a moving part, or that plugs in, or takes battery, I get hit up at the register to buy a warranty. You want me to buy a warranty on a battery-operated toy? This is a consumer trend that has gotten out of control, and it leaves the manufacturers with no responsibility to provide a quality product, because Hey! You didn’t buy the warranty! Sorry. Can’t help you.

When did it become the norm that we have to spend more money to hold anyone responsible for the quality of their products? I’m sick of standing at registers having to make a spilt second decision that leaves me feeling screwed over no matter what I choose. Look, some things I get. Cars, computers…extremely complicated products with tons of moving parts in which something can go wrong. That being said, I think that if something goes wrong that is clearly a manufacturer issue within the first couple years, I don’t think you should need an expensive warranty to get that fixed. But a vibrating infant chair? I should not feel pressured to buy a stupid warranty.

And clothes. Oh, how I’m sick of the low-quality that has become the norm with clothes. I’ve lost count of the pairs of pants in which the hem has fallen out in the first couple wears. Express and NY&Co, I’m talking to you. I’ve given you an extensive portion of my income over the years, so I don’t appreciate that I have had to staple my hems back in more than once at work. Ann Taylor Loft, I adore your clothing, but I already returned one shirt within a week for getting holes in it, (I will give you props for just letting me swap it out no questions asked), and now I have another shirt, only in its second season of being worn that is getting holes along the seam of the sleeve.

I’m tired of buttons popping off  my coats and shirts because manufacturers were too cheap to use the appropriate amount of thread. I’m sick of following washing directions and having my clothes look nubby after a handful of washes.

I just bought this shirt at TJ Maxx maybe three weeks ago. The first time I washed it, a thread pulled and ruched the side of the shirt. I was able to fix it. The second time it looked like this:

photo-9

A little out of my realm of expertise this time. Look, I got the shirt for $12. I don’t expect to pass it on to my grandchildren. But two wears? Six dollars per wear is not economical. I’ve also misplaced the receipt. So now I have to go out of my way to TJ Maxx to see if they will even deign to give me store credit. I put the photo on both the designer’s Facebook page and TJ Maxx’s page. TJ Maxx referred me to their customer service number, even though I just wanted to know if it was worth my time to drive out to the store given the circumstances of no receipt and it being worn. So far no response from the designer Lily White. I mean, look, these things are bound to happen. The problem is that it is happening too frequently. Maybe I should expect this of a $12 shirt at TJ Maxx. But those $80 Express pants? I think not. (Update: Went to TJ Maxx today 5/1/13 and explained what happened to cashier. After making it clear via her facial expressions and body language that she could give a crap, I was told that unless I could find the same shirt on the racks, there was nothing that could be done. So I searched and searched and finally found one with the same design, different pattern, equal price. With the same, “give a crap” attitude I was given store credit. I acknowledge having worn it and misplacing the receipt complicates things, but an employee who fakes not being annoyed and offering an apology goes a long way. Since that didn’t happen, I will return to redeem my store credit, but after that, this impulse shopper will shop elsewhere.)

It’s time for all these companies to stop treating their customers like crap.

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