Friday, September 14, 2007

I'm back...and singing the lead toy blues

Sorry about the long hiatus. Blogging doesn't combine well with summer vacation, at least not without camp. The Bunster and I had a good time, but I didn't get a chance to get online very much. Anyway, now I'm back and already ranting. Maybe something on comics next week...

We finally got caught up in the Mattel recalls, after having to run several toys through their online check. The first few turned out okay, but the Bunster's little red Geo Trax engine turns out to be decorated with large quantities of lead. So I sent in the recall info, waited a couple of weeks (so much for 3 to 5 business days...but I guess they're kinda busy at the moment), and today I got an e-mail from them. Turns out the "preprinted mailing label" I've been waiting weeks for isn't postage paid, it's just got tracking numbers for their convenience.

So now I get to pay again for the lead-laced toy, this time to replace it with something safe.

So I just wrote the following extremely snippy e-mail to Mattel:

Excuse me, are you telling me that I have to PAY POSTAGE for the privilege of safely disposing of and replacing the toy that you tried to poison my child with?

You've now put me in a position where I either tell my son that the toy you promised to replace won't be returning after all, or paying even more money to get the toy again. It really doesn't matter to me that the money is going to the post office and not into your coffers...the fact is I have to pay AGAIN to get this toy.

It's bad enough that your quality control is so poor that you have to be caught before you start protecting children from poisons that have been banned for years, but making parents pay to have YOUR NEGLIGENCE corrected? That's adding insult to injury.

I have three birthday parties to shop for this week alone, one of which is my son's. I can assure you that NONE of the presents I purchase will be a Mattel product.

And I'll also be telling any parents who ask what my son wants for his birthday "Legos, cars, trucks, trains, and please, nothing from Mattel."

Sincerely and not at all happily,
Sara Kocher

It's actually four parties now, but it's not likely they're going to actually read it anyway. I get to vent, get a minimum wage customer service clerk to send me another form letter, and then either pay the postage or toss the toy and live with the guilt of dumping lead into the environment.

You know, the post office could really make a fortune on these recalls if they just got a few more Chinese factories to play fast and loose with the lead paint...

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At 9/14/2007 10:47 PM, Blogger Sara Kocher said...

Well, I was somewhat wrong on that last part. Don't know if anyone at Mattel ever read what I wrote, but I got a follow-up e-mail apologizing for their first one and saying they are paying the postage after all. You can see it in my "Somewhat mollified" post.


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