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Loving Your Customers

Very often in this blog, I complain about things that aren’t right.  There’s a certain amount of squeaky wheel in the hopes that things will get better and a certain amount of hope that my readers (all 3 of you) will also register your dissatisfaction.  That’s one way that things will get better.

Another way is to compliment and laud those who are doing things right, and ultimately I think this is the best approach.

I am the father of two children and as such have to deal with the packaging in toys.  Let me give the other parents here a moment to settle through your collective shudder.  I am an engineer and a geek and as a child I got really good at taking things apart and putting them back together again (and still having them work at the end, or start working again when they weren’t before).  I’m sad to say that I no longer have the time to disassemble every electronic device I own.  There was a point, up until I was 22, I think, that I could say with confidence that I had opened up every piece of portable/personal electronics I had just to see what made it tick.

So on Christmas morning during toymageddon, I make sure that I have a pair of dikes handy as well as utility scissors to handle the packaging.  I can usually make quick work of opening the toys, but it’s getting harder, especially with my two year-old son who does the dance of impatience and anticipation and doesn’t want to keep his fingers out of the way.

I understand the goal behind current toy packaging trends.  Companies want the toys to be as exposed as possible to allow a level of try-before-buy and yet be relatively impervious to theft.  I think this is a stupid trend.  It factors in more cost to make all toys demoable instead of allowing the stores the means to present one unit and keep the others boxed with less packaging.  While the wall of Elmos has a certain twisted appeal to me:


my personal entertainment is not sufficient incentive to keep packaging items this way.

In steps Amazon.com with Certified Frustration Free Packaging.  To which, I say about effing time, especially for things that are purchased online.  I think it’s great that Amazon is working with its partners to make the packaging simpler and to cut overhead.  I’ll be happier when it stops being an edge case and starts being the norm.

Published Monday, November 16, 2009 10:06 AM by Steve Hawley


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