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01/26/2010

Don't mess with my sweet baby's bottom

AIMG_2312 Are you a diaper snob?  I used to be, until Pampers sold me down the river by downgrading the quality of their premium diapers.  There are very few products that compel me to be brand loyal, particularly now that I have two children and no job.  I expect a certain amount of loyalty from those companies – insomuch as I don’t want to be surprised by major changes to my favorite products.  It came with no warning - I purchased our usual value box of Pampers in December, upsizing my new daughter to cruisers because she’s growing like a weed.  As soon as I opened the first diaper I could tell the design had changed – the honeycomb inner liner layer was gone and the size of the absorptive material had been drastically reduced. 

I called to confirm the design had changed, hoping somehow that I’d just gotten a flawed box.  The service rep confirmed that a new design was being phased in and that I was the (not so) proud owner of the latest and (not so) greatest design.  I explained the various reasons why I wasn’t pleased with this new design, and with each sentence the service rep indicating that I must be doing something wrong.  (Maybe I should increase the size of my diapers again.  Maybe I wasn’t changing often enough. Maybe something - ANYTHING - was causing my problems other than her product.)  I have to be pretty upset with a company to spend my time to call and complain.  When I do, the last thing I want to hear are a litany of reasons why it’s my fault that the product failed.  In an effort to try and keep my business, I was offered a coupon for a jumbo pack of the newly inferior diapers.  Can anyone tell me why I would want a coupon for a product I’m not happy with?  In one last backhanded attempt to convince me that my recent problems were my own fault, P&G included this information in the note with my free coupon:

 

I'm sorry your daughters experienced a problem while using our products and I’m forwarding your unusual report to our Health & Safety Consultants…I want to assure you, all of our products are thoroughly evaluated to be safe when used as directed.”

 

I believe what I’m supposed to get from that comment is that no one else is complaining, and that again, my concerns are due to something I’m doing wrong.  Is that what you infer from reading the excerpt?  Ironically, you can find multiple complaints about the new design here and here.  Keeping in mind that these diapers have only been released in select markets, that's a lot of negative feedback.

I asked the rep how to identify a box of new diapers, and was informed that there was no way to tell which design was in a given box.  I find that disappointing and deceptive – as if they are trying to sneak in another cost saving measure and hoping consumers won’t notice.  I want to be able to tell what I’m getting from package, and to trust that I’m getting consistent quality. 

Have you had one of your favorite products discontinued or changed?  What did you do?  I have switched to a competitive brand, and my daughter hasn’t had a leak in over two weeks.  I miss my old cruisers, and I always will.  I hate to say it, but I love them so much that I would probably cave and buy them again if P&G would just bring them back…just for my little girl’s bottom.

This is an original Ohio Moms Blog post.

Stephanie shares her problem solving approach to parenting and life management at Problem Solvin Mom.

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