When Brands Disappoint

There haven’t been a ton of companies that have disappointed me in the way of baby products, but I will note the worst offenders when it comes to me and other moms.

First off Johnson and Johnson, I sent them a note to ask about particular ingredients in their baby line. No answer back. I emailed again, and still no answer back. I called them, was put on hold for 20 minutes, and just gave up.

Another offender that I am appalled by is Skip Hop. I absolutely adore the products this company offers, BUT when it comes to customer service they get a GIANT F. Atticus loves his Hide and Play pup, his auntie got it for him and from about 10 weeks old he just coo’s and giggles when he plays with it. I thought it would be a good idea to buy him the matching stroller toy. I found one at a local children’s store and upon bringing it home noticed a hole in one of the puppies “arms.” Yes, it was an easy fix, but I thought I would let the company know. I called them and no response. I brushed it off, but upon hearing one of my fellow mommies, Melissa D. have trouble with the company I got P.O’ed all over again.

Melissa bought her son Skip Hop’s Zoo Playspot play mats. After less than a month of use, she is already noticing the paint chipping off the play mat. She has tried calling them and has yet to hear a response, but what takes the cake to this entire debacle is Skip Hop used a picture of her son without permission! They also cropped out her company’s logo and put it on their site.

Skip Hop has a couple issues to address here as we are hoping the paint used on these tiles is non-toxic, but also why they put her sons image on their website without her permission.

While these brands may disappoint, there are some brands that excel in customer service.

I hate to lump in some of my favorite brands into an article called “When Brands Disappoint,” but certain companies should be noted for their incredible customer service. Most notably Medela, Fuzzibunz and Stokke.

When cleaning my hand pump I noticed a black dot inside an area of the pump that can’t be clean. I was frightened that it was mold and was flabbergasted that this particular part couldn’t be cleaned. I sent an email to Medela’s customer service on a Sunday and within 30 minutes had a call from a big wig at the company sending me a replacement and apologizing. While I think their customer service is flawless, I’m still leery of using their pump as this seems to be a common problem.

When a couple of Jessica’s diaper snaps went awry Fuzzibunz immediately sent her new diapers and let her know she could keep the non-functioning ones.

Stokke is another company with phenomenal customer service. We have called them for everything including the brake lever on our stroller chipping in transport and obtaining glide bars for our high chair. The company has got customer service down to a science. They not only ship replacement parts or additions instantly, they have always followed up, which I believe is a great touch.

Have you had a similar problem with a company? Has a company gone above and beyond for you? Let us know about them!

About the author

Xza Louise Higgins is the founder of MommyCon, creator of The Mommy Dialogues, and punk rock mom to two year old Atticus in the great city of Chicago, IL. She is incredibly passionate about birth options, human rights, and promoting gentle parenting practices.

No Comments

  1. Endsleysmama -  April 20, 2012 - 11:21 am

    Guess I should comment here instead of your Facebook!

    BabyHawk has the worst customer service. Argh! It makes me angry just thinking about it again.

    I ordered my carrier from them, three weeks went by and I didnt get any emails that it had been shipped. I emailed them, no response. I called them, no response. Okay fine, I thought, I’ll just wait. Sure enough, about a month later, I got my carrier! Yay! All was forgiven.

    Except the fabric I wanted on the Main side, was on the reversible side. The pocket was on the wrong side too. I tried emailing them, and calling, and I even submitted a comment to their website – nothing. Today I am going to contact them via Facebook, MAYBE I’ll get a response. Doubt it!

    • Mellisa Steffens -  May 10, 2012 - 2:30 pm

      YES! They are the worst! I shared my experience on Instagram. (not sure if you saw) When I have a chance, I’ll share it on here too! I tried contacting them on FB too and they actually deleted my comment!!! It stinks b/c I really like their product and have always recommended them to everyone!

  2. Amanda M S -  April 23, 2012 - 9:53 am

    I hate J & J products. Why they are on the shelves is beyond me. It also scares me that other brands (such as Aveeno) is actually a J&J product.

    I recently had an unpleasant experience with Grovia. I wrote an email about my dissatisfaction with their AIO diapers (I LOVE the fit of their hybrids). Although the response was quick, it was extremely condescending and made me look like an idiot. They are doing nothing to help without a receipt. Which I somewhat understand, but I offered to return my(obviously) brand new AIO in exchange for a cover. All in all, the customer service associate pretty much useless and talked to me like a child.

    I’ve never had a problem with Skip Hop (my diaper bag is that brand) but I am appalled that they used someone’s pic without permission! I hope she ripped them a new one and demanded the pic be removed! Especially because she has an issue with the pictured product!

  3. Kristen -  August 13, 2012 - 2:38 pm

    I have a serious problem with Medela! I’ll post my story/letter to them below, but their “solution” was to give me 30% off a new pump. Umm, no thanks! So that I can go through this whole debacle again? I think not. Next time around I’ll rent or buy another brand.

    March 23, 2012

    To whom it may concern:

    I’m writing this e-mail to you seven months after the incident out of concern for other mothers that may experience this and to give Medela to opportunity to correct what I view as poor customer service and wrongdoing. I’m hoping you read into the sincerity and frustration I faced with your product and customer service in August of 2011.

    In October of 2010 I purchase a Medela Pump In Style Advanced from Babies ‘r’ Us because I was to return to work 12 weeks after my son’s birth and I planned on continuing to breastfeed him a minimum of a year.

    In November or 2010 I had my son.

    We struggled the first five weeks of his life with breastfeeding, but I was determined. I used lactation consultants, breastfeeding groups, my midwives, and used your SNS system, lanolin, and nipple shields and shells. When he was fighting nursing, I pumped using your Pump In Style Advanced while my husband bottle fed him my previously expressed milk.

    Why am I telling you this? I’m telling you this because I’m trying to let you know just how important breastfeeding my son and giving him the very best I could was to me.
    At a day shy of five weeks old, he finally latched correctly and nursed! Hooray, my determination had paid off! He continued to do so for the next eight months.

    Fast forward to August of 2011; I was working full-time and was away from my son from 7am – 5pm, Monday through Friday. I was pumping three times a day at work, at 9am, 12pm, and 3pm. I nursed my son at home at 6pm and every three hours thereafter. One day while pumping, my pump lost suction. I could no longer completely empty my breasts. I had stayed on top of keeping my equipment clean and babied. I adjusted my breast shields as my breasts changed. I had replaced the valves and membranes. I never messed with the tubing or housing of the unit.

    So, like any desperate breastfeeding mother, I called your customer service line. What happened next just appalls me and my breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding friends alike. The woman who answered the phone belittled me, spoke to me like I was stupid, and that I had done something wrong. I first went through the process of explaining my problem. She then had me go through the process of pumping while she was on the phone with me, letting her listen to the pump over the phone, taking the face plate off etc. I explained to the woman that I had replaced my equipment (valves, membranes, etc.), but she, as a courtesy, wanted to send me new parts and for me to try it out with what she sent. I tried to explain again that I had already done that and that I was desperate. I was already dealing with a supply issue and couldn’t afford to wait 3-5 days for pump parts when the pump was not emptying my breasts anymore! She dismissed my concern and told me to call back after I had received my package.
    A few days later I had received new tubing, new valves, and new membranes. I replaced all parts as I was instructed on the phone and called back to let your customer service know that it still wasn’t working. I was told I had to go through the whole process again of pumping on the phone, removing the face place, etc. It still wasn’t emptying my breasts and my supply was suffering as a result. The new woman on the phone was again of no help. She told me everything possible to convince me that the pump “sounded fine” and that there was nothing more she could do to help me.

    I sat there and bawled on the phone. Yes, I was emotional. My breastfeeding relationship with my son, that I had worked so hard and diligently to establish, was coming to an end quickly because the woman in customer service didn’t want to help me. I called back the next day in an attempt to speak to someone else with a heart and get my pump fixed or replaced one last time, a last ditch effort. I was told I had to go through the same process once again for the woman on the phone to help me. I hung up. I felt defeated and heartbroken. I cried.

    So you’re probably wondering why I’m writing this letter seven months later. Well, honestly, I had so much anger toward the women that were there to help me and didn’t and towards your company. I decided to wait until my emotional wounds of ceasing breastfeeding my son had healed.

    So, here I am. My husband and I are hoping to add to our family within the next year to year and a half and despite my frustration with the women that represented your company, I LOVED my PIS Advanced when it worked! I want to breastfeed my next child and how much would I love to use my breatpump again.

    I’d like to give Medela one last chance to right the wrong that those women representing your company did to me. Considering that my days of breastfeeding my son are long gone, my pump has been sitting in my closet on a shelf since last August.

    I hope you realize how much I would appreciate someone taking the time to look at my pump and repair a defect that was no cause of my own.

    I can be reached by phone at (xxx)xxx-xxx, by e-mail at xxxxxxxx@gmail.com, or by mail at:

    I truly hope someone took the time to read this letter and can read into my sincerity. I hope I don’t get an automated response.


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