Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Total recall

On Sunday our little family went to Babies R Us to purchase something we already have: a crib. Why? Well, you simply can't have enough cribs, and our mission is to fill the whole apartment with them. That way, when Kyle learns to crawl out of one, he'll just land in another. Sure, it will be hard to host parties or walk to the bathroom, but at least the little guy won't be able to escape nap time, and that's essential for his dad's sanity.

Actually, the real reason we bought a new crib this past weekend is because our current crib is being recalled. It was recalled in April, in fact, but I didn't know until a little more than a week ago, when I saw this picture on the Consumer Product Safety Commission's website:

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has a flair for the dramatic. No doubt a picture like this can worry a parent, even if the doll has a head that looks like a baseball. The CPSC might want to consider changing that to make the picture more effective, and perhaps have a pet dog chew on the doll to add a sense of urgency. Still, the image above is rather disturbing as is, and after seeing it, I checked to make sure our crib was not part of this recall. Fortunately, it was not. Instead, it was part of another recall (doh!), one that didn't have a dramatic picture associated with it. There's just a brief note saying that because one of the 96,000 units sold caused a child to suffer minor injuries, all of the cribs should be destroyed.

Our son may be cursed. It seems that anything he sleeps on eventually will be deemed unsafe by some bureaucratic institution. It's already happened once before: the portable crib/playpen seen to the right, his bed during the first three weeks of his life, was recalled this past winter because its sides could collapse. That's a problem when your rather hyper child likes to body slam against the sides, and tugs on them so rapidly that the whole playpen moves. While we didn't like dealing with this recall, getting the money back was rather simple: we followed the instructions, cut up parts of the crib and sent them in, and a few weeks later we received a check in the mail. We used it to buy a new portable crib, which is safer, except for the rotating-knife mobile that came with it.

So now we're dealing with a new recall, and this weekend we searched for a new crib for Kyle. When I called the crib's manufacturer, they told me we'd get reimbursed only if we buy our replacement crib at Babies R Us. That was no problem, except for the fact that we bought our now-recalled crib at Babies R Us, and it was the only one there we liked.

The selection at Babies R Us was just as we remembered it. Few of the cribs matched our nursery. They either looked too cheaply made or too big and stately that you'd expect the baby to have his own personal butler (besides his dad). There really wasn't anything in the middle. I thought I'd have better luck going online, but I soon learned from the store's friendly customer service that I wouldn't be able to use the manufacturer's voucher with an online purchase. That's because I'd have to go back to a store to get the money, and the store computers don't talk with the online computers. It's like they're two completely different companies. With this kind of efficiency, you'd expect Babies R Us to be at least partially owned by the government. So, with our heads down low, we went to take another look at the cribs.

Just then the head of the furniture department pulled us aside and in a hushed voice said he had just put together another crib that was not on display yet. He led us to the Babies R Us equivalent of a batcave, where we saw the "secret" crib. Jennifer and I were overwhelmed by its sturdiness, lack of frills, and natural wood finish. We knew right then and there that finally we found the one basic crib at Babies R Us that we somewhat liked, so we took it without hesitation.

That means this coming weekend I will be assembling the new crib and dismantling the old one so we can get our voucher. From what I hear, it shouldn't take longer than an hour. I'll prepare to work on it all day. At least now we won't have to worry about this anymore:

We have teething guards, and you can be sure they'll be on the new crib after it's built.

Once this is all done, it will be on to our next recall: Starbucks wants our bean grinder back (this is true). Turns out there's a "laceration hazard to consumers." I guess a grande Cinnamon Dolce Latte with an extra shot of espresso doesn't taste as good with a piece of finger in it. Let's just hope that this recall is easy to handle.


Craig said...

I'll have to send you pics of Owen's and Liam's crib rail / teething bars. Holy rawhide chew, Batman. I think Liam takes a nibble now and then just b/c he knows we don't like it.

erica said...

Oh geez. I worked at BRU for a summer/fall before Kent was born, and I can personally attest to the company's inefficiency (and the fact that they're real cheapskates about everything). You're right, the online stuff is completely separate from the store business, something that confounded us and our customers all the time. I'm really glad you got a good furniture person to help you! We bought our crib from Target because I didn't want to deal with BRU, actually. ;)

Joanna said...

We got a Delta crib from Target. It did have a recall - I think it's the photo you found. Had to do with the sliding side panel feature that was already broken by a child kicking it in a nap protest (they probably didn't test for strong willed moving babies). Zip ties and duct tape fix anything. Anyways, it's long gone now and we've gone to twin beds.