I’m one of those folks who isn’t shy about heaping praise on those who deserve it. I’ll grab the soapbox and declare my love for a new craft supply, toy, or book that’s caught my interest. But I’ve got a dark side as well -- when a product lets me down, I’ll grab the bullhorn and take it to the streets!
Recently, I was making a balloon display with literally hundreds of mylar star-shaped balloons that were poorly constructed. I don’t like balloons to begin with, but these almost put me over the edge as they each did one of three things:
1. Exploded in my face as I tried to inflate them (literally shredding into wildly flapping strips).
2. Lost air through slow leaks in their side walls (which was really frustrating because the damage wasn’t apparent until at least 15 to 20 minutes after placing them in the display).
3. Had filler valves that were somehow sealed shut, meaning I couldn’t fill them with anything at all, be it helium or air!
I’ve been buying balloons from my supplier for years, and I’ve never encountered such a fiasco. Literally every other balloon had something wrong with it! It was a disaster! When I called them, they told me the same thing had happened with other clients; evidently it was just a bad batch. They hadn’t changed products or anything, but there must have been a screw-up at the plant...
I’ve also had it happen with tried-and-true product that I use all the time. I was running a “Cat In The Hat” themed corporate event outdoors, and I had an idea for a centerpiece made of very cute fishbowls filled with blue gel. I’ve used the gel before without any problems. But this time, I don’t know what happened to my beloved product; either Freda made a mistake when making the gel, or the product had expired (even though I noted that it didn’t have any expiration date or shelf life before), or perhaps it had overheated in the bright sun. But whatever the cause, it literally turned into colored water! The centerpieces were okay in the end, but they weren’t nearly the quality they should have been, since the gel adds not only texture but strength to the centerpiece.
The worst is when you buy a product specifically for an event and it fails. In these situations, you usually haven’t tested the product out in advance. That’s what happened to me when I bought these amazingly stupid, over-priced, poorly designed, horribly constructed, totally frustrating lights. I had purchased them with one thought in mind: to create a beautiful web of twinkle lights that would emulate the night sky. What I got was so frustrating I practically wanted to throw myself from the balcony I was trying to decorate.
Every time I placed the slightest bit of pull on these lights, they would pop apart. These lights were designed to be pulled and wrapped around a tree, creating a woven, intertwined fairy forest effect. But the slightest pressure caused the lights to pull out of their very precarious holder, and leave huge gaping holes in their stead. On top of that, there were strands in the middle that just refused to light. All in all, it was one of the most frustrating experiences ever (even worse than the balloons!). So, it is with bullhorn in hand that I announce loud and clear to everyone within a two-mile radius of this blog: never, ever, ever buy the 150 Light 2 x 10 Net Light-Pro Line from NoveltyLights.com. I was so mad at this company that I wanted to demand not only the price I paid for the product, but my hourly rate for the hours I spent noodling around with their defective product, which ultimately FAILED, leaving me humiliated in front of my client, frustrated with myself, and totally exhausted by the effort.
Now, I’m not a vindictive person… however, if this company went out of business, I wouldn’t shed any tears!