Sonicare – Doesn’t Care?!

On 12/31/2015 I purchased a set of Sonicare electric toothbrushes at the local Costco store. When I prepared one of the brushes for use, I noticed a small amount of white deposit on the top. I didn’t think much of it and scraped it off with my fingernail. Maybe this was some kind of manufacturing residue. No big deal. We started using the toothbrushes.
A few days later I got around to unpacking the 2 charging units as well. At the bottom of one of them, I came across a dark grime that reminded me of what my old brushes had at the bottom. My spider sense went off! I turned the unit around and saw dried foam on the top as well (photos below). Clearly this unit had been used before and I’m sure so had the brush I had already been using for several days at that point! I realized that somehow a refurb/used toothbrush and charging unit had been re-packged and sold as new. Disgusting! (The package/box was clearly sealed and had not been opened!)
I immediately reached out to Sonicare customer service via chat and also Twitter in early January. The social media guys were somewhat responsive and kept promising I would be contacted by customer support, but nobody did.

Mid January I was finally asked for a proof of purchase, which I provided. I was then issued a return label for FedEx. I told them I had no intentions of returning the items because I had – unfortunately – already started using them. I asked for a refund instead. That was 1/18.
As of 1/31, I’ve heard nothing. I certainly would like a refund, but I’m mostly interested in is an apology and someone trying to explain how a used unit got resold (which is disgusting!) and what they will do to ensure this doesn’t happen again. But overall I’m very disappointed with the follow-up and lack of care. Obviously toothbrushes are personal care items requiring highest quality and hygienic standards from the manufacturer. Sonicare has obviously failed miserably and resold used units as new. From a consumer’s perspective, this is scandalous and their lack of apparent care extremely disappointing. I must conclude that Sonicare doesn’t care!




Uber Disruption

I like Uber. As a customer, it makes my business trips easier. I get from A to B in a timely fashion and even have pleasant conversations with the driver from time to time. I don’t have to worry about whether the driver takes credit cards and there is no tipping.

jp03Ride2-articleLargeBut I also like Uber as a business, despite recent blunders by their management. I like them because they are disruptive. For too long has the taxi industry (if one can call it that) been somewhat of a monopoly and there were no other choices to get to, for example, the airport (assuming limos are too expensive and shuttles too inconvenient). Uber has managed to disrupt this old business model and challenged a number of key aspects: the cars are in much better shape, the drivers more professional and courteous, integration of state-of-the-art technology and no tipping or exchange of cash. Uber is now forcing the taxi industry to wae up, rethink their model and compete for the first time. And we all know that competition is good.

Of course, the critics say that Uber drivers (Uber X folks that use their personal vehicle) aren’t properly licensed and safety and insurance are an issue. But I have to ask: if licensing is supposed to make things safer, how come taxis are usually in terrible shape, with worn out, under-inflated tires, creaky ride and drivers often don’t even care to wear their seat belts, are over-tired and usually grumpy? Do I feel safer in a cab? Absolutely not, just the opposite! More often than not, I wonder how my cabby manages NOT to have an accident considering the way he drives.

I hope Uber management gets their stuff together and gets rid of some bad apples. Hopefully all the lawsuits result in more reasonable laws instead of putting disrupters like Uber out of business. I just enjoy too much the convenience of this great model and how they kick the cabbies’ asses! At the end of the day, the better and most cost-efficient experience should win and with that the customer. Right now that means bye-bye taxies!