Friday, January 18, 2013

A tale of SKIP HOP and their terrible customer service

As I mentioned in my diaper bag post, I considered Skip Hop when I was shopping for a diaper bag, but ultimately decided to just buy a changing kit from them. It usually retails for about $30 which is more than I even spent on my diaper bag, but I decided it was worth it because I found it on sale. The Skip Hop Pronto changing kit features a wide changing pad to place the baby  on when changing them outside of the home, an easy carry strap, a zippered compartment on the front and a mesh storage pouch inside. Best of all it folds down into a compact carry case which means I don't have to lug my entire diaper bag around to change my baby's diaper.  I was pretty excited to get to use it,  well as excited as you can be about changing diapers..







A few days after bringing our baby home from the hospital we had to take her out for the first time because she had a doctors appointment. I was excited to finally get to use my diaper bag and all the accessories. I wasn't sure how the doctor's appointment would go but I thought it would be wise to carry spare diapers and wipes so I happily packed a few wipes into the transparent red wipes case that came as part of the Skip hop changing pad kit.

 
 

At this point I thought it was such a clever idea to make the wipes case transparent, because I could easily see if I  was running low on wipes without opening the case. Once we arrived at the doctor's office they asked me to change her diaper right before we placed her on the scale to get a more accurate weight. I opened the wipes case to grab a couple of wipes and did a double take. Why were there red splotches on the wipes? Was it just the reflection from the case? I pulled out a couple more wipes and I could have sworn they all looked red. Almost like someone had used them to wipe off some red blusher. Once I got home I opened the wipes case again to see if it was just my eyes deceiving me. Sure enough all the wipes in the case were tinted red and some had bright red smudges and splotches.  This really confused me because ordinarily wipes do not pick up color from the plastic containers they are stored in. I might have been a new mom but I certainly wasn't  new to baby wipes. I'd been using them for a long time for lots of other things like removing makeup and cleaning surfaces around the house, and never in all that time had I seen baby wipes pick up color from hard plastic.

It's a little hard to capture it clearly in a photo but the cell phone shots I took give you an idea of what I mean





I thought for sure I must have done something wrong. So I took the wipes out, washed the case and let it dry. Then I put some fresh wipes in there and forgot about the whole thing. Exactly a week later, we had another trip to the pediatrician's office and surprise surprise, the exact same thing happened. This time the wipes were even darker red than the first week. And had red patches all over. I was really worried about what was causing this red coloration on the wipes. Every single wipe in the case had red patches on it. How was that even possible?  When we got home I threw the wipes out, and put new wipes in and checked back on them in about 2 hours and sure enough they were all red again. There was definitely something wrong because plastic shouldn't transfer color like that. As a new mom I was understandably very protective of my baby, I didn't want to use wipes on her that had some unknown coloration, so I decided to stop using the wipes case until I figured it all out.

I decided to call the company for some information and advice, I assumed it was an isolated incident with my case. I called them continuously for months and never once was able to speak to a live person. It always went to a voicemail. That was really shocking to me because all the other baby companies I had dealt with  had an active customer service phone line with live reps available during business hours. But not Skip Hop. No Sir. Not a single soul ever answered the phone and believe me I was persistent.  By August ( which was 4 months later)  I had given up until I stumbled upon similar reviews on the wipes case on other sites. So other people had the exact same problem too?  And none of these people were able to reach the company either? Then I realized that people had also complained about the red spots on the actual changing pad itself also leaching and transferring. So clearly they had an issue with the red dyes they were using in more than one of their products. Which was disturbing since they use a lot of red, thanks to their bright red logo.

I sent them an email and received a generic response the next day asking for my contact number, address and pictures of the product I had a problem with. I immediately responded with all the requested information and a detailed description of the issue.  I got no response. NOTHING.  I sent them another email 5 days later to follow up and still heard nothing.  Now I was starting to get annoyed, I mentioned it to a few friends of mine who also use Skip Hop, and they told me that they had endured the exact same thing and the only way to get any response from them was to attack their social media reputation. So I posted on their facebook page and within half an hour I had a response. They replied to my wall message with a generic statement that I should contact their customer service line or email them. So I responded by saying I have already done that multiple times. They immediately deleted my facebook wall post and then sent me a generic message to my facebook inbox asking for my email address so they could look into it.

And within a few hours I finally got a response from them by email from Lilia




That's it. They sent me a one line email in response to all my questions about the wipes case. I never even asked for a replacement wipes case. I wanted answers for my questions regarding the safety of the product. I wanted to know why it had taken me  FOUR months to get a response from them and why they deleted my facebook wall post? I started doing more research and saw this on their facebook wall. I took a screen shot in case they deleted it too. I do not know the person that posted it so for their privacy I blacked out their last name and profile picture since it was a photo of a baby.


Here I had proof that they were well aware of this problem, had done nothing about it, and when we tried to reach out to them, they ignored us persistently until we posted on their facebook page. And then they give that annoying response asking you to email them, as if we haven't already emailed them a billion times and gotten no response! I found it extremely interesting that they stated in their own words that the red wipes color problem was a "defect on a small batch" of wipes" I bet it really was SMALL batch.  On their website they have stated "We want to make our products perfect and we're fanatical about product safety" But that is clearly a lie. Because if they were really fanatical about safety and they already had received feed back on this product, why wouldn't they notify the customers by issuing a statement. Why would they delete wall posts that gave details about it and why would they not respond to phone calls and emails about their defective product?

If they were aware of the problem, why wouldn't they just respond to our emails about it. Why did they never provide answers about the safety of the color on the wipes? Their only solution seems to be that they will send out another useless wipes case that may or may not be safe for wipes storage.  Why would I want another one? Why would I want to use any of their products, ever?

I asked them to send me a refund instead of a replacement, and of course I never got a response to that email. That was in August 2012. I was so angry with them that I filed a complaint with BBB which I now realize wasn't the right thing to do. I should have reported the incident to the CPSC instead. Skip Hop never responded to that complaint and instead went ahead and mailed me the replacement case that I already told them I didn't want. I didn't even bother opening the package because I could tell what it was from the outside and it had their silly red logo on it. I asked the mail man to return it to sender and I haven't heard from them since.  They don't care about my baby's welfare whilst using their products, so I think its only fair that I keep my baby far far away from any substandard junk that they put on the shelves.



1 comment:

  1. disgusting non existent customer service! shame on them!

    ReplyDelete