Product Shortcomings They'll Never Fix
(although once in a while they actually fix the problem!)

Palmolive dish washing detergent "Scrub Buster with Micro Beads" contains little beads that clog the opening to the sponge of a hand held dish washing tool that contains detergent in the handle. The result is that this tool fails to dispense detergent and becomes useless.

Wooden toilet seats are made without rounding the inner edge. The result is that paint does not adhere to the sharp edge and does not protect the wood from attack by urine. After a few years the paint starts to peel away from the unprotected edge leaving an unsightly brown condition. There is no reason why the inner edge could not be rounded the same as the outer edge.

The touch up sticks supplied by Henkel Corporation of Avon Ohio represent a truly egregious deception of the buyer. They are described as being suitable for covering scratches and dings in varnished wood. In fact, they have no hiding power. On application, they produce a transparent film that will not hide anything. It would be a simple matter to formulate the sticks with enough pigment to cover scratches and dings. Henkel is guilty of cynical deception just to save a few pennies per stick. What a rip off!

Rite Aid supplies medicated pads in a round jar with a screw top lid. Formerly the jar was sealed with a heavy aluminum foil which was easily cut to leave a smooth rim on the edge. It was not necessary for the lid to be screwed on tightly. Now they have switched to a cardboard seal with the lid screwed on so tightly it is necessary to use two strap wrenches to remove it. The cardboard seal is not easily cut, and the remaining edge seal comes apart after the lid is removed and replaced a few times. Unfortunately all other brands have followed suit.

Unisar makes a wireless TV listener to enable the viewer to hear the program while the TV sound is off or turned low. An infrared signal is emitted from the set to receiving headphones. It works OK, but the problem is that the headphones are not padded. The hard metal phones become quite painful after a short time. They also interfere with hearing aids, causing feedback and changing the hearing aid settings. I submitted my comments on the form included with the purchase, and even talked to a representative. His comment was it couldn't be much of a problem, since I was (as far as he knew) the only customer complaint. There was no other response. I solved the problem by taping foam pads onto the earphones.

Radio commercials aired with the information the prospective buyer needs to know delivered at the end in extremely rapid fire language, usually accompanied by loud music. The reaction of the listener is that the advertiser is trying to hide information that the FTC forces him to divulge. Not much of a basis for confidence in the honesty of the advertiser! The purpose of advertising should be to acquaint the prospective buyer with product information.

Speaking of radio commercials, recordings of old time radio reveal that a radio show with big time Hollywood stars, rehearsal time, a full orchestra, and a studio audience devoted only 10 per cent of broadcast time to advertising. Today a radio program consisting of no more than a half dozen persons relaying the news that comes down the line from news services devotes a third of broadcast time to commercials. Station owners are required by the FTC to broadcast in the public interest. It is obviously not enforced. The bottom line for bankers and televangelists is the same: the station is merely a cash cow.

Jacket zippers that jam because the zipper tape is not sewn down. The zipper gets caught in the tape. It's a chronic problem. We don't have this problem with pants zippers because the tape is sewn and can't be caught in the zipper. Why don't they do the same with jacket zippers?

Containers that can not be opened without a hammer and screwdriver. Examples are Fresh Step cat litter and Boraxo.

Mennen underarm deodorant turned my T shirts yellow. I contacted one of the company's customer relations interns. She told me it was just my sweat. Actually I don't sweat. I discontinued all underarm deodorants and my T shirts don't turn yellow any more.

Hefty plastic waste basket liners are difficult to open with moist fingers and impossible to open with dry fingers. I don't have this problem with any other brand.

Fresh Step cat litter management has recently messed up what was previously a fine product by adding charcoal to the litter. Now kitty can track carbon dust on to your light colored carpets. What in the world were these bozos thinking of? I failed to read the label on the new "improved" version before opening. I had to dump the whole box and buy a different brand.

Piano music collections in the form of a bound book with a hard spine that will not lie flat on the music stand. Keyboard music should be published as a coil bound book, like the Thomas Guide, that opens flat. In order to make the book usable, it is necessary to take the book to a specialty office store like Kinko's to have the spine cut off and a comb or coil back inserted. Even then you can encounter problems: A twelve inch page height when the only alternative available is an eleven inch comb or coil. Also, sometimes the margins are so narrow that no margin remains after the conversion. Even when publishers supply books with coil or comb backs it is often so tight that the pages can't be turned.

No ventilating fans in residential bathrooms.

Baggy tee shirts. You can't even buy size S. Give us a break!

Black rubber feet on kitchen appliances that leave black marks on formica counter tops.

Vacuum cleaner hoses that mark the walls. Same with the electrical cords. It would be a simple matter to make all hoses and cords white or light ivory in color. Why don't they do it?

Paint and varnish that becomes soft and sticky when repeatedly touched.

Swinging tops on waste containers in public restrooms. What is the purpose? Rather than touch the top, people just throw the used paper towels on the floor.

Traffic signs on paving designed to be read from the the bottom up. But people read from the top down. So we read "ahead signal" and "lane bike". It's so ridiculous that I have even seen "only transit" on a short bus turnout.

Epoxy glue in dual plunger dispensers; the ends get plugged up. A really dumb idea!

Unavailability of square sockets for socket wrenches. The only thing available is an 8-point socket; this doesn't provide enough grip for soft plastic nuts with rounded edges.

Travel magazines: How about something besides the same old descriptions of restaurants, hotels, and golf courses?

Sleazy pockets: Why do they make pants pockets out of sleazy material that wears through long before the pants wear out?