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Put a Sock In It! - Comments

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Poor packaging has always been a huge pet peeve of mine.

This past weekend I travelled to Philadelphia and figured that since it was about time for a new head on my Sonicare toothbrush anyway, I'd just throw my old one out and put the package with the new one in my baggage. (That way, it would stay cleaner.)

I travelled by plane and didn't want to check my baggage, so I took no knives or scissors with me.

The next morning it came time to brush my teeth and I discovered that the packaging was impenetrable. I spent ten minutes trying to cut into it with car keys. I finally got it open, but only after suffering a gash on my finger from the plastic.

Is it really necessary to package a toothbrush in armor?

I used to work in a dept. store, and the reason the T thing goes in the seam is so it doesn't make a hole in the fabric. I imagine the socks with the wrapper instead of the sealed bag is for cheaper packaging, and they use the T things to make sure they don't lose any out of the pkg. That being said, I also hate packaging. When I buy something (electronic especially), it takes a rocket scientist to get it out without getting cut up or tearing the instructions up, or damaging the merchandise.

Rant on!

I have also had the experience of trying to open a package that is practically unopenable. However I also work in a large retail establishment and you would be surprised what "walks" from stores. I suspect in at least some cases packaging is designed to prevent merchandise from being easily taken from the package at the store. Unfortunatly when this happens the honest customers are the ones who suffer both with difficult packaging and by paying more for merchandise to make up for what isn't paid for.

One might notice that the Wilson packaging is more environmentally friendly, appreciated by many forward thinking consumers. I do agree that the fastening system could be better.

Anyone with a young girl in the house can attest to this one - ever tried getting Barbie out of her package? She's stuck to a cardboard backing with at least a dozen of those little plastic tag things, taped down in spots, rubber-banded by her wrists and ankles, and her hair is literally sewn in place! Do they think she's trying to escape?

I buy Dr. Scholes socks that come packaged like the Wilson socks. I found the easiest way to deal with the T's is to hold one pair of the socks in your hand and quickly yank the other pair away. This will cause the T to seperate then you can pull out the two peices of plastic.

(Or tear your clothes, if they're not something sturdy! -rc)

CDs and DVDs drive me nuts. Is it really necessary to have the sticky stuff on all edges of the box, so that you risk destroying the cover artwork when you open it?

And toys--it's not just Barbie. It used to be that putting toys together was the pain on Christmas morning--now it's getting them out of the packaging. There've been times we've needed needle-nosed pliers and wire cutters to liberate a toy truck from its packaging.

Well, if it's going to aggravate the heck out of me to open a package, at least I occassionally get one minor bit of revenge: returns!

Normally I'm the kind to meticulously wrap everything back up in its original packaging, but when it comes to those titanium-strong plastic clamshells, I relish dumping the whole butchered plastic mess back on the store if the item winds up being defective.

I know... the store is the wrong target for my frustration, but I've tried contacting the companies about the packaging and typically get the "We're sorry, but in order to cut down on theft, this is how we do it now. Thank you for you taking the time to call. Goodbye." Blech!

You know those foil blister packs where you just push the plastic bubble and the pill pops out the back? Claritin is packaged in something that looks just like that, except there are two layers: The outer layer is a plastic film, and you're supposed to peel it off first. Then you push the tablet through the foil. The tablets themselves are very frangible, so if you don't peel first the tablet reduces to powder when you push on it. As if this weren't enough, the layer you're supposed to peel off doesn't peel off unless you fight with it first.

We often buy the generic (loratadine) and the store brands are in the same kind of packaging. Who invented this crap? And can we get their nitroglycerine pills put in this packaging please?

I have to agree that over-protective packaging is aggravating. But working retail gives you an appreciation for the necessity. It's much easier to get out of the store with something once you've ditched the packaging.

Also, workers are constantly reminded that lawsuits could result if a child pulled off and swallowed a tag, or got a toy out of its box to play with in the store and hurt him or herself. (The threat of lawsuits also results in Wal-Mart's refusal to deliver merchandise, tie merchandise down on top of cars or in the back of trucks, or help elderly customers in and out of cars and wheelchairs. We don't want to be jerks; we just don't want to lose our shirts if something goes wrong.)

So spare some of your irritation for the shoplifters and lawsuit-happy society that force the companies to make their packaging ever more time-intensive.

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