Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Friendly advice

Dear Sears,

I know glue is super and all that, but perhaps you might consider bolting the blade of your Craftsman hoe to the handle rather than gluing it. Yes, I know I am a mere English major and what do I know of design, but it seems to me that one should be able to hoe a row for longer than three minutes before the blade flies off the handle. Just saying.

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This is my SEARS CRAFTSMAN hoe.

And yes, I know there is a lifetime guarantee on all Craftsman hand tools and that you'll replace this hoe for another glued one for free, but that is small comfort when the nearest Sears is 13 miles away and I am in the middle of a project. I really don't want to replace the hoe, even if it means driving past Kopp's when the flavor of the day might be Never Enough Chocolate.

Your lifetime guarantee is starting to wear thin with me. Sure, you guarantee things, but a guarantee is supposed to mean that the product won't fail*, not that oh, it will fail but don't worry, when it fails, we'll take care of it, like your car batteries. I don't want my car battery to fail!

I don't care about the darn guarantee when I am stuck with a car that won't start at the train station in Miami at 7:30 at night and no way to get home and nobody to call to come get me. Or with a car that won't start at 5:30 a.m. in Memphis when I need to get to work. Those five-year Diehard batteries were only two years old. Yes, you replaced them, on a pro-rated basis, but I was the one who was grossly inconvenienced.

And now I am being inconvenienced with a hoe that won't work. A HOE! A tool that has existed for thousands of years!!! You thought you could improve the design by gluing instead of bolting? You COULDN'T! You screwed up a centuries-old design just to save a few pennies. Way to go, guys! This is part of the reason that a company that used to be the leader in retail is now on the skids.

* See Lands' End. Oh. Wait. You tried that. How did that work for you?

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