To be upset by this

(31 Posts)
ImAwfulWithUsernames Mon 23-Dec-19 17:23:14

I've just starting making & selling personalised toy boxes. I used the best glue & other products I can find (to ensure quality results)
I've just delivered a toy box with a child's name on, to then not long after receive a message from the customer advising that their child has managed to pull the letters off the toy box, and is demanding I go round to fix it.

I struggle with anxiety so this has sent my emotions into overdrive. It's completely bizarre to me as this is really the customers fault, for letting the child pick and pull at the product. But as the 'customers always right' I'm finding this hard to cope with. It's got me doubting my product when I've other customers who have not had an issue.

How do I deal with this mentally? I've offered to go after Christmas to resolve as I live quite far from the customer. But I'm currently awaiting a response which I doubt will be a polite one, as I know it is a Christmas presentsad

If it were me, I would be scolding my child for essentially breaking the handmade product, and I would be off to the shops to get glue to fix it myself... but am I wrong? Is this my responsibility to feel defeated in this situation?

OP’s posts: |
DragonMamma Mon 23-Dec-19 17:29:30

It’s a tough one. I know you said you use the best glue but surely it should stand up to a child fiddling with the letters - it’s a toy box after all? It’s bound to have to stand up to a fair bit of of heavy handedness from young kids?

I would just go around and fix it (sorry, it’s probably not what you wanted to hear!).

Don’t be too hard on yourself though OP, these things happen

ScreamingValalalalahLalalalah Mon 23-Dec-19 17:32:58

If your other customers haven't had an issue, it doesn't sound as though the product is at fault.

Perhaps for peace of mind you could include some 'care instructions' when you sell them in future, even if they state the obvious - i.e. lettering is not designed to withstand attempts to pull it off.

As for this one, for the sake of good customer relations I think you have done the right thing by offering to repair it.

Of course, could be the woman's trying it on in the hope you will refund her, so don't be taken for a ride.

ImAwfulWithUsernames Mon 23-Dec-19 17:33:09

@DragonMamma that's the thing I've literally used gorilla glue so going forward I'm not sure what else I could use, as that's the best wood glue on the market sad I will definitely go around to fix it... I just can't help but let this get to me sad

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Ylvamoon Mon 23-Dec-19 17:37:59

I'm in two minds. I don't think a toy box should break... letters coming off makes it unsafe for children.
I think going to fix it is best, but please review your product for the future. It might be a one off...

ohwheniknow Mon 23-Dec-19 17:42:16

Could you use panel pins or staples as well in future?

ImAwfulWithUsernames Mon 23-Dec-19 17:47:06

@ohwheniknow that's a good idea I do have an industrial stapler so I will try this. I have made one for my own child so I will test it on that and take it with me when I go to repair

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anxioussue Mon 23-Dec-19 17:48:41

It is your responsibility because a product shouldn't break like that, I'd be asking for a refund.

ScreamingValalalalahLalalalah Mon 23-Dec-19 17:53:17

a product shouldn't break like that

Pretty much any product will break if someone intentionally goes out to destroy it, which is what happened here.

ImAwfulWithUsernames Mon 23-Dec-19 17:55:21

Thanks all I have offered to also hammer some panel pins into the letters once I glue them back on (and the other bits) to ensure it doesn't happen again!

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ImAwfulWithUsernames Mon 23-Dec-19 17:56:11

@ScreamingValalalalahLalalalah this is how I feel, wooden handmade letters won't be indestructible sad

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ImAwfulWithUsernames Mon 23-Dec-19 17:56:40

Well not the letters themself but the product they're attached to

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Frenchw1fe Mon 23-Dec-19 18:00:44

As it's a Xmas gift why has the child already received it?
Chk the name hasn't been prised off by an adult trying to get the product cheaper or for free. It does happen.

bionicnemonic Mon 23-Dec-19 18:10:45

Please don’t use nails!! If they fall off they could hurt someone! Try epoxy glue (like araldite) or evo-stik impact adhesive (cheaper) I don’t know if the gorilla glue was the superglue type but that’s not very long lasting

bionicnemonic Mon 23-Dec-19 18:12:09

And a stapler is unlikely to go through wood (though it would manage thin mdf. But safety is paramount

ImAwfulWithUsernames Mon 23-Dec-19 18:13:04

@bionicnemonic okay thank you will do! I'll order some now. My one concern is that this issue will happen again! But the reviews look good on the glue you suggest! smile

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ScreamingValalalalahLalalalah Mon 23-Dec-19 18:16:30

As it's a Xmas gift why has the child already received it?

Perhaps the parents struggle to say 'no' to the child, as in 'no, you can't have your Christmas present yet' and 'no, don't prise the letters off your brand new toy box'.

bionicnemonic Mon 23-Dec-19 18:21:26

Just to be a real pain...I would make sure you’re absolutely squeaky clean with using safe paints etc too (you could make it a selling point) no cheap imported stuff that may contain lead

BertieDrapper Mon 23-Dec-19 18:27:49

Did you use the glue correctly?

I make wood products to sell and it's my worse nightmare that something breaks or falls apart once a customer has it!
But that's the nature of running a craft business, if it did happen I would obviously offer to repair/replace as necessary and apologise for the inconvenience.
It would of course be stressful, id totally be with you on that!

ImAwfulWithUsernames Mon 23-Dec-19 20:54:22

@BertieDrapper I read all the instructions. I used it and let it cure for 20-30 minutes before I dare move the panel to the upright position to put the box together, then I left it overnight in a room to be untouched and delivered it around 24 hours later. But maybe that was the problem - I should have advised to leave as long as possible before anyone tried prying it apart sad

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NerrSnerr Mon 23-Dec-19 20:59:15

I would expect a child's toy box to be almost indestructible. Children will pick and pull at things.

bionicnemonic Mon 23-Dec-19 22:55:49

For construction type joints that need glue look at maybe using cascamite glue and holding it together with clamps or band clamps while it sets?

OhCumInMyFaceful Mon 23-Dec-19 23:15:44

I've been using a no nails kind of adhesive to put shelving up, one of these 'sticks like sh!t' products. It's done wonders here. I don't know if it's meant to be hardier than gorilla glue or not.

Lougle Mon 23-Dec-19 23:37:35

Did you not test the construction before starting to sell them? I remember watching Dragon's Den and someone was asking for investment in their non-slip seat pad, intended to keep children from slipping out of highchairs, etc. Duncan Bannatyne looked at the item, frowned and tore it up into tiny pieces. He suggested an immediate recall on health and safety grounds.

Children's stuff needs to be rock solid. It needs to be tested to make sure it's safe. If a child can tear the letters off, I'd say it's not fit for purpose. I also think you should be trying to fix it before Christmas, personally.

Especially4u12 Tue 24-Dec-19 05:13:10

Unfortunately working in this field you will get issues like this, people try their luck and can just be funny creatures!
Don't let it put you off doing what you love though!

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