Sunday, June 15, 2014


Funny instruction manual

It's Sunday, so we shuck the ads out of the paper first thing. Most go into the trash right away, but some we do look at. Longs is right across the street, so when I saw a CVS-brand bathroom scale for $6.99 in their ad, it was rush over immediately after breakfast to check it out. Often Sunday sale items sell out the same day, at this store.

It wasn't crowded--maybe because of Fathers Day. So I snagged one, no problem.

The instruction manual for this scale made me laugh. Maybe I have a weird sense of humor.

We live in an age when manufacturers can sell an item with a warranty knowing they'll seldom have to make good on it, even if the item doesn't come close to meeting specs. The best example of that which comes to mind is a 7-year warranty on some CFL bulbs I purchased. A box of three cost less at City Mill than it would cost me to mail even one back to the manufacturer for a replacement. So I'd never do it. And sure enough, two of them so far have burned out in less than two years. Writing this reminded me to change one that burned out last night. I don't even know long the box promised this one would last.

This $6.99 bathroom scale has a lifetime warranty! I laughed. Packing and mailing it would cost more than that. But the funny part: the wording is usually "for the lifetime of the original purchaser." I have a faucet from Costco with a lifetime warranty. It's been replaced twice. So I'm on my third one. The manufacturer may not want to do that again...

This one says: "Your CVS/pharmacy(TM) Glass Scale, Model GS05, excluding the battery, is warranted to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for the life of the product under normal conditions of use..."

I can hear the voice on the other end of the line when I call for a replacement... in an imitation Indian accent (because India is said to be outsourcing to Bangladesh some of the call center contracts outsourced to them) I am asked what is the problem, and then told "I'm sorry sir, but since your scale no longer works, its lifetime is unfortunately over, I'm sorry sir."

The rest of the manual has its funny points. I think they paid someone $6.99 for a cut-and-paste job.

For example, I guess I'll not be able to clean it in the washing machine, that's prohibited. Darn.

Another: the instruction manual says that if you lose the instruction manual, please call a 1-800 customer service number which it gives--in the lost manual, of course. Good trick. And: if you weigh more than 400 pounds, don't use the scale because its capacity would be exceeded. The manual suggests calling your physician. Good health advice!

These days funny is where you find it.


When I first read the auto-correct in my brain filled in bathroom "tissue" so that made the lifetime guarantee especially weird.

The instruction manual was the best part of it. The scale was not repeatable -- step on it twice and it gave two different results.

So I returned it today.

One bright note: often, instruction manuals printed in China have typos, some amusing. This one did not. There were fewer typos than some newspapers that come to mind.

Post a Comment

Requiring those Captcha codes at least temporarily, in the hopes that it quells the flood of comment spam I've been receiving.

<< Home


page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Newer›  ‹Older