In my opinion, every company should have a working and active Quality Assurance department. QA for short. In theory, it is the department where each and every item produced is tested, so that the consumer can be assured that when purchased, it is of the highest possible quality. They do, you say? Well, they might have an office with that plaque on the door or they may have a machine that slaps a number sticker on an item. However; I can assure you, (pun intended) there are some companies that have no working QA department. How do I know this? Because I’m a consumer. I purchase items that don’t work properly or live up to expectations. It’s ANNOYING!!
How many of you have purchased a coat for your child and maybe even wrestled said item on your child’s body to be sure of the correct size right there in the store? After purchasing it, you cut the tags off, hang it up nicely in the closet and then next cold day, feeling SO very prepared, you bundle up your child only to discover in that moment, the zipper does not work. Who exactly tested that zipper in QA?
Or how about the action figure collection your child had to have after the latest movie release? You spent up to 20 minutes with heavy duty scissors, a knife, pliers and screwdriver just to retrieve the action figures from the plastic (which drew your blood twice!) all the while your child danced around your legs begged you to hurry up. Then once each piece was carefully extracted from the parent proof packaging, it was discovered that half the pieces will not stand up on their own! This incites a meltdown from your child who was over the moon happy until 30 seconds ago. Don’t you think the bullet proof design of the container is just a little overkill? And could it have hurt to move a little of the plastic from the container packaging over to the figurines so they could stand independently? QA, where are you?
What about the puzzle that has pieces so flimsy you could mistake them for napkins? Or the replaceable mop top that leaves you feeling like you got into an arm wrestling match with the current champion? Don’t forget the cleaner that promises to get out any kind of carpet stain. We all know how well those work. Then there’s the veritable battery gulping remote control toys and games which routinely make you reconsider your decision of not investing your child’s college fund in Duracell or Energizer stock! Even the longevity of the iPhone battery didn’t make it to QA.
Then there’s one of my personal favorite, opening medicine bottles. Yes, I know they need childproof tops so that kids don’t consume them at will. However, I am quite sure that not a single person at Allegra has ever tried to open a bottle of their own Children’s liquid formula. This I know because there is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY an adult hand could grasp the semicircle top of the sealed lip, let alone actually pull it off. It requires scissors and a knife both of which have to be washed afterward. WHY is it that hard to get into a medicine I must give my pollen prone prodigies almost every day for six months straight? QA come to my rescue!
I’m convinced that folks who love a company for its products are the most critical of them as well. It’s because they hold the company to a high standard and will brag about it when they do great and tear them down when they don’t deliver. I have gleaned much over the years by reading ratings on products before purchasing. Things like, this style runs small, this model is particularly efficient, the colors aren’t true to the picture, or this item lived up to its description, have given me wisdom in making consumer choices. Now if the QA department would step up and exercise its potential to change the whole direction of a company, I’d raise my glass at the company party and say “Let’s hear it for the QA department…”
What products have you purchased that obviously slipped through QA?
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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