Machining water jug caps and how not to do customer service

Topics include, Machine Tools & Tooling, Precision Measuring, Materials and their Properties, Electrical discussions related to machine tools, setups, fixtures and jigs and other general discussion related to amateur machining.

Moderators: Harold_V, websterz, GlennW

Post Reply
User avatar
SteveM
Posts: 6896
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 6:18 pm
Location: Connecticut

Machining water jug caps and how not to do customer service

Post by SteveM » Sun Jun 21, 2015 10:24 pm

So my scout troop has about eight of these Igloo 6-gallon water jugs. The caps are small and easily lost, and sure enough, our scouts lost some of them.

So we email Igloo customer service. Their reply?
"Unfortunately, the parts are not sold separately. We apologize for the inconvenience."

Inconvenience? We have about $200 worth of water jugs and customer service thinks that not being able to get replacement caps is an "inconvenience"? I don't blame the client service rep. They are probably sick of having to tell people this.

Interesting thing is that the jugs get a customer rating of three on Amazon - the fives are from people that have not lost the caps and the ones are from people that have.

My guess is some bean counter somewhere decided that if they don't sell replacement caps for $2 each, people will line up in droves to spring for new water jugs at $20-$30 a pop. Yea, dream on.

One of our assistant scoutmasters is a shop teacher, so he had the kids dimension the cap and 3-d print them in bright yellow plastic. That worked for a while, but the plastic is more brittle than the original, so many of them cracked.

I got a piece of Delrin, which is food safe and machined new caps, much thicker than the originals, and with a cross-drilled tab sticking out to add a bungee tether with a velcro strap. We need to be able to detach the strap from the jug as the cap needs to go from one side of the ring to the other when deploying it.

I made half a dozen of these, but we may have one of our dads 3-d print more, as that will be faster than turning / milling them.

Steve
Attachments
20150621_224720 - Copy.jpg
20150621_224746.jpg
20150621_224824.jpg
20150621_224921.jpg

User avatar
oldvan
Posts: 553
Joined: Mon May 05, 2008 6:46 pm
Location: Western NY USA

Re: Machining water jug caps and how not to do customer serv

Post by oldvan » Sun Jun 21, 2015 11:22 pm


Harold_V
Posts: 17695
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2002 11:02 pm
Location: Onalaska, WA USA

Re: Machining water jug caps and how not to do customer serv

Post by Harold_V » Mon Jun 22, 2015 1:18 am

SteveM wrote:So we email Igloo customer service. Their reply?
"Unfortunately, the parts are not sold separately. We apologize for the inconvenience."
I am of the opinion that this "inconvenience" is worthy of being exploited publicly. Corporations who have no concern for the buying public need to be exposed.

Start a campaign, making your dissatisfaction known. Use their business name in every conceivable negative way (keep it polite, but most importantly, HONEST, stating just the facts), so others may be spared the same "inconvenience". Perhaps declining sales might encourage them, as there's nothing like having your name trashed (rightfully) to encourage a change of attitude.

Harold
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

User avatar
tornitore45
Posts: 1717
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 12:24 am
Location: USA Texas, Austin

Re: Machining water jug caps and how not to do customer serv

Post by tornitore45 » Mon Jun 22, 2015 7:05 am

To expand on Harold suggestion....
Post on Facebook, Twitter any social media, ask the troops to share the post.
Leverage the chain reaction effect for the widest possible distribution of the news.
For even better effect show the link to the Polarbottle as an example of good corporate behavior.

Let the consumer motto be: "We are fed up and are not gonna take it anymore".
Mauro Gaetano
in Austin TX

User avatar
SteveM
Posts: 6896
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 6:18 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: Machining water jug caps and how not to do customer serv

Post by SteveM » Mon Jun 22, 2015 7:28 am

oldvan wrote:What a contrast to this:

http://polarbottle.com/about-polar-bott ... lacements/
Too bad they don't make water jugs!

The ratio of cap to waste is so big with the Igloo jugs - have to throw out a 2 pound water jug for the loss of a 1/2 oz cap.

Steve

User avatar
ronm
Posts: 766
Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2003 9:32 am
Location: Colorado

Re: Machining water jug caps and how not to do customer serv

Post by ronm » Mon Jun 22, 2015 7:46 am

Just like plastic trash can lids...somebody downwind of my place has a bunch of them, but the hardware store won't sell you a lid w/o a can. BS...

Charles Spencer
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2015 3:39 am
Location: Central Massachusetts

Re: Machining water jug caps and how not to do customer serv

Post by Charles Spencer » Mon Jun 22, 2015 9:21 am

We had the problem of lost small caps with plastic army water cans. We used to whittle down twigs to use as plugs.

Glenn Brooks
Posts: 1763
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2014 1:39 pm
Location: Woodinville, Washington

Re: Machining water jug caps and how not to do customer serv

Post by Glenn Brooks » Mon Jun 22, 2015 10:38 am

I once had a problem collecting a long overdue account from a non performing mid level manager in a big corporation. After months of frustration one day I looked up the corporate officers names and sent the CEO, comptroller and a couple of directors my story. Just told them their company staff weren't performing and I was extremely disappointed in their response as I had gone the extra mile for them during a very difficult time in aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Low and behold I got a call from the CFO - a guy I never expected to hear from- he chased down all the internal company accounting and I got a complete resolution in a day!

You might try emailing the top dogs directly and show them what you had to do to make their water jugs serviceable, and tell them what inconvenience their corporate policy is causing their customer base, your Boy Scout Troop, and undoubtedly many others. Maybe you can actually change their crummy way of doing business.
Moderator - Grand Scale Forum

Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

Ahaha, Retirement: the good life - drifting endlessly on a Sea of projects....

spro
Posts: 7640
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2006 11:04 pm
Location: mid atlantic

Re: Machining water jug caps and how not to do customer serv

Post by spro » Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:01 pm

With those dimensions, something could happen.

Post Reply