• People Talk and My Ear Bleeds


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    Friday, September 21, 2007

    The Chinese are out to get me...

    How many children have to die ... before enough is enough?
    New readers of my blog are going to think I hate Chinese people. This is not true -- it could not be further from the truth. However, lately, the stars have aligned against me, and they're using China to do it.

    Today, CNN reported more Chinese-made goods recalled. This time it's cribs.

    "Cribs! I just bought a crib!" I think as I read the article. "Could our crib be one of the recalled?"

    Quickly I shoot an email off to my wife, because -- as all men know -- when there's a house/baby question, you ask the boss.

    It looks like the cribs being recalled are made by Simplicity. For the last ten years -- TEN YEARS -- a support strut has been installed upside down, causing some mattresses to fall and creating a space for babies to be trapped. How in the world does it take a company ten years to fix a problem like this?

    We looked at the Simplicity brand at Babies 'R Us, specifically the Ellis model. Luckily, the Ellis model is not one of the models recalled. Unfortunately, it's not that lucky. According to Simplicity's own website,
    "CPSC is aware of three deaths in different models of Simplicity brand cribs. Additionally, CPSC is aware of seven infant entrapments and 55 incidents in these cribs."
    My wife and I decided to go with a Jardine-made crib, because we felt the Simplicity crib (one of those turn-into-a-bed-later cribs) was too high and hard for my wife bend over. The Jardine isn't a "lifetime" bed, but it allows the side to drop more, so my wife can pick up our soon-to-be boy.

    the stars have aligned against me, and they're using China to do it
    Even with the Jardine, we had our own scare. By now, my wife and my decision to not buy Chinese is apparent. Jardine is a Taiwan-based company (which I don't equate as Chinese) and my crib was made in Vietnam (which gave us a good laugh, and made us wonder how much it would have cost if we had just bought it when we were in Vietnam). As I was setting up the crib, a screw from the slide (the same part that is forcing the recalls on the Simplicity cribs) kept falling out, making that side very unstable. Luckily, I was being the conscientious consumer and dad, and tested it out two or three times. With the help of my father, we figured out that each side of the support was supposed to have one small and one large screw, but they had put two large on one side, and two small on the other. Once we changed the screws, the supports held like intended.

    Weathering crib-gate, I opened my email today to find a lovely message from Ebay telling me my account was frozen. Someone had hijacked my account and was sending messages to other ebay customers, trying to get them to buy things (and hence steal important info). The message said,
    "Dear Sir/Madam:
    Please allow us to disturb your precious time!We are the Chinese biggest foreign trade wholesaler. If you want to do business, we can offer you our most reasonable discount, making you get more profit . If you have time, please visit our website,Please relate with us, we will give you a satisfying answer."
    I won't give out the website, but it was obviously Chinese. I spent one hour online trying to resolve this issue with Ebay (still not totally fixed...I'm probably going to delete my account when possible) and praying that they did not get anything really important (Ebay assured me that all financial info was not available to them).

    Join with me in consciously NOT buying things made in China when possible. You'll send a message to American manufacturers and their Chinese partners that we will not settle for dangerous and substandard goods. How many children have to die in faulty cribs, or eat lead paint chips, before enough is enough?

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