I wrote a post in September that explains why I emailed Handi-Craft, the company that manufactures Dr. Brown’s products. I was horrified to find out that the sippy cups my daughter was using at the time nearly had the rubber coming off at the top of the spout. As a parent, I feared it was a serious choking hazard.
At Theta Mom, I always write honest posts and product reviews. Even though I wasn’t reviewing this particular product, I used my blog as a platform to share my concerns about a product that I thought (in my opinion and experience) to be defective. After that post was published and my email was responded to from a company representative, I ended up speaking with another representative directly over the phone and I was sent replacement cups. These cups were an improved design from the “original” sippy cups my daughter was using. You can read that full follow-up post here.
However, after reading through all of your comments again on that follow-up post, I was still really upset. I knew that if the rubber was easily coming off of the “original” sippy cups for my daughter, it had to be happening to other babies. There was no way I could have been the only one to experience this. My gut was telling me that this product needed to be taken off the market and I needed to do something more…
Amidst my chaotic thinking of what to do next in pursuit of this issue, the new cups arrived and my daughter actually did beautifully with them. Was it because the spout was indeed stronger in this different design? Maybe. Was it because my daughter was (at the time) now 3 months older so she wasn’t chewing on them quite as hard? Probably. Were these cups safer compared to the original design? I do believe so. You can get a good look at the new design of these training cups here.
But, I still had that unsettling feeling that my serious concern was not totally being heard (since those “original” cups were still available on shelves). As a mother, I needed this issue needed to be escalated…
While I was still testing out these new replacement cups and had numerous telephone conversations with various reps over at Handi-Craft, I soon received an email from the Vice-President of Handi-Craft. Apparently, he wanted to talk with me over the phone.
Can you believe that? The Vice-President of a major corporation actually wanted to take time out of his busy day to converse with me! This would be the perfect opportunity to reiterate my concerns with the company, knowing I would be speaking directly with someone who may be able to make a change.
So there I was, bent over in my kitchen cleaning up spilled applesauce off the floor, then picking up my daughter to change her diaper while Yo Gabba Gabba was playing in the background. Among this routine of “just another day in the life” of a Theta Mom, I was about to speak with the VP of Handi-Craft himself.
I pictured him on the other line dressed in a perfect suit, sitting behind a large uncluttered desk in a spacious office in a major city. And he was talking to Theta Mom, who happened to answer the phone wearing yoga pants and an applesauce splattered t-shirt, holding her daughter in one hand and wipes in the other.
After some introductions, we briefly made some small talk and then we got down to the issue. He was following up with me to see how my daughter was doing with the new replacement cups. We spoke about my concern at length and then he finally shared the news that the “other” sippy cups had been taken off the market.
They were taken off the market.
Can I honestly say that Theta Mom was the reason these cups were removed? No. In my mind, do I think I had a little something to do with it? I would like to believe, maybe.
With all of my emails, phone conversations, and ultimately a chat with the VP himself, I would like to think I had a little something to do with the “original” cups being removed so that they could not potentially harm a baby…and that in itself is pretty amazing stuff.
To think that in this instance, my blog became a platform for my voice to be heard. In the end, with some effective blogging and persistence, it made a difference.
Actually, it made a big difference.
If my daughter could talk right now, I know she would be thanking Handi-Craft for listening to her mommy…
And the best part?
I know she is so damn proud of me.
And so am I.