Friday, February 11, 2011

More sledding woes

I noted in a post a short while ago that I got a new sled for Elli from Canadian Tire.  I was very pleased with how they didn't give me grief about exchanging a sled with no receipt and I was happy with the new sled.  That was then, and things have changed.  Not that my experience with Canadian Tire was any different, but my experience when I took the new sled out for a second run did not go well.

You can see here that the sled has 6 handles, each attached by two plastic knobs that go through to the bottom of the sled.  You can also see, if you look closely, that one of those plastic knobs appears to be missing.  This is because it was constructed of a small, not particularly strong cylinder of plastic with a plug at the bottom of the sled and that cylinder snapped when we were going down a normal snowy hill.  After examining the broken bits it became clear that they were simply not built strong enough to endure the punishing duty of sliding down a hill and it is inevitable that the rest of them will break over time.  So now what do I do?  I dislike taking things back to stores and at the moment the sled is still pretty functional but I also dislike paying for shoddy merchandise and eventually the handles are going to just break off entirely and I will be left without them.

I now have the irritating choice of spending yet another 5 dollars on transit fares to go back to Canadian Tire and exchange this new sled for something or I can just decide to accept its fate and use it for awhile.  I find it interesting how some people take great pride in returning items to stores and complaining to get compensation while others refuse to do that and just suffer through, most likely never going to that particular vendor again.  I buy things rarely enough that I don't often have any cause to complain about merchandise, though I do often have cause to be irritated at prices.  Merchants usually won't take back items with the reason "It is too expensive" however...

Then I got to thinking that I should try to evaluate the sled without taking into account what somebody else thought it should do.  In particular, if I had seen this exact sled and it had no handles, would I have purchased it in the first place?  If the answer is yes, then there is no reason at all to return the sled since I am clearly satisfied with it whether or not the handles break.  If the handles are critical, however, then I should return it to get another sled that is less likely (we can hope!) to break after just a few short outings.  After a bit of mulling I came to the conclusion that the sled is fine without handles.  It will certainly make the rides a little more crazy and 'fall off the sled' prone but I don't think that actually reduces the quality of the sledding.  I have a ton of fun on crazy carpets and holding on to them is extremely difficult unless you happen to be in front and people riding crazy carpets end up falling off them constantly.  Despite, or because of, this they are great fun.  Given that I guess I should set aside my frustration with cheap, poor quality goods and just accept that the sled I have works fine and even should it continue to break in the way I expect I will still enjoy it, albeit slightly differently.

Be happy with what you have, the Stoics say.  Perhaps I am learning from them.

1 comment:

  1. I think bucket bolts, which are flat bottomed (do you remember the bolts holding the Snow Racer skis to the sled?) might work here. You need to bring it to Dad for a look-see.