A few years ago, I lamented about not being able to buy just the part I want for certain products. Now, I am further lamenting that even when it is possible, buying just the part I want is often difficult and expensive.
My Goal: Revive 3 Sippy/Straw Cups that have had just one part wear out on each of them. I don't want to toss them and get new ones. I just want to replace the broken parts.
|The slightly worn Frog Cup
My son chewed through the straw on this in a few weeks. Tracking down this product was actually a bit difficult, as I bought it under the brand 'Cottontails.' But eventually the Internet led me to 'Nuby' and photos proved it was the same cup.
That tip then led me to Nuby's incomprehensible site. I just had no idea at all where to go after reading this wackiness, so I went to Amazon and found the Nuby Replacement Straw Kit for cups. The photo shows 3 lids, but it actually only includes one. The reviews are deservedly scathing: twice the price of a whole new cup just for a replacement straw, plus shipping??? It's one thing to reuse and replace, but it's another to get totally screwed while doing it. After hunting around on Amazon a little more, I found another replacement straw kit that is a better deal, but still very close to the cost of a whole new cup. I thought about writing Nuby to complain, but the incomprehensible website (see above) had no way to Contact them that I could find. That's a little scary if I had actually had a serious issue with the cup.
|The Dino Cup
My darling son chewed through the straw of this one in 2 days. So, I'm barely motivated to get a new one only to see it munched through again. You need to read essays of text to figure out which type of replacement straw you need, but they do have some pretty good photos and lots of big red warnings that warn you of common mistakes. Same basic pricing issue as the Nuby cup: I can get a 2-pack of new cups for the same cost as 3 replacement straws plus shipping. I'm not sure that is worth it.
Playtex actually had a 'contact us' section on their website, so I wrote them about my frustrations in trying to replace the straw at a reasonable price.
It's frustrating that the straw wears out so quickly on this cup (My son chewed through it after two uses) but it is difficult and expensive to buy replacement parts. (You can buy the new cups in stores, but need to pay shipping for the replacement parts.) Have you considered packaging extra straws in with the cup and charging $1-$2 more? I don't think I'll bother with a new straw, but I am wondering if the cup is recyclable or if I have to trash it. It has no recycling symbol on it, but isn't polypropylene recyclable?They wrote back within 48 hours.
Thank you for contacting us regarding the Playtex® Insulator® Straw Cups. To answer your question, these cups have a recycle code of 5. Please contact your local recycling facility to verify they recycle this type of plastic. In appreciation for your feedback we are sending you two coupons that we encourage you to use towards any Playtex Infant Feeding products.Well, maybe I'll try getting those replacement straws, after all! (Then, if he chews through the first in two days. I'll pack up the cup and give it as a gift to someone else.)
Take & Toss
|So Simple. So colorful.
But our son chomps on these lids, too, and eventually they need to be replaced. The CUPS last forever; all we need are LIDS. But the only place to get lids is online and they cost of the lids is just about the same as the lid + cup, plus I need to pay shipping. Why is it so much more expensive to just get the lids? I pay it as a contribution to the environment (why buy more cups I don't need), but it is frustrating. I wrote to them about this ...
We like your sippy cups very much. For something supposedly designed to be tossed away, they are nearly indestructible. The lids, however, are more destructible. It is great that you sell replacement lids, but you only do it on your main site. Have you ever considered making these replacement parts more widely available? Have you ever considered packaging the cups with an extra lid and then just charging an extra dollar? Either of these would be helpful.
They wrote me back almost immediately, saying that they'd definitely pass along my ideas to their product department. Whether that actually happens or not, it was nice to get a response.
But one thing I'll say about Take & Toss... once the lids wear out you can definitely toss them in the recycling bin. There are just simple plastic, #5 recycling. (At least where we live, we can recycle these). That's nice. The other cups are too complex and I'm not sure they are really recyclable. I just made an order for more lids and more bowls. These things are great.
Are other folks having the same experience? That just one or two parts of these cups wear out and then you're stuck?