Baby Furniture 101

Monday, July 12th, 2004 at 1:15 pm | 438 views | trackback url

Is it really this hard to make a piece of baby furniture? Really.

We ordered a white “Aspen” changing table from WALMART, online, made by a company called “StorkCraft“. We received it in the normal shipping period. After opening the box, and realizing that the instructions to assemble it were “generic” across all of their model units, I put it together using logic instead. Everything went together fine, except the drawer.

StorkCraft Aspen Changing Table

I’ve worked in woodworking for years, and I know how a drawer is constructed. This drawer wasn’t drilled properly, and the front and back pieces were the same size! As anyone who has built furniture before knows, a drawer front is almost always wider than its back, so as not to show the mounting holes or side ends when closed.

The drawer was about 4″ too narrow for the space it should have occupied. We telephoned StorkCraft, and complained. I took about 8 digital pictures of the various “incorrect” pieces, how the holes were drilled wrong, and so on, and mailed it back to “Francis” at StorkCraft, as she requested, within 30 minutes of our call. She got the email right away, according to my mail logs.

10 days go by, and we had heard nothing. Granted it was Canada Day and July 4th at the time, so that was somewhat excusable. StorkCraft is a Canadian company. I called StorkCraft again, and spoke with another person there, who mentioned that “Francis” had gone on vacation, and wouldn’t be back until the following Monday.

It was Friday morning and I was furious. I asked to speak to a manager, and was told that she was also gone until the following Monday. My temperature rose a few more degrees. I asked what I was supposed to do. We had one changing table, without a working drawer, and 2 weeks had now gone by since my original call and email. Apparently they get “a lot of email”, and can’t go through it all. I find that hard to believe, since I get 400+ emails a day, 80% of which require my personal attention, and I find time to go through it all. If StorkCraft is getting more email than that, they really are doing something wrong.

So I tell the person on the phone, that I need to speak to someone, now!, and she calmly explains that they can’t do anything until Monday. I ask for the manager’s email address and full name, which she gives me without question. I then ask for Francis’ full name, which she refuses to give me.

Apparently, its against company policy to give out full names, but she had no problem giving me the full name of the manager. So I asked her:

If you were in my position, and you bought a faulty product, notified the manufacturer 2 weeks ago, and heard nothing, and then when you called, were told that you’d have to wait another week.. would you accept it?

Of course, she said no. So I asked her why I was supposed to be able to accept it, and she had no answer.

After concluding that call enraged, I called WALMART, and the very kind operator on the phone said they would just ship us another full unit, and we could just return the one with the missing parts to the store, or ship it back via ground shipping methods, at their cost.

A week later, we receive another full changing table from WALMART. I open the box, and immediately dive for the drawer parts. They’re drilled properly!, so this could be a success! I put the drawer together, and noticed that the back piece seemed a bit out of alignment. I assembled the entire drawer, and tried to fit it into our original changing table slides.

Of course, it doesn’t fit. Why? because the back of the drawer is 1/2″ too wide, causing the back of the drawer to camber out at the sides. ARG! Ok, calm down.. maybe the whole unit can be cannibalized between the two changing table kits we have, to make one functional changing table, and one with all kinds of mismatched parts.

Nope. The second changing table’s sides are drilled wrong, and don’t fit into their back components or the drawer supports. Chalk up two completely mis-aligned, mis-drilled changing tables, both in their own independently unique “wrong” way.

I call StorkCraft again, and tell them the wonderful news, and I demand to speak to an engineer, one who can tell me the exact measurements of the drawer pieces, as we should have received them. I was connected to “Charles”, who tried to understand the issues. He stated that they could send me out another unit, but this time, assemble it all first, to make sure it contained all the right parts.

I calmly told him that we already had 2 full units, and that we only needed the drawer. I didn’t want to have to deal with “Yet Another Changing Table” cluttering our nursery. He agrees to send me just the drawer, after making sure they assemble it first, to make sure it all fits properly.

A week later, we receive the drawer, and as I type this, it is still sitting boxed up, in the nursery. I dread opening it, to find out that it is the wrong piece, in some way.

We also bought a crib, of the same “Aspen” series, which came in two VERY large boxes. The crib went together without a hitch, and wasn’t missing any parts or pieces, and was constructed of 100% “real” wood, drilled properly, and the directions were mated to the unit in question.

Why oh why, can’t people just get it right? Is the world really getting this bad?

Last Modified: Monday, July 12th, 2004 @ 13:15

One Response to “Baby Furniture 101”

  1. […] up with every bolt, and all of the screw holes were countersunk and pre-drilled (this mirrors the horror story we had to endure with the cradle and changing table for Seryn, where after 3 separate physical […]


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