Articles Posted in Product Defects

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Trim boards can be great, particularly on the outside of a home.  They add detail and elegance at a relatively low cost.  Homes throughout the country sport them, but that also means that trim board often is exposed to heavy rain, snow, wind and sunlight, all of which can cause wood to rot, decay, swell and, ultimately, develop mold.  Once rot sets in, you can almost push your finger through the board, which has probably become as soft as a wet sponge to the touch.  And rotting trim boards will do little to improve your home’s look or value.

Trim board manufactured by WindsorOne appears to be a prime culprit.  Homeowners have reported that WindsorOne begins to warp, swell and rot shortly after installation and within the warranty period:

Windsor Mill guarantees WindsorONE’s end and edge-gluing for 10 years and its primer for 5 years. Windsor Mill will replace, without charge, any WindsorONE product that is installed according to directions and fails to meet this warranty within that time. Such replacement is the exclusive remedy for breach of warranty with no consequential or other damages recoverable. Continue reading

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Relaxer products are notorious for containing lye – a caustic ingredient that can burn skin and damage hair.  So hundreds of thousands of consumers took the bait when L’Oréal introduced its “NO-LYE” product known as SoftSheen-Carson Optimum Amla Legend No-Mix, No-Lye Relaxer.

L’Oréal’s relaxer is prominently labeled “NO-LYE” to target consumers seeking a gentler alternative.  The Amla Legend line is promoted as a collection of nourishing products infused with Amla oil, a luxurious oil “derived from the Indian Amla superfruit known as the Gooseberry, a powerful antioxidant rich in vitamins, essential fatty acids and minerals.”  L’Oréal markets the Amla Legend relaxer as a “Rejuvenating Ritual” which will provide “fuller, silkier hair” and “respect for hair fiber integrity.”

Large numbers of women big to differ.  Dissatisfied customers from around the country have posted their grievances online.  For example, when we at the Blog last checked, more than 70% of reviewers at Amazon.com gave L’Oréal’s Amla Legend relaxer the lowest possible rating of one star.  Comments included:   Continue reading

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As loyal readers know, we here at The Blog are quite skeptical when it comes to hard-to-believe advertising claims.  The XHose? Too good to be true.  The FlexBelt? Looks like another fibber.  And now ….. the 5 Second Fix.  If you’re like us and watch even a few minutes of late night TV weekly, you’ve probably come across an ad for the 5 Second Fix – a supposed upgrade over traditional superglues that is “welded” with an ultraviolet light shortly after application, allowing you to “fix, fill and seal … in 5 second or less” and achieve a “durable permanent bond” and “everlasting repair.”  But don’t listen to us; hear it from the manufacturer itself:

I mean, you can’t argue with that ad? 5 Second Fix couldn’t actually be a scam or ripoff, right? I mean, look how well it works in that commercial?  But what if 5 Second Fix doesn’t work? Does that mean that 5 Second Fix’s marketing claims are completely bogus?  Unfortunately, our investigation suggests that 5 Second Fix simply doesn’t work as advertised and will not create a permanent bond.  In short, 5 Second Fix likely is a scam product intended to rip off customers for their hard-earned dollars.

As is often the case, Amazon.com tells most of the story.  48& of Amazon’s reviews for 5 Second Fix are ONE STAR.  ONE. STAR.  And although 28% of reviewers gave it 5-stars, other reviewers indicate that rating may be inflated by customers who provide a good review on Amazon in exchange for free, additional tubes of 5 Second Fix.  In other words, 5 Second Fix is using customers unaware they have been ripped off by a product that does not work in order to scam new customers with the exact same defective product!  Just look at some of these reviews: Continue reading

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For many consumers, warranty coverage is one of their primary concerns when spending thousands of dollars on a new mattress. Due to the expense involved—memory foam mattresses cost upwards of $5,000, and even traditional pillow-top mattresses retail for over $1,000—consumers want to know that they can depend on the manufacturer to repair or replace a mattress under warranty for years following purchase. Tempur-pedic and Sleep Number offer twenty-five-year warranties to entice consumers to purchase their products. Serta and Simmons—both of which are owned by the National Bedding Company—also offer long warranties ranging anywhere from 3 to 30 years and include no charge for replacements within the first 10 or so years of ownership.  These long-term warranties should give consumers as much comfort as the mattresses themselves!

Consumers report in droves, however, that Simmons and Serta routinely deny warranty coverage due to the presence of any stain, no matter how small or harmless, on a defective mattress. Don’t believe us? Just listen to some of the incredible stories from affected consumers (postings from www.consumeraffairs.com):

  • After owning a Serta “Beautyrest World Class Recharge Shakespeare Luxury Plush Pillow top Mattress” for about two years, and paying over $2000, the mattress was sagging. So I called Serta, and they send you a “sleep set inspection kit” where you have run a string across the dips in the mattress and take photos from different angles. After doing all this they agreed to replace the mattress. When their team arrived they said that they couldn’t take the mattress because of a small stain!! I called Serta, and was told that the stain voided the warranty because it wasn’t sanitary for their inspection team to open the mattress up and see where the mattress failed. The product was an inferior product with a huge manufacturers defect, and because of a small stain (barley visible) which had nothing to do with the sagging, was a loophole they used to void the warranty. I WILL NEVER BUY ANOTHER SERTA PRODUCT BECAUSE THEY DON’T STAND BEHIND IT!!!
  • We purchased this mattress between 2 and 3 years ago. It has not held up. There are sags and dips plus a back ache to people sleeping on it. It should be covered by a warranty issue except a small stain gets the Beautyrest folks off the hook. Never, never, would I buy from this manufacturer again. This was in our bedroom and we moved it to a guest room buying a replacement. Please note the Beautyrest replaced a mattress which had been in our room over 25 years. Since putting it in the guest room, two different guests mentioned waking up with a back ache. There are other options… Select one.

Continue reading

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Rock-hard, 6-pack abs … we all want them, right? If you love in America and watch enough late night television, you’ve probably seen commercials for everything from the “Ab Roller” to “8 Minute Abs” and everything in between. And it’s clear why—Americans want to look good, but due to our busy lifestyles we want to do as little as possible while still maximizing results. Enter the Flex Belt, Slendertone and Contour ab belt systems: wearable electrical-stimulation belts that tie around your stomach and force your abdominal muscles to contract repeatedly for anywhere from a few sections to a few minutes. Both products are manufactured by the same Ireland-based company and make identical promises: “TONE, TIGHTEN, FIRM AND STRENGTHEN YOUR ABS” … “Get strong, toned abs in weeks” . . . “Slendertone toning products include everything you need to tone, firm and strengthen your muscles. All Slendertone products are clinically proven to deliver results.” And according to the Flex Belt website:

The Flex Belt will stimulate all your major stomach muscles at the same time providing you with the perfect abdominal contraction – that means your upper abs, the lower abs and even your obliques are going to get worked from The Flex Belt… and it does all the work for you. You don’t have to worry about your form or come up with the time to get it done. The Flex Belt is clinically demonstrated to deliver firmer, stronger and more toned abdominal muscles while you are: at home, at work, watching TV, exercising, folding laundry, helping your kids with their homework, taking a walk… virtually anytime and anywhere.

In short, use the Flex Belt, Contour or Slendertone ab belts, and you can expect rock hard abs in a matter of weeks without any of the sit ups or crunches we all dread. The Flex Belt ads say it all. I mean, who wouldn’t want to look like these models with simply the “push of a button”:

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As we’ve repeatedly covered here on the blog, so called “miracle products” that sound too good to be true—like the X Hose, DeckOver and Grassology—usually promise far more than they actually deliver. Consumers instead tend to wind up with fragile products that break far sooner than expected or simply can’t perform as promised. But miracle products only find their way onto the blog because the target market wants to believe the products work and buys them…… and there is no group that needs and wants miracle products more than new and expecting parents….

Enter the Baby Brezza Formula Pro. The Baby Brezza Formula Pro promises customers hassle-free, warm bottles at any time of day or night. But don’t listen to me, hear it from the makers of the Baby Brezza Formula Pro themselves:

Say goodbye to the time and hassle of manually preparing baby’s bottles. Introducing Formula Pro, the revolutionary new way of preparing your baby’s formula bottles. The Formula Pro uses patented technology to measure, dispense and mix water and powdered formula to the perfect temperature and consistency. With the push of a button, you can prepare a bottle within seconds that has no air bubbles. The water and formula powder are stored right in the machine, so it’s always ready for you when your baby gets hungry. The machine works with all bottle sizes and all formula brands and types. You can also choose the amount of formula you want to make: 2, 4, 6, 8 or 10 ounces. The easiest way to prepare baby’s bottles is now right at your fingertips.
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Volkswagen has recently come under serious fire for allegedly fraudulently concealing the true emissions of pollutants in certain of its Volkswagen, Porsche, and Audi diesel vehicles.  An announcement by Volkswagen this week is even more troubling for the company and also for those who own Volkswagen and Audi vehicles.  On Tuesday, Volkswagen announced that an internal investigation revealed what it titled “inconsistencies” in both carbon dioxide emissions and fuel economy of an additional 800,000 vehicles, most of which were sold in North America.  The Volkswagen internal investigation indicated the “inconsistencies” may lower fuel economy of certain vehicles up to 15 percent.

Details have yet to be revealed to the Environmental Protection Agency, which regulates emissions standards and sets the requirements for fuel economy measurements.  Consumers, too, are left in the dark while Volkswagen continues to not fully disclose this important information.

What Do We know and Which Vehicles Are Affected?  Continue reading

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It started with a sheet of ice on the floor of your refrigerator’s freezer that you possibly did not notice right away. Shortly thereafter, water began leaking onto your kitchen floor under your freezer. Perhaps you looked to the Internet for answers, or called up the manufacturer for help. If so, maybe you learned that the issue was a clogged drain hole in your freezer floor. Perhaps you were able to get a temporary fix by defrosting the drain hole and clearing it out. Unfortunately, that fix did not address the defective design of the freezer and within a few weeks, you once again had a mini Rockefeller Center in your freezer. You are not alone. Hundreds of consumers have complained about this issue.

What Is Happening?

Every few hours, a freezer automatically goes into “defrost” mode. The purpose of this mode is not to defrost your entire freezer (if operating properly, your freezer remains cold enough to safely store your frozen foods). Instead, it helps remove frost and ice build-up from the condenser, and theoretically, keeps your freezer and refrigerator operating correctly and efficiently. If all is functioning properly, when the freezer goes into defrost mode, the frost from the condenser melts and drips to the bottom of your freezer. It then passes through a valve and through a drain and collects in a pan on the floor outside of and under your refrigerator. If all goes according to plan, the water in that pan naturally evaporates.  Unfortunately, this is not happening for many with these refrigerators. Continue reading

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Labor Day is approaching and with it, unofficially, summer is coming to an end.  Summer on the east coast this year has be wet, hot, and humid, resulting in a very mosquito-friendly environment.  If you enjoy time outdoors, you have probably tried every possible remedy to rid your outside space of these pesky pests—citronella candles, electronic bug zappers, or even swatting frantically whenever one lands on your body, hoping to beat the bug to the punch.  The latest trend in bug-capturing technology uses LED lights and titanium dioxide to “attract” bugs and a fan to kill them and suck them into a net when they are close.  In theory, these bug trappers are great.  LED lights provide long-lasting, environmental friendly lighting solution, and bug traps incorporating them are cheaper than many other bug control options.  They also give off a cool purple glow, and sometimes when you buy one, you get a second for just the cost of shipping and handling!

Mosquito_2007-2

As Seen on TV! advertises the Buzz Off, and Amazon and other online sites offer similar products by other manufacturers, such as the Dynatrap.

Do these purported miracle inventions actually work though?  Many consumer complaints about products such as Buzz Off or Dynatrap say no.  The manufacturers claim that the LED lights put out ultraviolet (UV) light that attracts bugs to the trap, at which point a fan sucks them in and kills them or prevents them from escaping.  Some, like As Seen on TV’s Buzz Off, also include titanium dioxide, which the manufacturers claim also attract bugs, such as the hated mosquito, because when exposed to UV light, titanium dioxide mimics human scent.  In theory, this setup could work, but the plethora of consumer complaints indicate that these traps often do not work as promised and guaranteed.  Continue reading

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Dishwashers are EXPENSIVE. Like, really expensive. High-end dishwashers can retail for upwards of $2,000. And LG-brand dishwashers, though not at the top of the price heap, will still set you back a cool $1,000 after taxes and fees. But that’s really a small price to pay for the comfort of not having to hand-wash your dishes, isn’t it? But, wait … what if you spent $1,000 on an LG Dishwasher only to learn that it would stop working in a few years … would you change your view on LG Dishwashers if you knew customers complain they will stop working well because they suffer from a defect that within two years would require repairs so expensive that you would be better off simply buying a new dishwasher?

If you’re like many other LG Dishwasher owners, you’ve probably learned this hard truth by now. According to consumer complaints, the pump motor assembly used in LG Dishwashers is defectively designed. Pump motors are critical dishwasher components, including in dishwashers sold under the LG brand name. As the folks at RepairClinic.com explain:

If the dishwasher won’t clean the dishes the pump and motor assembly might be defective. Once the dishwasher fills with water, the pump forces the water through the wash arms in order to spray the dishes. If the motor is defective, the pump impeller is broken, or some part of the pump is clogged, the dishes won’t be clean. If the pump and motor has power to it and will not run it will need to be replaced.

In simplest terms, customers complain that if your LG Dishwasher seems not to be cleaning well, it may be in the early stages failure of pump motor failure.  As the the LG Dishwasher’s pump motor worsens, you may receive an “LE” error code and the motor will stop working completely and leave you scrambling to get it fixed before you have to go back to using your hands. Continue reading