Monday, August 22, 2011

Hello, Customer Service?

My Precocious Daughter started middle school today.

To whom do I direct a cosmic complaint?

One at a time, people, or I swear to Me I'll start smiting.
My child seems to be growing at an unacceptably accelerating rate. She was in diapers, like, yesterday. Now she wears a bra. Does that sound right to you?

Also, was she supposed to be five feet tall at birth?
Something strange has happened to her legs, too. They're all stretched out and reach the end of her bed. There's no way she'd fit in her crib if I tried to put her in it now. I knew that was going to happen - I do try to be an informed consumer - but I didn't think it was supposed to happen so soon. I thought I had, I don't know, another decade or so. Are you sure it's not some kind of software glitch?

It's just that I had no complaints with PDaughter v1. I didn't need the upgrade yet. We were all so happy with the grade school model. I remember her first day of kindergarten. She was tiny. She had a mouth full of baby teeth. Those have already fallen out, and we're having to hold their replacements together with braces. That's a workmanship problem, if you ask me. Also, she couldn't pronounce her "r"s very well. It was really cute, and yes, PDaughter v2 can say them correctly, but it wasn't an issue I would have rushed to address, given the choice.

I might have gone for the attitude tune-up first.
So now, where I had this compact offspring unit with all the features I wanted, I suddenly have this new model that I didn't order. What's more, she doesn't seem to be backward-compatible with PDaughter v1. For example, this middle school version reads her own books and hardly ever asks for help with the big words any more. She watches "Project Runway" instead of "Dora the Explorer." She helps with the cooking and cleaning. OK, I admit that's a pretty good upgrade. But along with it I've lost the ability to dry her off when she gets out of the shower. I'm not sure that's a true equivalency.

Some of the new features are interesting, granted. It's pretty cool that she likes art museums and musical theatre. It was cool when she liked Elmo, too, but this seems to be a user-friendly advancement in the technology. On the other hand, all of a sudden we can't pay kid's price when we go anywhere. I know progress is costly, but really, why is everything more expensive now?

Oh, and her fuel costs have skyrocketed. Frankly, PDaughter v2 eats like a horse. She's always hungry. And along with that, she keeps outgrowing her clothes. Which also cost more because they're bigger and trendier. What I wouldn't give to be able to put her in onesies again. They don't make them in her size. I checked.

That's maybe not a bad thing.
And don't think I don't know about the whole planned obsolescence thing. As surely as my little grade-schooler has been replaced by this goofy middle school model, in just three years I'll find myself dealing with PDaughter v3: The High School Package. I've seen how difficult it is to maintain those things. There are curfews, boyfriends, driving lessons, homecoming dances - so many peripherals to juggle. And I've noticed that a lot of the features that come standard now - like smiling and wanting to spend time with me - will become optional, and may even be unavailable for long periods. Makes the middle school model look like a pretty good deal. Very clever marketing, I must admit.

But I'm not going down that road just yet. I've got to learn to navigate this sixth-grade hardware that's landed in my lap. I'm not too happy about it. I've already discovered that there are no returns or refunds, which strikes me as very poor customer service indeed. Not every consumer is ready to upgrade as soon as you'd like her to. I would have held on to PDaughter v1 a little longer. Just a little. Because I'm going to miss her.

Heck, I still miss Pong.
Anyway, where do I file a complaint? I don't realistically think there's anything that can be done, but I can't be the only person who's facing this problem. I just want to add my voice to the tally. Maybe if enough of us complain, then by the time I have a PGranddaughter, they'll have figured out how to stop this from happening.

1 comment:

  1. Very funny! Unfortunately the product keeps evolving whether you like it or not. Just ask me: I'm on Version 3.0, and there are lots of bugs in it. I keep getting these annoying popups asking me to pay for add-ons such as new clothing, cellphone, iPods and haircuts, whereas the software performance hasn't been improved for two years.


You're thinking it, you may as well type it. The only comments you'll regret are the ones you don't leave. Also, replies to threads make puppies grow big and strong.