(Note: It is acknowledged Rubbermaid is a registered trademark, not indicated as such within this posting only because of technical restrictions of the format)
Hi, Captain Consumer here! I just declared myself a superhero and adopted that name. I got unusually good reaction to a posting I did a few months back. Actually, I’ve discussed the issue a few times previously. It has to do with consumer product packaging. I was born with a gene that makes me supersensitive to the pictures on packaging that do not accurately depict the product inside. Last time it was crab cakes, this time it’s not the illustration itself that has me upset, but the deceptive design of the packaging and obscure disclosure.0.
Okay, what started today’s rampage? Rubbermaid. Yep, Rubbermaid, a company whose products I’ve always purchased with absolutely no hesitation. They make all kinds of quality household goods from outdoor sheds to picnic coolers, to big and small trash cans, to a gazillion boxes and containers. Oh, did I say containers? You’ve seen the ones for food storage that all the supermarkets sell. You know, the ones with the bright red lids. I’ll bet at least half of America’s refrigerators, at this very moment, have at least one Rubbermaid container filled with some kind of leftover sitting on a shelf inside. And what do you do when you discover you don’t have the right size container or some of the lids mysteriously no longer fit any of the bottoms? You buy more Rubbermaid containers. Of course you do.
And so, today I got some new Rubbermaid. I bought two of the super big ones because I never have a large enough container when I make chocolate chip cookies. Then I got a 3-pack of small containers for things like leftover veggies. And now we’ve come to the main event! This package appeared as it always has (see second picture beIow). There were three food storage containers stacked together as usual, but when I pulled them out of the cardboard sleeve , guess what? They consisted of one container of the size I expected, and two SMALLER ones stacked inside the larger one. That’s the three of them pictured below.
Of course, Rubbermaid will tell me they weren’t being deceptive since it is clearly disclosed on front of the sleeve that the containers vary in size. Hence the next picture.
Now, you tell me, if you have been buying Rubbermaid food storage containers for several years and they’ve always been packaged the same way and the containers in each package have always been the same size…well, you get my point.
Oh God, all I can here is my father oft-quoting Sir Walter Scott: “Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.” Why is it so hard for some companies to simply be truthful when their economy calls for a product price change? I rather pay another honest dime or two than have their marketing experts sit around their board room contriving ways to make obscure changes, thinking I’m too stupid to notice. Is that too much of a stretch for Rubbermaid? Shouldn’t be …think of their name.