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Roedy Green’s Product Pans

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Introduction Electric Kettles
Post Honeycomb Cereal Campbell’s Soup
Flexon Eyeglass Frames Links
Colgate Toothpaste.


These are the products I personally pan. They don’t live up to their advertising hype.

Post Honeycomb Cereal

Post Honeycomb cereal

This entry is about outright fraud, not just an inferior product. Post Cereals defrauded me and many other people of $40 ($35 for a promised shirt + $5 for selling me two boxes of mostly air.). Post Honeycomb Cereal put an offer on the box for a $35 value Reebok PlayDry T-Shirt. The tee-shirt allegedly had special technology to keep you dry and cool. The deal was you had to buy two large boxes of cereal for about $5 each.

I should have been alerted to Post’s lack of integrity by the obviously inflated claim about the value of the T-shirt. The boxes were each only half full and the Honeycomb cereal itself was mostly air — more intent to defraud. However, the taste of the cereal was perfectly acceptable. I went to the website with my two codes. Post said the offer had been too popular so they were reneging, and offering nothing in its place. The whole point of the offer was to sell cereal, not to lose money. So obviously there was budget for more shirts from the landslide sales. I wrote Post an angry email. They wrote back.

Thank you for contacting Post Foods.

We are sorry to learn of your experience with Post Reebok Playdry promotion and we thank you for bringing this matter to our attention

Promotions are scheduled for a specific amount of time or while supplies last. Due to the popularity of this promotion our supplies have been depleted and we are unable to secure additional Reebok t-shirts. Please be assured that the cereal inside the carton is still good as it has not reached it’s Best Before date. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused. Your comments have been forwarded to our Marketing Team and will be taken into account for any future promotions.

Thank you for taking the time to share your comments with us. We truly appreciate your loyalty and patronage.

Matthew Hunter
Consumer Response Representative

I don’t think he actually read my letter, or he would not have presumed my loyalty and patronage. The contest expiration date is 2012-10-08. I tried to redeem my coupons four months prior to the expiry date. I did my part. They reneged on theirs. Presumably Reebok gave them a special price on a lot to promote their shirts. They could pay Reebok a higher price. They could offer some other piece of clothing worth $35. At the very least they could offer coupons for two more boxes of cereal. They could even send a cheque for $35 :-) If they want to cancel a promotion prior to the expiry date, they should put stickers over the promotion on the boxes.

Flexon Eyeglass Frames


I wish to warn you about Marchon’s Flexon Eyeglass Frames. When you first buy them you will love them. They are so comfortable, with your eyes closed, you would have trouble telling if you were wearing them. Going back to conventional frames is like donning medieval torture devices. The temples and bridge are made of titanium memory alloy that remembers its shape when bent. The frames and hinges are ordinary metal.

Unfortunately, the hinges are even more delicate than ordinary frames so you cannot treat them as roughly as the commercials suggest. I had to take mine in every month to be repaired. After nine months the grey coating on the temples was completely worn off. The glasses kept slipping off. Eventually, after about a year, the hinges broke completely and Flexon replaced them under the two year warranty. They too soon fell apart and I abandoned them for some sturdy conventional frames.

Colgate Toothpaste.


My complaint is not with the Colgate toothpaste per se, (though I find the taste somewhat unpleasant) but with the infernal flip top cap. It simply won’t stay closed. One time it burst open during a plane flight and sprayed the bleaching toothpaste all over everything. Further, the cap is hard to keep clean. The toothpaste has plasticisers in it that make it turn to chewing gum when it dries, which makes it even harder to keep the cap clean.

I wrote a letter to Colgate complaining. They explained I could unscrew the cap if I preferred the old fashioned method. That was not my complaint. My complaint is the flip top cap won’t stay closed, whether you use it or not. To add insult to injury, they sent me three coupons good for three more giant-sized tubes of the product!

I suppose I could continue to use their toothpaste, using a cap borrowed from a competitor’s product, but by then I was too ticked with them to bother. Competitor Aquafresh comes with an oversized twist lid that does not pop open.

Electric Kettles


My complaint is with every electric kettle I have ever owned. I get the impression their designers never actually tried using them to boil water. Here are some of the typical design flaws:

The advantages of electric kettles over stove top versions are:

Kettles are an interesting failure of capitalism. There is plenty of competition, but the manufacturers complete only on stylishness and cheapness. The kettles look great and the prices are reasonable. The problem is with safety and durability, attributes that are not obvious from a cursory look at the kettle before you buy. Well known name brands like Black & Decker and Sunbeam are no protection from design incompetence/malice. The worst was a the Rival that could not even handle boiling dry. My  $50.00 CAD My Toastess TJK-55 packed it in after a few months. The $90.00 CAD Cuisinart CJK-17 packed it in after under a year. I bought it primarily because of its 3-year warranty. The dead kettle has been in the ABC Appliances shop since 2008-06 awaiting a replacement. The retailer warned me even it too was a disposable and should not be expected to last past the warranty. It does not whistle and the tiny on-light is placed on the kettle so that it is hard to see. The on off switch is almost invisible. The lid pops open unexpectedly exposing your hand to blast of steam. When the kettle is full, you pretty well have to hold the kettle high up on the handle, to heft the weight, exposing yourself to potential scalding.

If you read online reviews of cordless kettles, you will discover, no matter how much you are willing to pay, you can’t get a durable design. The base is the Achilles heel of all the high end kettles, a piece of deliberate planned obsolescence.

I tried a corded Proctor Silex K2070. It is a cheap 1000 watt kettle without whistle or concealed element. I burned myself the third time I used it by bracing my grip by putting my thumb just above the handle. Steam also comes out all around the on off switch and. It is hard to hold when full just by the handle. You need to put your thumb on the top to brace and get leverage. I burned myself time and time again because that is the natural way to hold the kettle. The light is placed so it is visible only if you turn out the room lights or look at the kettle from the rear. The feet fell off on the first day. I reattached them with silicone glue. When you pour the water, it comes out the sides as well as the top because the lid does not seal properly. Does anyone actually try these kettles out before putting them into production?

My sister bought a Braun Wk200 kettle. You have hold the on switch down for 10 seconds or so before it will start to boil. Then she bought an Oster Stainless Steel 360° kettle that remarkably does not scald you and has not yet died. However, it does not whistle and it has a plate mechanism similar to others that are not durable.

Oster 5966-33 kettle
Oster 5966-33 kettle

I bought an Oster 5966-33 on 2012-01-13 for $50.00 CAD .

This is looking promising as the best kettle since the indestructible GE kettle my mother used for forty years till her death. Of course, if you inadvertly touch it, you burn yourself, but nearly all kettles do that.

Campbell’s Soup

Campbell’s Soup

We bought some Campbell’s Chunky Chicken à la King Soup ready to eat. It consisted of a mixture of flour and water with count ’em, one chunk of chicken in the whole can. Campbell’s has only one more step to go in cheating the customer and I don’t intend ever to taste it.

Design A Kettle Project
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