Challenges, Consumption

Of Dryer Buttons and Eyebrow Pencil :

I had quite the Monday when it came to things breaking on me!

A few weeks ago, back in the first weekend of May, I went to the large Auchan near my neighbourhood to replace my eyebrow gel. I still use the brand ‘essence’ because the organic alternatives I’ve tried to find in Paris all need to be shipped in… The devil you know beats the devil you don’t, right…?

Wrong! Well, maybe… My brow gel wasn’t in stock, but I didn’t want to leave the Auchan without a replacement product. It’s one of the only things I wear consistently every day, and I wanted to keep my look together!

I ended up selecting two products : a brow gel from Maybelline called “Eyestudio Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara” (say that 5x fast…) and another essence product, called the Make Me Brow Powder Pen. The Powder Pen was €3, and the Brow Mascara was €12; that’s a huge markup over the American prices for the Brow Mascara, but I felt desperate.

When I got home, I set about testing both the products. If one didn’t suit me, I planned to give it to a friend with a promo blush and lipstick that I wasn’t going to use. I opened the Powder Pen first, and it was broken. The puff at the top, pictured above was torn partway off, rendering it unusable. I felt stupid for wasting money on it, and so I sent an email to customer service through the essence makeup website, and moved on. I didn’t hear anything for almost two weeks, so I assumed that the email had gone into a forgotten inbox somewhere.

Lo and behold, around 10am on Monday I received an email from essence asking for the photos of the defect, and the lot number. I had already taken a photo of the defect when I sent the email, but I waited until I got home to send the lot number. I did so from my bathroom, and was reminded that I had done a load of laundry before I left for work that then needed to take a spin in our sad, sad dryer.

Our dryer is a blessing, but it’s more of a warmer than a dryer these days. I’m planning to replace the seal on the door, which should hopefully help the steam fill up the dryer’s reservoir, instead of simply escaping under the door and turning the bathroom into a sauna.

I loaded the dryer, turned the button, and heard a tell-tale snap. I had replaced the dryer button myself in December of 2015, and I knew what that sound meant. I jiggled it gently. Nothing. I twisted again. Nothing. I tried a third time, and snap, snap snap. The button came off in my hand.

In the next 30 minutes, I had accomplished a number of things out of frustration.

First, I opened the top of the dryer, hand cranked the button, and started the machine.

Second, I contacted Bosch France, from whom I purchased the button (€12 for the button plus €9 in shipping!) by way of a terse email about receiving an exchange for a part that broke in just over a year, along with my original order number.

Third, I dug out the super glue, because if Bosch doesn’t offer me a free part, I will be damned if I pay another €21 to replace something that should have lasted much longer than a year. Fool me once, Bosch!

I didn’t end up super-gluing anything that night because it was nearly 11pm and it seemed like the wrong time to play with something that would require a solvent to undo. I am, however, going to see what can be done about it tonight. Bosch hasn’t responded yet, but I plan on sending weekly emails to customer service until someone contacts me. I’m very disappointed in the quality of the button, but it’s much more expensive to replace my entire dryer out of spite than it is to replace an eyebrow powder…

Wish me luck as I continue to wade through this world of broken things and (likely) manufactured obsolescence!



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