(The following is a letter I sent to Microsoft. I thought you may enjoy it.)
Over the past several (7) years I have had occasion to purchase several (6) items from Microsoft which generally fall under the category of peripherals, cables, dongles, lidkins, bobbits, etc. While in all cases these have been a joy to use and a veritable feast for the eyes and nose, there is one particular aspect with which I find myself compelled to complain:
Im not going to argue that the packaging is wasteful or bad for the environment Ill leave that to others. The problem is simply that accessing the contents of the packaging invariably requires a significant feat of strength, will, perseverance and courage usually inaccessible to ordinary men like me.
I note from the packaging that there is a small
symbol and a dotted line, fancifully implying that I am to cut here. I would invite you to attempt this with the sort of scissors that one might expect to find around an average house. Then again, I am willing to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that the scissors are, in fact, intended to represent a novelty-sized pair of garden shears. Please do, however, consider the following suggestions of different symbols to use, as these may prevent future confusion:
Over the last 7 (several) years, this packaging has caused me so many problems that I have taken to starting to unpack the items whilst at work, in order that the operation may be quickly completed once at home and ready to use the contents. A typical day may be as follows:
13:00 : Lunch break. Visit popular electronics outlet, purchase Microsoft product. 14:00 : Return from lunch, locate scissors. 14:02 : Begin to make my first incision via the small hole from which the product hangs in shops.
14:05 : Catch up on e-mails, compliment co-worker on lovely shoes bought during lunch.
14:30 : Carefully cut up to edge of packaging, before the plastic becomes too thick.
14:35 : Make telephone call to clear up confusion regarding previous e-mail.
14:40 : Go through filing in order to locate information required for important project.
15:00 : Begin assembling information.
15:15 : Gaze out of window longingly at field of greenery.
15:20 : Cut along the long edge of the packaging, taking care not to damage the contents.
15:30 : Check for problems in the file I have been working on, send further e-mails.
16:00 : Repeat previous process, on the opposite side of the packaging.
16:10 : Attend disciplinary meeting re: wielding scissors in a threatening manner
16:40 : Attempt to create a doorway into the packages inner cardboard sanctum. Results vary. 16:45 : Put scissors away and packaging into bag in preparation to leave for home.
16:47 : Complete timesheet and compile days work for review by team leader.
17:15 : Faff about.
17:30 : Leave office and catch variety of trains on commute home.
19:30 : Reach house and retrieve package from bag. 19:32 : Carefully start to tear or cut away the cardboard packaging revealed through opening. 19:33 : Where possible, attempt to free wires from any blockages further inside. 19:35 : With a mixture of luck, hope and sheer bravado, wrench items through small hole made. 19:37 : Wave the contents about in triumph. 20:00 : Remember that I bought it for a reason and sheepishly go to install it.
I think that now I have made clear the problems I (and presumably others) face when opening your packaging, and must apologise for taking up so much of your time with this. I am well aware that as a leading global computer hardware and software corporation you are extremely busy and have certain responsibilities that take priority. With this in mind I have enclosed a reply which you are welcome to use for both my own and similar complaints; simply cut along the line as shown.
Dear Microsoft Customer,
Thank you for your letter concerning Packaging. We are sorry that you feel that the packaging we currently use for our products is less than satisfactory. Your points are noted and will be taken under serious consideration.
Having said this, at Microsoft we feel that it is essential for our products get to you, the end user, in the best possible condition. Our extremely high standards for quality demand that we use sturdy, durable packaging so that the contents are undamaged in transit and are less likely to develop faults in the future. We hope that you understand this and will consider us in future for your hardware needs.
The Whole of Microsoft