About a week ago I got a great deal on a new office chair to use at our computer desk. It was $89 during a big office chair sale at our near-by office supply store.
But when I came up here early this morning to write a post, even before I turned on a light, I could see something white laying under the chair. My great buy was already falling apart!
Can you guess what it is that had fallen off? It’s that universally feared label that says “Under penalty of law this tag not to be removed.” Although, I guess because of all the jokes over the years about these tags, this new “improved” version of the tag does say, “Under penalty of law this tag not to be removed except by the consumer.” The rest of the tag talks about flammability and lists the materials used in the seat cushion. Well, okay. Since I’m the “consumer” I guess I can just throw that tag away.
But wait, after I turned on the light and took this picture, I happened to notice that another white label was hanging down from the back side of the chair, also ready to fall off. So I pulled it off and read it. Hmmm, that hanging-by-a-thread label read, “WARNING Do not remove this tag.” (Oops!) Well, I already had it off so I might as well read it. It lists six points that I can see a bunch of lawyers coming up with while sitting around a long table in a conference room somewhere:
. This chair has been tested and approved for users weighing up to 225 lbs. (100 kg). It is not recommended for use by anyone weighing more than 225 lbs. (100 kg).
. This chair is designed for sitting on the seat only and nothing else. Do not stand on or use as a step ladder. Do not sit on the arm rest.
. This chair is designed for seating one person at a time.
. Tighten all screws, knobs, bolts and parts firmly or otherwise do not use.
. EVERY MONTH (my emphasis), check all screws, knobs and bolts and firmly tighten any that have loosened.
. If any parts are missing, damaged, or worn, stop using immediately. Repair the chair with manufacturer supplied parts only. Replacement parts can be obtained by calling Customer Service.
Well, I’ve now slapped that DO NOT REMOVE sticker back on the underside of the chair, so I think we’re “legal” for now.
But I have to be honest, I’m guessing it won’t be too long before we’re “out of compliance” with these instructions. I’m having trouble picturing us “checking all screws, knobs and bolts” every month!
Who knew that a cheap little office chair would have so many instructions with it, and require maintenance checks about as often as a 747!
I think it’s obvious that a label that says “do not remove” but is falling off indicates a little bit of a quality control issue. But, more importantly, I think the fact that a company finds it necessary to write the detailed instructions listed above for a simple little office chair, speaks clearly to the fact that we live in a litigious society where companies feel the need to list many common sense instructions on any product to avoid being sued.
If I’d wanted to own something this high maintenance, I could have got a dog — at least it would have met me at the door!