Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Why 'The First Years' baby gate sucks

(Originally posted on Tuesday, July 8, 2008 by Cathy)

As anyone who has visited us lately knows, we have a "The First Years" "Simple and Secure" baby gate (made by The Learning Curve) at the top of our stairs. We've had it there for a bit over a year. There aren't a whole lot of baby gates that fit across a wide opening that are also safe for stairs, so we thought this one was a find.

Then on Sunday night, the knob broke. Now we can't open it without two hands and some prying. So I called the company up, hoping I could order a replacement piece. Nope. But if I'd give her the date code, she could tell me if they'd replace it, which they might do although it is out of warranty (apparently you only get a 90 day warranty). However, if they do decide they'll replace it anyway, they will only do so AFTER receiving the knobs. So I'm supposed to leave this broken gate at the top of my stairs (where it is a hazard if we needed to leave quickly) or take it down (leaving us with no way to stop D from plunging down the stairs while I wait for the knobs to arrive there, and for them to ship a new gate back to me.

I asked if I could pay now and get a refund after they got the knobs. Nope.

Oddly enough, no one carries this gate locally any more. Do you think they've gotten tired of having broken gates returned. We're certainly not the first people to break this knob in exactly this way, as I discovered last night when I went to see if I could order it from Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/review/product/B0000798KZ/ref=cm_cr_dp_all_summary?%5Fencoding=UTF8&showViewpoints=1&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending says we're not exactly the first to see it break.