Thursday, December 06, 2007

One Step Ahead - Sit 'n' Stand Elite Double Stroller Review

I would love to write a fabulously positive review of the One Step Ahead Sit 'n' Stand Elite Double Stroller but I haven't yet been sent one that I can assemble. Now, I consider myself a fairly mechanical guy, able to read an follow assembly instructions without much trouble. I even like getting out my toolbox for these projects.

Here's my problem. Alyssa is 5 mos. old now and Hannah is almost 3 yrs. We decided that it's about time to get a double stroller but we wanted one that would give Hannah the ability to sit or stand, and get on and off with ease and safety. Naomi did the research and decided that the One Step Ahead, Sit 'n' Stand was the way to go.

She ordered it directly from their website, for $179.50 plus $20.28 for standard shipping and handling. We needed it for a trip we are taking Friday, 12-7-07. Her order was plenty early and we received the box on our door step one full week prior to our departure.

I finally got it open to start the "some assembly required" process on Sunday night 12-3-07. It came out of the box neatly packed. I cut all the wire ties, remove the packaging and started the assembly per the instruction sheet. I got through steps one and two, installing all the wheels, then hit a wall on step three, attaching the front passenger footrest. It appeared that the front cross bar on the frame was riveted in backwards or at least the center rivet on that cross bar was put in reversed.

It snapped onto the side rails just fine but when I tried to push it down it wouldn't lock in. As I investigated I noticed that the back side of the plastic footrest was hitting the protruding side of the rivet.

Now I could have taken the rivet off with a hack saw or a grinder but I figured for the price I paid I should have something without manufacturing defects.

I boxed it all back up and called Monday morning to discuss my options. I spoke with a patient customer service rep who told me if I needed a new one rushed out to me in time for my trip, the shipping would cost me about $100.00. I persuaded her to talk to a manager and have that those charges remove. She wasn't easily convinced to try but after a minute of my explaining that I was coming close to being in a tough spot, impending departure and all, she finally said they would absorb the rush shipping for a new stroller, give me a FedEx Return Merchandise Authorization (to cover the return shipping), but I would be charged the cost of the new stroller. A refund for the purchase of the first would be issued upon it's return and varification of defect. I was fine with that. I work in a manufacturing industry of sorts and that's the way we handle similar issues.

I waited all day Monday for the RMA to be emailed to either of the two accounts I asked for it to be sent to. By the end of the day I sent an email back to their customer service address asking for it to be sent. The next morning, Tuesday, I got a response from CS saying it was sent. I couldn't find it anywhere, inboxes, spam folders, deleted items... I finally called again and they offered to fax it to me. The fax was so bad the barcodes are unreadable. Hopefully someone at one of the three authorized FedEx locations I'm told I can take it to, will be able to reprint it.

That takes me to Wednesday. I was planning on running the stroller to FedEx when I got home in the evening but lo and behold the new one had arrived. After the kids were asleep I went to unpack it.

I put the box on it's side on the floor and started to slide the frame out, again neatly packed and all tied up. This time I didn't even pull it all the way out. Though it was collapsed that front cross bar was exposed after moving the canopies, footrest and snack tray out of the way.

Sure enough, this second stroller had the same manufacturing defect. The rivet was in backwards.

I took the footrest out of it's plastic bag and held it up to take these pictures.

The blown up insert is to put things in context.

The highlighted areas show the extended rivet tab and the whole it's supposed to lock into on the underside of the footrest.

This highlight shows better what I discovered with the first stroller. When it's all unfolded and you snap the footrest into place, you can't press it down because it's back side hits against the incorrectly installed rivet.

I'm about to call One Step Ahead again and explain my new situation. The saga continues but I'll update soon.

This whole ordeal has caused some major stress. Now on Thursday, on top of preparing for a trip, I have to get two strollers returned to FedEx with RMAs, then I also have to go our shopping for a new Sit 'n' Stand style stroller. And it won't be the One Step Ahead that Naomi really wanted.


1 comment:

  1. Update: They let me return both. They said all charges would be refunded. Still waiting to see it that happens.

    Naomi hasn't looked into an alternative yet. If anyone has a recommendation, let us know.