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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Post #2 - Black and Decker: There's a Squirrel Trapped in My Leaf Vac

My note to Black and Decker, sent 8/2/2009:

Dear Black and Decker,

On Father’s Day 2008, my eight children, Tommy, Timmy, Tammy, Tad, Todd, Ted, Thad, and Leo, all chipped in and bought me the Black & Decker Blower/Vacuum Leaf Collection System (#BV-006).

This little gem made leaf and grass clipping clean-up a real treat! My heavens! The fabric collection bag makes emptying a real breeze. Big pile, little pile? No worries. Neighbor’s cigarette butts? Not a problem. In no time, my neighbors were calling me “Leaf Buster” as I would effortlessly rid their yards of pesky debris. I was the toast of the neighborhood.

I ran into a little snag, though. One beautiful Saturday morning, I was sucking up a large pile of leaves between my tall arborvitae and the porch. I didn’t feel it, but apparently, I sucked up a squirrel. He was squirming around, right inside the fabric collection bag.

I tried to free him, but when I did, he poked his head out and bit my hand. Then he ran back in. The little guy, who I’ve nicknamed “Arnold”, won’t come out. I tried smoking him out. He seemed to enjoy my neighbor’s second hand smoke. I tried disorienting him and then opening the fabric collection bag. He keeps biting my hand. He was foaming at the mouth.

Now part of this is the fault of Timmy and Tad. They insist on feeding Arnold. I think Arnold, after a steady diet of sunflower seeds and bleu cheese crumbles, has become domesticated. He lacks the survival instincts of an animal in the wild. In fact—I believe Arnold was sleeping in that day that I caught him—it was well after 10:00 AM.

Now I have two problems. First, I’ve had a live animal in my garage, who won’t leave my Black & Decker Blower/Vacuum Leaf Collection System for the past 9 months. Second, my Blower/Vacuum Leaf Collection System is out of commission indefinitely, with leaf season on its way again.

I tried taking it back to Home Depot. He bit the Customer Service Associate, Angela. She refused me. I’ve kept trying to take it back when someone else is working, but she’s always there.

I’m a little upset that this is able to happen. When engineers design products, they generally list out the things they want something to do, and the things they don’t want it to do, and come up with a solution for each. The sucker part is too large, obviously.

Can I return this faulty product directly to Black and Decker by mail? I would promise to include some bleu cheese crumbles, and holes in the packaging, for air. I’m quite certain that I’m not the first to come to you with this design flaw. How did you handle the others? Please advise.


Outcome: No response
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