Monday, May 3, 2010

Just say NO to Munchkin Trainer Cups

Here are a series of emails I have been exchanging with the Munchkin Customer Service. I do not recommend these cups with your little ones.

My 1 year old daughter recently transitioned from a bottle to a cup a few weeks ago. We chose your munchkin trainer cup with the soft silicone spout because it seemed the transition would be an easy one. Yesterday, as she was drinking her milk, I noticed she was chewing on something. I am sad to report that the soft no spill spout had broken off into her mouth. I am so glad I that I was sitting right there with her and caught this before she swallowed it or worse choked on it. This cup was brand new when we got it and had only been hand washed. We never put it in the dishwasher. I am not sure what caused the plastic piece to break off, but I do think it is a problem that you should look into. We will no longer be using your munchkin cups, and I now feel compelled to inform all of my mommy friends of this instance.
Holly

Thank you for contacting us, we recognize that customers like you have made Munchkin the company it is today, and we truly appreciate hearing from you. I’m very sorry to hear that the spout to your Mighty Grip trainer cup has torn.

So that I may better assist you, could you please confirm if your child was biting and/or chewing on the spout, before it tore?

Sincerely,

Amanda Maria
Consumer Relations
818-893-5000 x546
F: 818.893.6343
amanda.maria@munchkin.com

Amanda, The chances are very high that my 12 month old daughter was chewing on the cup. She is teething after-all, as are most children her age. I am unable to watch her every move with the cup, therefore we have chosen to go with the Playtex brand cup that has the valve on the inside of the lid instead of right there on the spout. The chance of something coming off in her mouth is reduced dramatically, I believe. Thank you for getting back with me so quickly. I am glad to know that you will look into your cup and hopefully make some changes. I don't want to cause any problems, just prevent them from happening in the future. Sincerely, Holly

Thank you for following up with me.

The Mighty Grip silicone spouts and straws are not designed to be chewed or bitten as this may lead to leakage or tearing. As such, we recommend that the product be discarded and replaced at the first sign of weakness or damage. This information is stated on the packaging and instructions for each cup. If you child was biting or chewing on the spout, which caused it to tear, then it may not be suitable for her.

Nevertheless, we value your input and work hard to make moms (dads) like you 100% satisfied with our products and I will be sure to pass along your concern for our Mighty Grip cups. Our management and product development teams are constantly reviewing our products to make improvements based on consumer feedback.

Sincerely,

Amanda Maria
Consumer Relations
818-893-5000 x546
F: 818.893.6343
amanda.maria@munchkin.com


Your email below states: This information is stated on the packaging and instructions for each cup. I have a Munchkin Mighty Grips TRAINER Cup in the package on my counter to go back to the store now. No where on the package does it say they should not be chewed on. If it stated this in the instructions that are INSIDE the cup, I missed that. I would not have spent money on these cups (4 in total) if it was clearly stated ON the package. They do say TRAINER on them which implies that these cups are meant to be used by children learning how to use a sippy cup. It also clearly states that these cups are for 6 mo+. Children learning how to use a sippy cup and who are 6 mo+ WILL be teething and are VERY likely to chew on them.

-Holly

Hi Holly,

I have pulled several samples of our Mighty Grip cups (all styles) from our warehouse and confirmed that the statement is on the packaging. I apologize that your Mighty Grip trainer cup does not have the biting/chewing statement on it and have informed our Quality Assurance department for their review.

In regards to the instructions, the statement is made as shown in the attached document.

If you have any further questions or concerns please let me know.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Amanda Maria
Consumer Relations
818-893-5000 x546
F: 818.893.6343
amanda.maria@munchkin.com

I don't mean to be a pain in the neck, I just wanted to show you the pics of the cup that I have here. I know the picture quality is not the best, but no where on my cup does it state that a child should not bite on the cup. I really do think your company should look at the wording on these cups. They should not be recommended as trainer cups. A child could bite the valve off all too easily. Once I open the cup and read the directions, I feel it is too late.

Holly



Hi Holly,

Thank you for providing me with pictures of the cup packaging.

I will forward these to our Quality Assurance department for further review.

Sincerely,

Amanda Maria
Consumer Relations
818-893-5000 x546
F: 818.893.6343
amanda.maria@munchkin.com





28 comments:

Anonymous said...

That's absurd that their only response is "We'll send your concerns to quality assurance". It's like they're arguing with you that it's YOUR mistake that THEIR product is insufficient enough to withstand obvious normal usage. I will most definitely spread this information to all of my friends, family and clients so that they don't try these cups. I have a feeling once word spreads the company will be back in touch with you to cover their asses. I'm confident that you're not the only one with an issue, just maybe the first in a long line of people waiting to complain.

- Concerned Daddy.

truu03 said...

I'm sorry, but if a product is meant for 6+ months and is soft and designed to be in the mouth of a child that age, IT WILL BE CHEWED!!! It is pure insanity to think otherwise. I also think the charming way they tried to turn it into your oversight/irresponsibility was extra special. BOO to Munchkin! Go get'em Holly!

Debi said...

This is really scary - as a mom of a 3yr old and a new little one on the way. I would think they would attempt to:

a) treat the matter like a recall issue

b)Refund you your money

c) Point you to an alternate product that would work better.

I only own a few Munchkin brand items but this'll make me think 2x before buying their stuff again!

Disappointed Mommy

Anonymous said...

You should report this to the CPSC, along with all the documentation. They have the power to force manufacturers to recall defective products, or at least issue warnings about unsafe products. I know some folks who work for a national baby magazine, in the meantime I'll pass this along to them.

Anonymous said...

I would have to agree with the other comments posted. Not even an offer of a refund is absurd. And yes, if a child isn't big enough to drink out of a normal cup AND is teething, they WILL bite! (Heck I chew on my drink straws from fast food places now!) Another example of uncaring business practice where money comes first and customer second.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cilla said...

Are you kidding me with the horrible customer service?? I'm really disappointed with Munchkin! Thanks Holly for bringing this to our attention!

Mandi said...

I am completely disgusted by their lack of concern!! I'm confident that you're not the only one with an issue and pray that someone's sweet, precious child does not get harmed from their obviously defective product. This should be reported IMMEDIATELY!

I used Munchkin Trainer Cups with my first child but WILL NOT be using them as my second transitions to a cup. Fortunately, there is a lot of competition in this market... I will be sure to choose a maker that can ASSURE the quality of their cups.

I too will spread this information to all of my friends, playgroup, preschool mommies and family.

truu03 said...

For more info on this product, check out the link listed below. PLEASE NOTE: there is NO warning about chewing. The VERY FIRST comment relates a near choking incident. I think Munchkin should be aware of how dangerous the product is.

http://www.amazon.com/Munchkin-Mighty-Trainer-2-Pack-Colors/dp/B001QXCF12

Pam said...

You took the time to tell them about your concern (a very serious one) and this is their response?? That's ridiculous. Just based on this response to the safety of their sippy cups, an item that would go into my child's mouth, I will not buy their products again.

Anonymous said...

This is awful! I can't believe that they would treat you that way! You clearly stated in the first message that it was a brand new cup...there is NO way that it should have come off that quickly...Maybe after a year of washing it in the dishwasher, but only after a few hand washings! Yikes!

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with all of the comments posted and as a concerned grandmother - I cannot believe the type of response given to this. I will no longer be purchasing Munchkin sippy cups for my grandchildren.

Shelly said...

Wow you get them girl. I think it's great you are telling them about it. before some elses little one isn't so lucky. I will never use those products again. Like you said they are always chewing and teething at this age. Thanks for the information.

..Shelly

Lisa said...

I agree with all the other posts here! This issue is a HUGE CONCERN, at ALL parent's need to me made aware of! I am appalled at the lack of feeling and genuine concern in Munchkin's response to you! Thank God Mabry is safe, and hopefully we can help spread this word fast so that any other unsuspecting sweet babies can be kept safe as well! Well written Holly, I look forward to seeing how this all ends up! I for one am NOT going to purchase any munchkin products any time soon!

Milk Maker said...

that is ridiculous to assume a cup designed for a 6 month old would not be chewed on! hopefull they will change some things and make their products more safe.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for trying to make a difference for parents and children everywhere, Holly! Too bad Munchkin doesn't see it that way. CPSC for sure.

Z said...

Wow. I'm trying to transition my daughter to a sippy cup and I was wondering which ones to get...thank you for sharing this, I definitely won't get her the Munchkin brand! Especially after that condescending exchange with their "customer service" rep. Glad little Mabry is okay. You must have been scared to death!

Anonymous said...

I can't believe the company would respond in such a way and on top of that, at minimum not offer any type of refund, credit, etc...
just unethical to turn a blind eye to the clear problem and accuse the consumer of not following directions. don't make your target market a 6month+ if your product should not be used by a 6 month old without endangering the baby of choking. really poor on the company's part to blatantly argue and accuse the customer of misuse and also to not treat the issue (as it clearly is one as noted on amazon, one of the most frequented consumer sites on the web) as a recall. I will definitely spread the word to stay away from these cups and the company that makes them!

Holly said...

I deleted a comment only because the same comment showed up two times, and not for any other reason.

Adam said...

Thanks babe for watching our little girl and caring for her well being, clearly not all companies out there make the same effort. Considering Mabry chews on anything in sight these days (my fingers, my face, my shoulder, etc.), it is pretty safe to assume she will continue to chew on cups and this cup clearly was not made for her or any other young child for that matter. What kid does not chew on their cup?

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for the heads up! We have one of these Munchkin cups we received as a gift- I definately won't be letting Charlotte have it on her own. With that soft top, its a given that babies/toddlers are going to chew on it!!

Amanda Boswell said...

*fuming*

Thank GOD that Mabry is okay and that you were there. I am right there with you that as mothers, we cannot have our eyes on our children 100% of the time. You are such a prudent, attentive concerned parent that I would think Munchkin would value your feedback, but apparently not. It sounds like they would rather wait for their product to fail in the hands of a less diligent parent with disastrous consequences before they make a change.

I am appalled that Munchkin company would knowingly continue to defend their product after such a failure/close call, and especially angry that they point to their warnings on instructions despite their packaging/marketing which constitutes recommended use, as far as I'm concerned.

I'm hoping it doesn't require a law suit for them to change their product and/or packaging (or go out of business, as far as I'm concerned). I hope nobody ever has grounds to sue them for an injury. But I do hope the CPSC sits up and makes Munchkin do what they should have done in the first place.
The market is FULL of other sippy cups, and even alternatives to sippy cups.
Also, Casey says call Ken Amaro (I'm Telling Ken on one of the Jacksonville news stations).

Rosie South said...

Cathee Boswell a Grandmother, blogger, my spacer, twitter user believes in the old saying telegraph, telephone, tell a woman. I will. You as a company is not acting responsible. May be the TODAY Show, 60 minutes and TMZ. Ain't the internet wonderful!

ewstephens said...

Yes- we used those cups with my daughter and they split easily- the tops are easily puncture and can completely come apart. Our playtex cups have lasted almost 4 years- with the same child doing the SAME things to them... Munchin Cups- are a NO

Anonymous said...

thank you for posting this my son is 1yr n i have bought the munchkin cup as a transition cup awhile back n had the same problem in my case the "valve" didnt come off all the way but it did break.
its a shame how they responded b/c 6m-up babies ARE going to chew on everything they put in their mouths. Munchkin better get their act together before something bad happens!!

Anonymous said...

Did you try to contact a higher ranking representative at Munkin? I'm sure executives would be appalled by her response. Keep making noise!!! The squeaky wheel gets oiled!!

tylersmom said...

I am glad that we, as mommies, are looking out for not only the safety of our children but everyone else's children. My son is almost 4 and choking is still my primary concern. Their windpipes are still so small and in an instant things can change for the worse. I pray that you are able to spread the word even further and that our voices are heard. There is no reason for a company like Munchkin to sell sub-par sippy cups and they must realize that this will transition into the decision-making process of whether or not to purchase any of their products.

Maybe they should be a little more in tune with moms when testing these products. I think any of us here could have glanced at this product and age range and told them 'yep, my child will try to chew on that.'

Thank you again for taking the time to pursue this.

Chrystal said...

I have had one of these cups for over a year and it is in great shape. It goes in the dishwasher twice a day as it is the only one I have and the only cup my kid will drink out of. I think you just got a dud. My kid chews through cups all the time, but not this one (yet). I would venture to guess that there is no such thing as a chew proof cup anyway. It is unfortunate that you took out your anger on a front line employee who seemed very nice and accommodating to me and did not deserve to be treated that way - its just her job.