Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Discontinued Products

My favorite hairspray was just discontinued. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, we are all supposed to go to the Aussie hair products web site and take the "no-helmet hair" pledge, so why the meltdown? I like my helmet hair! I refuse to vow to wear long, flat, thin hair, as if that were even an option. Since less than three hundred have taken their pledge, obviously, I am in good company. Hair spray is the only thing that gets me through the day with my dignity in semi-respectable status. I used to be eighteen too. I used to have long, flowing tresses, even though I wasn't one of those people gifted by birth with beautiful, thick, manageable hair, but when you reach a certain age, Mother Nature says, "I want your hair to look awful. I want it to go gray, get thin and disappear." Health issues force people to take medications that also wreak havoc on hair quality. Every day becomes a bad hair day. Hair spray is the only product standing between me and a loony bin.

So why do they discontinue products people like and buy? They want you to have to buy a dozen more products before you find another one you like. That means everyone who liked a discontinued product will have to buy a dozen more products than if they had just continued buying the one they liked. The market flourishes while the landfills pile up more unused, unsuitable products that we discard. Not only did my favorite hair spray disappear, so did my favorite razor, lipstick, bra, briefs, hand cream, and the list goes on and on. They claim that they put out a new, improved product. Isn't that what Coke said when they decided to remove the old reliable, successful product that people loved and caused a world-wide revolt? An improvement is when a company puts my favorite hand cream in a bottle with a pump dispenser instead of in a bottle with a tiny hole that you can't squeeze out the cream. An improvement isn't to discontinue the product altogether. An improvement is to change the color on the package. We have a joke in my family that if we visit a furniture store and actually buy something and pay the one-year extended guarantee on the fabric, that furniture store is doomed to close within the year. The same seems to be true of any product that I find that I like. It is going to be discontinued in short order.

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