Friday, September 28, 2012

Dear VTech, She Didn't Mean To.

An open Letter to VTech Toys UK:

Dear VTech UK,

We have a situation and she really didn't mean to.

Having watched me spend hours on my laptop my 3yo daughter coveted one of her own from a very young age. And then she found out, through visiting friends' houses, that they make laptops for children. Even for little children like her. "When can I have a compooter?" became a daily question.

Living in Israel it's not so simple a task as just going to the local toyshop and buying one. Of course they have the pre-schoolers' laptops here, this is Israel remember, one of the hi-tech capitals of the world. Our problem was that here all the laptops are programmed in Hebrew and we work in English at home.

No worries however, we just put in a request to Grandma in London. That was last May (2011). Grandma went on a fact-finding tour of all the toy departments in Brent Cross, the Early Learning Centre, Toys R Us and online. Eventually she chose the Pink (of course) VTech Laptop suitable for ages 3-6. Even though DD was only 2 1/2 at the time we were going to grow into it and grow with it.

I knew of someone coming out who was willing to bring it for us but Grandma, understandably, wanted to give it to DD herself. She was coming out for a visit in August. AUGUST!? That was three months away! Every day DD asked me when her compooter was coming. "Grandma is coming," I told her, "soon."

Finally Grandma and the laptop arrived. There was much excitement and DD has spent many hours over the past year listening to the tunes and pressing the buttons. It is only now, however, just over a year later, that she was really beginning to play some of the letter and number games. You were right it is for 3-6yos.

Two days ago DD was cutting out pictures from a toy catalogue that had come through the door. I was amazed at her dexterity and quite intricate pictures were tackled with great success. I only turned round for a minute (as the old song goes) and suddenly a cry of anguish pierced the air. Followed by floods of tears whilst sobbing, "I'm sorry! I didn't mean to! I'm sorry! I was an accident! I didn't mean to..." etc. DD was beside herself. I thought she'd cut her finger off to be honest.

What she had done was just placed the scissors on the cable connecting the mouse to the laptop to see what it felt like. And then she squeezed ever so slightly. Pictures below.




Dearest people at VTech UK, even she knew that this couldn't be fixed with selotake (sic). She really really didn't mean to. We are bereaved and bereft. If you could help us out with a new laptop for a soon to be 4yo I would take lots of photos of it and write lovely things about it (and you) here. You could even just send it to Grandma in London who would arrange for it to get to us. We would love you forever as well. If you would like to contact me I'm on twitter @midlifesinglem.

Thank you for reading,
Very Sad in Jerusalem and her very sad DD.

PS. We're not fussy. It wouldn't have to be a new InnoTab2 or anything fancy, just an old (obsolete even) laptop that we could play letter and number games on. Tnx

Afterword

Within a day VTech Toys UK contacted me and they've been absolutely lovely and very helpful. Thank you VTech. 


23 comments:

  1. Oh no! A little more heartbreaking by the fact she instantly knew she'd made a mistake. Poor DD and poor laptop. Hoping Vtech respond postively; Christmas and all it's equivalents are far too far away! x

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  2. It was heartbreaking actually as she knew she'd ruined something big beyond repair.

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  3. oh so sad! there may be a computer fix it place here that can put it back together for you... good luck!

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    1. Thanks, it looks very specific to the computer though. I could look into that.

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  4. Oy, poor thing! Tweet it out to them, maybe they'll send a replacement..

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  6. I have one - not sure it is Vtech that I could probably sneak out of the house and give you.... T. is 7 now and doesn't touch it. I know if I ask her she will probably say no, but I also know she will never go looking for it. Will you be on Kibbutz for Succot?

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    1. We haven't been invited so probably not. However, I see Sharon regularly now as her parents are in Jm so you could give it to her. I don't want to cause a problem for your daughter so only if you are sure she won't mind. Think about it before you do anything rash. Thanks though :).

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  7. Oh no, what a nightmare. I can feel your pain as I understand it's not just as easy as popping to Argos for a new one. Hope they can help you out.

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    1. How much easier our lives would be if we could just pop to Brent Cross (although I prefer The Harlequin Centre in Watford) even just once a month.

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  8. This reminds me so much of an incident in my childhood! My 'best' doll with luxurious silky hair got a quick trim from me. Well, it was more like 'butchered' really. My mother was horrified and I just couldn't understand her anger. I told her 'Don't worry! It will grow again won't it?'
    Childhood....such a time of innocence and belief!

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    1. Ah, lovely story. DD still believes I can fix most things with selotake or tickytake, but even she knew this one was a gonner.

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  9. Oh no! Poor DD - I really felt her anguish - poor thing - I bet she felt awful. Masking tape in the interim? X.

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  10. I'd have to strip the already short cable and strip the tiny cables inside in order to twist the wires together. I think it's too fiddly. Masking tape on its own wouldn't fool anyone I'm afraid.

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  11. Oh no.... Poor DD. These things are all a part of growing up. I am so pleased that V-Tech have been in touch though, how lovely is that? :)

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    1. very lovely, it was entirely our fault what happened so they were just being extremely caring.

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  12. So sad for her: hope that VTech are going to sort it now for you both x

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  13. oh poor DD - how distressing.
    am glad Vtech are being fab.

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    1. Thanks - she got quite a shock when she realised what she'd done.

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  14. Definitely looks repairable. The wire looks kind of short already in the photo so it might be worth splicing a bit more cable in. Twisting the wires back together will not be very sturdy, it will need soldering. If you've got a computer repair person. Or I could do it after the chag, find me through Emma, I got here by way of her post about the street festival.

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    1. Thanks Warren, as you say, it wouldn't be very stable. we have sorted out an arrangement with Vtech so we're ok. I really appreciate your offer though. :o)

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