Our trampoline has seen better days so we thought we would spruce it up a bit and splash out on a new pad to go round the edge, and a new enclosure and pole pads. These last two items are particularly helpful when it comes to retaining enthusiastic jumpers within the trampoline environment, i.e, it stops folk from falling off.

On 20th June 2012 I called up Outdoor Toys Direct, the company we bought the trampoline from in Spring (ho ho!) 2008 and was a little surprised to find the replacement costs of the new parts came to £130, compared to an original purchase price of just under £200 for the whole kit and kaboodle. I didn’t really want another trampoline cluttering up the place so I bit the bullet and ordered the spares. Here’s a summary of what happened next:

Money taken from account, email confirmation arrives

25th June: Pad and enclosure delivered minus pole pads

26th June: Called and asked for pole pads, more emails arrived confirming extra pads ordered

28th June: Pole pads arrived, not enough sent. Delivery driver won gold medal for unhelpfulness

28th June: Called and asked for more pole pads, more emails arrived confirming extra pads ordered

3rd July: Pole pads arrived

Finally, all the raw ingredients are here now we can revamp the tramp! New pad goes round the outside edge of the trampoline, nicely does it. Pole pads go on, nicely does it. We get the enclosure out, it’s the wrong size 🙁

4th July: Called and asked for correct size enclosure. Staggeringly I’ve remained polite throughout despite all the cock ups and a distinct whiff of indifference every time I call. On this last call I explained that I’d really like to get this trampoline in shape before the weekend when 15 kids are gonna rock up and want to play on it.

5th July: Email arrives confirming correct size enclosure ordered, it looks like the final piece of the puzzle may just arrive in time…

6th July: Email arrives confirming my money has been refunded.

I’m guessing that Outdoor Toys Direct have given up. Maybe they can’t source the part we need? Maybe they just can’t be arsed any more? Who knows? I certainly don’t know because they’ve not told me anything. I’d love to see the employee handbook for this place, I bet the Customer Service pages are blank, or perhaps they show a flow chart ending with the company sticking two fingers up to their customers? And if this is how they treat their customers, I hate to think about how they treat their staff.

Dealing with this company is exhausting, I’m way too tired to write a song about it. But if I could rap (which thankfully for you I can’t), I’d probably rap something like this:

I ordered some spares for our trampoline, The fuss came next like a ruptured spleen

I called many times (how many?) Umpteen, Hanging on the phone I need my caffeine

I just wanna cover made of polypropylene, The pads are blue in colour not aquamarine

By the time they arrive my kid’ll be a teen, Wearing make up ‘n’ stuff made of nitrosamine

I just want to revamp my trampoline……word.

I know, it’s just a trampoline, what’s all the fuss about? Part of me agrees, and part of me thinks that companies like this rely on silent disgruntlement to keep them in business. If it takes a bit of jumping up and down occasionally (sorry!), then so be it.

Author: Doug Shaw

Artist and Consultant. Embracing uncertainty, sketching myself into existence. Helping people do things differently, through an artistic lens.

7 thoughts on “Bounced”

  1. The problem with dealing with a faceless organisation is …….. they are faceless.

    It’s a bit like sending an email rather than picking up / switching on the phone – so much easier to be impersonal and (in this case) uncaring.

    If there is a way of grading your customer experience, then flame them – they deserve it.

    And here’s another one …………. enjoy!

    I was wording wiv the daughter ‘bout her trampoline
    She was dissin’ it’s demeanour made me feel so mean
    So I sorted the arrangements with the dudes online
    For the needed bits and pieces so the kit would shine
    But the dudes were just plain rudes and kept sendin’ wrong stuff
    Again and again and I’ve now had enough
    So a word to the dudes that you ain’t got a prayer
    Of surviving in the real world if you just don’t care
    And me and my posse, we now know your MO
    So we’ll never ever use you and you can all go
    to hell in a handcart ‘cos it’s all you deserve
    for messing with me bouncin’ and gettin’ on me nerves.


    1. What’s up homie! This is great thanks 🙂 You make a good point about facelessness and I guess what makes this experience even more dispiriting is the fact that there have been plenty of phone calls interspersed with emails. Most disappointing is the final order confirmation (relief – we’re getting somewhere) followed by refund (bastards – didn’t even have the courtesy to call to let me down). Grrrr and stuff like that.

  2. I constantly face this indifference when it is anything to do with children and returning products and it doesn’t help that I sound like a squeaky school girl myself. I certainly make them sit up and pay attention when I quote all sorts of legislation at them and demand to speak to seniority ‘NOW’!

    Your story did make me laugh though, so through the unpleasantries comes humour.

    Although two words relating to children that inflicts pain and absolutely no humour are: tax credits. We would be here all day if you started a blog on that subject!

    Next time, try ebay! 😀

    1. Thanks Emma, it’s all such a pain ain’t it – you’re ebay suggestions is a useful one ta? And I’m pleased to have given you a laugh. Tax credits eh….now there’s an idea.

  3. For most children it would be too dangerous for them to use a rectangular trampoline at home without constant expert supervision for them and their friends.

  4. Why do you sell them then? You can’t hide shoddy customer experience behind legislation. Actually I don’t think there is any legislation so why do you sell them if they are so dangerous?

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