SHOCK: Big Corporation Listens to Consumers Without Government Intervention!
I often wonder if my mother has ever read any of the posts on the thousands of Mommyblogs out there. With germs and supposedly unsafe products around every corner, you'd think the only way to keep your kid alive is in a bubble.
Over at the IWF blog, Julie Gunlock wrote about the hysterics surrounding unit-dose laundry packs, like Tide Pods. My first thought, "Is this a new way to get high? Is that what the kids are doing these days?"
In "Culture of Alarmish Watch: Laundry" Gunlock writes:
One of the most anomalous stories of 2012 involved laundry detergent. Apparently a few kids were eating single-dose laundry detergent packets because they were mistaking them for candy (man/baby Senator Chuck Schumer had the same problem, admitting he almost ate one of these packets, but mercifully was saved by his quick-thinking staffer/babysitter who yanked it from his chubby little baby/man hand before he could gobble it up).
This so-called problem of kids eating these laundry packets set off all the predictable alarms. Consumer safety groups began to swarm, newspapers ran scary-sounding headlines about this product being a danger to children. As expected, the mommy blogs went nuts as women everywhere took a moment away from Pinterest to freak-out about these potentially dangerous laundry products.
Predictably, "safety group" (i.e. groups who think only government intervention can solve a problem) criticized the companies who make these products. While many (mostly on the Left) love to talk a good game about innovation, they are the first to demand government regulation and oversight in order to squash it.
But in a turn of events that only makes sense to normal people and not to alarmist consumer groups, the company that makes Tide Pods did it's own industry policing by responding to consumers' concerns by creating child-proof packaging. (I hope they are also Schumer-proof).
All too often those who see government intervention as the only solution are quick to paint businesses as evil people who only care about making money. Obviously, this ignores the fact that responding to consumer concerns on their own builds trust and makes it more likely for consumers to continue using a product. For me, I'm more likely to continue using a product, going to a restaurant or flying an airline if a negative experience is followed up by action to solve the problem. It shows they actually care about keeping their customers.
Of course, one wonders why parents who should know not to store detergent and other cleansers around children think detergent packs are any different. Unfortunately, common sense isn't so common.