Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Thermos Responds to Baby Toolkit's FUNtainer Concerns: Replacements Offered, but Identical Parts

Today I received this response from Thermos regarding my inquiries about FUNtainer breakage:

Hi Adrienne,

Sorry for the late reply and my condolences on your loss.

I’ve spoken with R&D and they have assured me that the products are in compliance with all of the standards required per the CPSC including the new CPSIA regulations. It could be that the heights or specific anomalies of the drops and breakage you experienced were outside of the required existing test protocols. We have not found any difference in durability from the old product to the new design and we have not had any significant increase in claims for this type of damage. I do appreciate your feedback, however, and we are looking at ways to redesign the lids or change the formulation of the material to reach an even higher standard in order to build the most durable product possible to meet consumer expectations and your feedback is very valuable to us. Thank you for all of the time you have spent in helping to communicate these issues to us.

The reason that we redesigned this product was to create a higher standard under bite tests, for the elimination of small parts and for better ease of cleaning. We feel that these improvements have resulted in a much better product for all consumers while maintaining previous durability standards. Unfortunately we no longer sell the old designs so we cannot replace them for you. We will be happy to replace any damaged products that your readers request if they return the old product as proof of prior purchase. Of course we cannot build a product that is unbreakable under all scenarios and these products are not warranted for this type of damage. We like to be flexible on this point, however, in order to maintain the highest levels of customer satisfaction.

Here is the Consumer Service Toll free number and address:


Thermos L.L.C.

Consumer Services

355 Thermos Road

Batesville, MS 38606

Thanks to you and all your readers Adrienne for supporting Thermos brand products. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance on this or any other matter.

Best regards,

Rick Dias

Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing

Thermos L.L.C.

2550 West Golf Road, Suite 800

Rolling Meadows, IL 60008


Mimi-n-Moe's Mom said...

Toddlers should be able to knock a drink over without it breaking. I had to laugh when I read :

"It could be that the heights or specific anomalies of the drops and breakage you experienced were outside of the required existing test protocols."

I'd like to know what their tests include. Most of our breaks were done while my toddlers were sitting on the floor and knocked the FUNtainer over.

Also, he does not address the bottom popping off and exposing a stinky epoxy and a rough metal surface. This is dangerous. Imagine if your child popped it off while in their car seat? The directions say it is fine for the top rack of a dishwasher. I followed these instructions, and I ended up with a popped off bottom.

I think most people buy one or two and pitch them when they break instead of looking into whether it is a common issue or not.

I am disappointed with this response, and I have filed a complaint.

In our house FUNtainers are referred to as CRAPtainers.

Christy said...

So are you satisfied? (I'm not sure that I am....)

adrienne said...


Not at all. Replacement with identical parts just extends the life of the problem, it doesn't remedy anything.

Plus, it puts the added cost of shipping on the consumer who is already operating at a loss.

I find it woefully disappointing at best.

If owners want to file a CPSC complaint, as Karen has, Jeremiah at Zrecs provides the link on his reaction to our previous post.

moon1234 said...

We own a few of the foogo bottles now along with some of the older funtainer bottles.

The foogo bottles are always more expensive and I guess now we know why. Higher quality materials are used in the foogo bottles! Luckily our youngest daughter (18 months) does not chew on the straws so we have not had to replace any as of yet.

My oldest daughter (9 years) has a Hanna Montana funtainer that is the old three piece design. I personally like the three piece design a lot better. It seems more reliable and less leak prone.

In any event, now that the E5 and Nissan hydration bottles are available, we have started switching to them for all of the family as old bottles break.

The 18oz hydration bottle has no plastic at all on the bottom. It is plain stainless steel. I MUCH prefer this. It looks nicer and is one less thing to break. There is NO straw so no chew worries. The lid screws on and is a SINGLE piece to clean. No disassembly to clean.

ALL of my children (even the 18 month old) like this bottle better. The young one can drink from a full bottle just fine. If you have toddlers, then this may not be as attractive an option, but for our family this is a much stronger bottle.