Last fall (autumn) I took my kid on vacation to the UK, Canada and the US. In summary, she loved it, and fell in love with swings. She even learned the sign-language for a swing because she loved it so much (less than a year old at the time). We came back to Muscat and set about looking for a baby swing here, because Muscat has so many parks. Yet we found it incredibly difficult to find a baby swing here, we have found one in a park in MQ (near to the grill house traffic lights) and we have found 2 on the beach park at the PDO club, which we are fortunate enough to be members at.
Thats it, I've not seen any other baby swings anywhere in the city - so if you know some, please do let me know.
So, last September, we went looking for a baby swing to buy, and went into ELC. We were told they were out of stock and to come back after a few weeks - so we did - to be told the same story again. At this point, we managed to establish that yes we really wanted a baby swing (she really does love swings a lot) and they agreed to place an order for us, we could pick it up. It was somewhere betwen 60 and 70 rials, I forget now (and I don't have the receipt).
2 week's we were told. Uh huh. We got the swing set in December last year, after Christmas. I set the swing up for her over NYE and we started off 2014 with a baby swing right in our yard. The kid was ecstatic, swing time every day, the smiles and laughs were worth the long delay in getting it.
I placed the swing under our sun shade, so it was never in direct sunlight all day long. By May, I noticed the straps were starting to fray and went to the ELC store we bought it from and complained, the person working there at the time gave me a phone number and name of that stores manager and told me to take it up with her. I rang the number a few times over the next few days, never got an answer and never got a call back.
The wife and kid set off on their vacation mid-May and I let the swing issue... swing in the wind so to speak. I was busy with work and being an abandoned dad and swings were not in the forefront of my mind. Early June I joined the family on vacation and we returned for Ramadan here in Muscat. The weather was really hot in July, and we didn't want to take the kid outside to play in the swing because of the heat, but one afternoon in late July, we figured we'd let her have a swing.
The straps literally disintegrated in my hands - like they'd just snap from a light tug - certainly not safe for a 18 month old baby to swing in - they'd have just given way and my kid would have found out that contrary to her belief, she can't actually fly. I called the store manager and surprise surprise... no answer.
So I go back to the store, and this time find the manager is working there - I asked why she didn't take or return my calls and I was told it was because she didn't recognize the number. As I soon learned, customer service is something so far from these peoples minds that its futile to try and explain that if that's your Store Manager phone number, then you should probably answer it when it rings, or call it back later if the time is inconvenient. You know, because it's your job. No? Right.
But I digress. I had her in the store, right in front of me, and she wasn't going to ignore me standing in front of her as she had my phone calls. I explained the situation with the swing straps and she asked me to send her some photo's of the swing and the straps to explain clearly what I was talking about. I asked her how to send the pictures and she suggested to whatsapp them to her on her phone (the one she doesn't answer or call back from).
So I did, I sent the pictures above and asked what she was going to do about it because this was a really serious issue, the straps were totally unsafe. She said she'd get back to me. I sent those pictures on the 30th July, and finally, on 26th August I get a phone call telling me that because the swing is over 6 months old they're not obliged to do anything at all, and wont be.
What. The. Fuck? (Sorry kids).
Sad, but true folks. ELC sold me a defective swing, one that if I hadn't of noticed would have had my kid falling from a height of over 1m - due to defective straps, and the response, which took from my first enquiry 3.5 months, was "tough luck".
I certainly won't be buying anything else from ELC from now on.
Now, does anyone want to sell me a baby swing that is actually safe?