Dye Hard

, , , , , | Working | March 29, 2018

I am stuck at home, mostly in bed, due to severe health issues. I decided to order some dyes and dyeable clothing, to have something low-energy to do to amuse myself.

There was a special detergent — made by the company themselves — to get clothes ultra-clean so they would dye evenly. Since I bought a lot of dyeables, I got a whole gallon of the detergent to prep it all.

When I went to the post office to get the shipment, one of the boxes was leaking powdered dye. I got it all over my clothes, hands, and car. The car took almost two hours to clean once I got home; this was absolutely exhausting when the monthly trip to town was already pushing my limits. I apologized to the postal workers, because I suppose they wrecked their clothes handling it and had a mess to clean up in their storage area. I’m sure the delivery driver had a mess, too.

When I had rested up a couple days and was ready for more hassle, I opened it — creating another big mess to clean up — and saw the problem. The dye was in thin, brittle, and extremely fragile plastic jars, and they put the gallon jug of detergent in the same box, almost guaranteeing the dye jars would be crushed. I also saw that they’d put all the dyeable clothing, shopping bags, and scarves I’d ordered in there, so that they were at high risk of getting stained when the inevitable happened.

I emailed the company, thinking I was complaining about an incompetent newbie in the shipping department, and was shocked to hear back that they didn’t consider this a mistake. This was their policy — to put heavy objects in with crushable dye canisters and vulnerable white cloth — because “it was would cost more to ship in several boxes.” So, they willingly do this to people, to save a couple bucks? Weird.

Also, she scolded me for accepting the parcel. Apparently, you can refuse a damaged package and it gets sent back. A: How would I know that? Since they habitually sabotage their own parcels, maybe they should have “in case of leaks” instructions on their invoices or FAQ page. And B: If I had done that, numerous other trucks, facilities, and handlers would have been stained, so I am glad I didn’t. At least one person in this story tries to protect others from preventable problems!

The rep hinted that I could still send the dyeables back for replacement if they got stained. I hate wastefulness. I didn’t want a big pile of items going in the garbage if I could help it, so I did what I could to rescue them.

I can’t express how messy this dye is. A teaspoonful would likely tint a swimming pool full of water. And the powder is so light that it flies everywhere when jostled. It’s very hard to clean up.

I set up a garden hose to flow next to the floor drain in the basement. I rinsed the plastic bags everything came in — very carefully, to reduce splashing, and nude, to avoid wrecking my clothes — and hosed the spilled dye down the floor drain. Then, I removed the plastic bags to rinse the products where dye had gotten through the bags through little tears. I was left exhausted, with stained hands and feet, and a mess in the basement that took another hour to clean up, but I succeeded in rescuing almost all the products!

You’d think the seller would be grateful they didn’t have to replace the products. You’d think they would feel ashamed at the idea of a disabled person spending four to five hours cleaning due to their weird shipping methods. Nope. They offered me a coupon for ten dollars off next time I buy from them. Of course, we all know I would never risk buying from them again in a million years after this nightmare! And ten dollars is practically nothing. Way, way under minimum wage for all the hours of work they caused me. If the ten dollars had even been given directly to me, in cash, it would have been an insulting amount. But they cleverly avoided having to actually give me a dime.

What they should have done is refund me for part of my purchase, maybe 20% or something, to make amends for the trouble. I can’t believe they put me through all this and did nothing to apologize.

All I wanted was a fun little craft project.

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