Monday, January 11, 2010

Headlines from the Future: Massive Recall on American W.I.F.E. Units

In a move that has not surprised the increasing number of dissatisfied customers of the American branch of the popular W.I.F.E. domestic partner line, the STN company, also responsible for the popular HO disposable models that have received public flak since their introduction in Thailand last year, has issued a massive recall on all American W.I.F.E. units with serial numbers 1960 and up.

A line that many thought was, like its Asian and European counterparts, self-maintaining has turned out to be so troubling that there is talk of the units being sold with a high maintenance clause worked into the warranty and prenuptial agreement upon purchase. Steve Walden of New Brunswick, New Jersey says that the units are not just high maintenance, but are essentially defective right after you slip on the activation ring:

“ How can the Vagina, a major selling point for the unit, stop working all together after activation? I feel like I’ve been sold a bill of goods. It worked before I brought the unit home, but its as if they forgot to install a Vagina at all as soon as you lug the thing over the threshold. At first it was just the daytime setting, then it wouldn’t work if the lights were turned on. Now the nocturnal setting is defective and everytime I attempt to use the feature I get the default “busy” message. How can the unit be busy? The American units aren’t even programmed to cook or clean?!?!? ”

Steve isn’t the only customer who wishes they would have paid the extra tariffs to import the international model, but there are those who specifically ordered the unit from abroad who feel they are also victims of STN’s sinister bait and switch policies. Ivan Vocjeck, a business developer living in the former Soviet Republic told one of our foreign correspondents, “I was told the unit would function no differently than the Russian models. Here it is a matter of social status to display the American units to your friends. It means something. However, I soon found that many of the stock options on the less expensive Czech units aren’t even available on my import. The manual for the Vagina feature is over 1200 pages and I hear that they always ship the wrong language manual making it almost impossible to get the damned thing to work.”

Lewis Sifer, CEO of STN feels as though it is a matter of customer misunderstanding, not dissatisfaction. “When we first started marketing this product we were very upfront that this model was meant to function differently from its sister units sold abroad. You want to blame someone? Take a look at the legal hoops the American court system makes you jump through just to activate them… and forget about deactivation. This was a risk, but if there is a lesson to be learned it is this: the public demanded a unit that was exciting and unpredictable. Everyone was complaining about the complacency settings on the Asian models, so we gave them what they asked for.”

So what frustrations can one expect “out of the box”? The packaging, as always with STN’s products, is slick and inviting, but there is that sneaking suspicion that this is just window dressing (we quickly learned). No sooner had we laid the unit on its back when we found that we were actually given the wrong serial number. The hands, where the serial is usually placed said 1965, but the unit itself was programmed with 1974. So we knew from the beginning that there was an imminent trade-up in the unit’s future as older serials have been problematic in too much memory baggage in the main hard drive often corrupting it’s primary directives, leaving the unit in sleep mode for much of the day as it’s ocular units also begin to leak. The older serial also indicates that the model might be refurbished. It took us several calls to the main office, but sure enough, our “brand new” model was actually pre-owned. Much to our frustrations our unit’s Vagina feature was also defective. Not only was it impossible to get it to “sync” with the Vagina of the Vietnamese model, but the attempt left the Vagina totally inoperable, basically “bricking” the unit. Just how much was it going to cost to fix, even after purchasing the pre-nup warranty? Approximately HALF of not just the original cost, but the appreciation value!!!

Looks like just another “be careful what you wish for” deal from STN!

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