Tiny Toilet Paper and Other Shrinking Products

I happened to be in a discount store yesterday when I spotted a display of tiny Angel Soft packages near the end of the aisle. I’m not usually that interested in exploring bath tissue, but the scale was so unusual, I thought they had developed a new product. Perhaps a kiddy sized roll for toilet training.

Nope. This was plain old toilet paper, and it looked so unusual I actually burst out laughing when I saw it up close. Why had they decided to package a miniaturized version of such a familiar product?  The banner across the front of the package told the story:  4 Regular Rolls

I’ve handled a lot of TP in my life, and as far as I’m concerned these rolls were highly irregular. But I guess the folks at Angel Soft figured they might get in trouble if they touted their core products as Double Rolls when they didn’t have a half-size single roll on the market.  I started to buy a package just for the novelty of it (I do have grandkids in the potty training stage) but I decided I didn’t want to support such silliness with a purchase. Instead I shot a few pictures and included a soft drink can for scale.  

When I got home, I did a quick search online and discovered that Scott Tissue was also called out in a recent Consumer Reports article for making a less obvious roll size reduction.  ABC news also reported on the trend last month. Shrinking product size is a pet peeve of mine, and I really wish manufacturers would just charge us more.  Rising prices, while not pleasant, are a fact of life, and I can live with them. Shifty merchandising and deceptive packaging break trust, and I don’t want to do business with a company I can’t trust.


Read any good guarantees lately?


Here’s my submission for the most ridiculous item of the day—and further proof that manufacturers think consumers are stupid.

My daughter’s blow dryer recently went kaput.  My husband, the master tinkerer, was not able to revive it because certain specialty parts were needed.  It’s a pricey unit, but my daughter’s hair is very long, and I like to think that this particular product causes less damage, so I decided to reorder the same one.

When the replacement arrived, I made sure to check on the warranty, just in case we had the same problem again.  Here is the guarantee that is offered on this top shelf piece of equipment:

Your common sense probably tells you that pretty much the entire unit is composed of steel parts, plastic parts, and the flex cord. I can confirm this, since I have a dismantled version of this blow dryer in my possession. It does have a thin piece of cardboard on the inside, so I guess that’s the part they’re guaranteeing. I’d have more confidence in the product and the company if they just labeled it “SOLD AS IS”.

I know this hoodwinking is nothing new, but sometimes I just want to speak up. So here’s a message to all those big companies that think they’re pulling one over on us:

We know that you’re shrinking the size of ice cream cartons and coffee cans. We know that you’re pumping our meats full of “solutions” to bloat the net weight so you can walk away with more dollars per portion. We know that you’re choosing deceptive brand names to mislead consumers about a product’s country of origin . We’re onto you, and we’re adjusting our shopping habits accordingly.

Furthermore, we’re training a generation of students who can read, think, contrast, compare, and make rational decisions. When they finally outnumber the sheeple, you’re going to have to change your ways.


Published in: on May 26, 2010 at 6:11 am  Comments (1)  
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