Why Cant Microsoft Make "Soft" Packaging?

By: Eileen McDargh, CSP, CPAE

Why is it that Microsoft wants you to buy its product but does not want you to open the plastic case that is welded around the cardboard box? I believe that such packaging along with cockroaches will survive atomic disasters!

Good luck finding any clue as to an easy way to open this fused bit of skin-tearing packaging. I split my scissors trying to pry open the ends. I ripped a fingernail attempting to wiggle into a miniscule space. I wedged in a letter opener to see if I could leverage any kind of muscle and rip that sucker open.

I seriously thought of using a chain saw.

Finally, in a fit of anger akin to the Hulk, I seized one small, dagger-like split in the plastic, held the plastic casing with the other hand and yanked with all my might. I cut my hand extricating the box from the opening I'd created.

And what does this hidebound, 81/2" x 11" x 2" box contain: a CD! I trembled thinking it too would be wrapped in that plastic that yields to neither man nor woman.

Thankfully, the innocuous little CD was without wrapper. Good thing. My scream would have reverberated in the hallowed halls of Bill Gate's Washington mansion. It's pain enough to upgrade software without going through the physical machinations of opening a #$%^& box.

Moral of the story: The customer's experience is everything. Don't let packaging ruin their day.

(c) 2003 by Eileen McDargh. All rights reserved

Reprint rights granted to all venues so long as the article and by-line are used intact.

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