You've noticed all the cutting back at the grocery store right? No, I don't mean YOU cutting back. I mean the suits who make the things we buy. There's a conference room somewhere in America where they are rubbing their hands together with glee and saying something like,
"Oh, Suzie Housewife will NEVER NOTICE if we make the box 3 ounces smaller and keep the price the same! If we do this we'll make enough to hand out bonuses this year! I know you were thinking about putting in a pool Clark."
Yes, it's the oldest retailing trick in the book: things keep getting ever so teeny-tinier so you don't really notice when you're at the store, but they stay the same price. It's a price increase on the sly and it's so annoying!
A few weeks ago I was changing Claire and I opened a new box of diapers. I noticed that they felt a little...different. But since I had a squalling child writhing around, in imminent danger of Toes In Poop, I didn't really pay much more attention. I changed her and sent her off running towards her next adventure.
The next time I changed her I noticed the diapers were weird again. I checked the remainder and they were ALL thinner, papery-er and not a soft as I'd remembered. Because I am stupid I thought I had a bad box. Like, "Oh no! There's been a mistake at the factory!"
I continued to think that as I used up the box. Bad box, factory error, whatever. But the next box was all screwed up too. And the next one! I was flummoxed. My mind set to wandering.
How did I get so many bad boxes of Pampers Cruisers Size 4? I mean, I've been buying Pampers since day one and I've never had a bad box before. Maybe my Wal-Mart got ALL of the bad boxes from that day? That would be so weird. I should Google that and see if they'd had a factory mistake in the south or...WHOA, WHOA, WAIT A MINUTE. I'VE BEEN HORNSWAGGLED.
I walked directly to a diaper bag I hardly ever use and plucked a diaper out of it. A diaper that had been purchased weeks ago. And dudes, it was completely different.
New diaper on the left, old on the right. They look the same right? That is, to the uneducated eye.
Let's open these dipes up. The new one looks similar to the old one, on the right. But they're not the same! NO! NOOOOOOOOO!
Look at Old Diaper - see how the absorbent strip ceases about 2/3 of the way up? Where all those convenient, angry red circles are? Yes, that's where the absorbent part ceases and the thin, ridiculous layer of mere PAPER begins. I know these are, at their core, paper products, but I didn't really mean to purchase JUST paper. Paper will not do the job!
Proctor and Gamble: I AM NOT PAYING FOR PLAIN OLD PAPER, OKAY?
EXHIBIT C, THE OLD, AWESOME DIAPER, IN MACRO LENS DETAIL
Look at how pillowy it is. It's so soft and fluffy. And...quilted! I don't know what that does but the toilet paper people seem to talk about it a lot so it must desirable.
EXHIBIT D THE NEW, CRAPPY DIAPER (HA, I MADE A FUNNY!) IN MACRO LENS DETAIL
Look at this! You can SEE THROUGH THE DAMN THING in the back. Hi Grover! It looks like printer paper in there. There is a total lack of soft fluffiness, plus the part about the whole section of diaper functioning material that is AWOL.
This is a KEY DIAPER FUNCTIONING AREA, if you know what I'm saying. It is ALARMING to look at this photo and think of the near-disasters.
EXHIBIT E (WHERE I START USING MATH AND GET SOME SERIOUS EVIDENCE TOGETHER)
So, at this point I did what any normal, sane, pissed-off Mom would do. I opened the diapers, got out some packing tape and taped them to my dining room table so I could measure them side-by-side. And, LO. There is a stunning SIX INCHES of absorbent material missing from the new version. (I rounded up.)
I was very scientific when measuring, as you can see below.
Obviously, Proctor and Gamble have switched up how they make Pampers Cruisers, and it looks pretty clear that it's a cheaper way to make them at the consumer's expense. I'm still paying about $20 for a box of the stupid things so I am definitely feeling tricked, cheated, duped, etc.
While we have not had any incidents with the new dipes I'm definitely annoyed. It's just so devious of them. Now would certainly be a good time to switch to cloth, and yet...Oh Lord that sounds like a lot of work and toting around of dirty diapers every day.
Has anyone else noticed products getting smaller/lower quality on the sneak? I'd be interested to see what I haven't noticed.
I've decided that we're going to switch to Costco Diapers. I also messaged Pampers on Twitter with a link to this post and (OF COURSE) they have said nothing. They don't care. I mean, I already bought a freaking YEARS worth of dipes from them already. So, so, so annoying.