Back in February I wrote a post about Dorel’s all-in-one seat that has 7 different brand names. At the time, I thought we were safe from other companies trying to put that smack down on us like that. Silly me, living in La-La Land like that. I totally forgot about Graco and their SnugRide line.
A couple of months ago, I was helping an expectant set of parents install their brand new SnugRide 22. We were working in mom’s car first, then moving to dad’s car to install the extra base. We discussed positioning in the back seat, discussed LATCH vs. seat belt, and Dad and I installed the base with a locking clip in the center. Then we moved to his car and he pulled out the extra base he had bought. Yep, it was for a SnugRide 32, a totally different seat and the bases look nothing alike. The salesperson at the big box baby store told them it was the correct base—I’m sure in the process of asking for an extra base, they said they had a SnugRide (also incorrectly called SnugRider, SnugSeat—that’s a special needs seat, but most parents don’t know that, SafeRide, SnugFit, and other colorful names that imaginative minds can come up with) and they were pointed to the SnugRide 32 base. I do get giggly sometimes when parents tell me at a checkup event that they have a Grack-o SnugRider, the one that goes to 30 lbs., but I gently guide them to the correct pronunciation. Ah, I’m off on a tangent . . . or am I? Which seat are they talking about?
Most often boxes aren’t kept, so the parent is out the money spent on either the travel system or the base that doesn’t match the infant seat. They’re frustrated. The tech that has to deliver the bad news is frustrated because here’s a parent who is usually due any day and has an infant seat that can only be installed in one vehicle. Sure, we can educate them on how to install the base, but I remember being that pregnant mom about ready to pop—there’s so much going on up in that mind and whatever useful information you’re trying to remember is often forgotten after 15 minutes, lol. In many locations, events are only scheduled once a quarter if that often and technicians aren’t available outside of events. Where does that leave a parent who wants to have the installation double-checked after they get the matching base?
It’s just a bad situation. Sure, I’m picking on Graco here, but we all know they’re not the only manufacturer causing confusion with their naming scheme. Britax has a carseat called the Roundabout which has been around since 1997. This year, it pumped the Roundabout with steroids, gave it a 50 lbs. weight limit and called it the Roundabout 50. C’mon guys. It’s easy. If you create a new seat, give it a different name and put it on the label where everyone can see it without having to uninstall the darn thing. Thanks.