Huggies versus Pampers – It’s all about the consumer

Sometimes I long for the days when the only thing I really worried about was what wine was going to fill my glass at the end of the day.

As a mother to a 6 month old (LR), I’m concerned with so many things, my brain is slowly turning to mush. Aside from the most important thing, food, keeping my baby clean and smelling like a daisy is a big priority and requires good nappies, wipes, bum creams and nibble fingers (I’ve been on the receiving end of a mid-change wee, it ain’t pleasant). Like most 21st century parents, we use disposable nappies and wipes and we have leaned towards the big boys, Pampers and Huggies.

Obviously, no product is ever truly perfect, and there have been issues with both but it’s been interesting to see how each brand has dealt with my complaint.

Let’s start with Pampers.

When LR was 3 months old, I noticed that the Pampers Dry Nights 2’s that I was using were anything but dry. Every morning, LR would have wet through and whenever she had a number two, you could bet that you could find it escaping down the left leg.
Using the Pampers website, I left a complaint and Pampers phoned me straight away. When I couldn’t fully take the call, they gave me the option to have them call me back OR email them. I chose the latter because I hate phone calls. I emailed my issue and all the details that they required and with no questions asked, they organized to send me vouchers for R250 which could be used on any Procter & Gamble product.
They didn’t ask for the nappies back and nor was I given a long spiel about how Pampers triple checked their products and this was not usual – they apologized and said that they would use my information to help them better their research.

Now for Huggies…

I bought Huggies extra sensitive, fragrance-free wipes for LR because I’m all about keeping as many nasties away from her delicate skin. However, I noticed that they were incredibly moist (sorry, there really is no other word to describe them); they broke off when you tried to take them out of the packet and after 3 days, LR developed a really bad nappy rash, so I emailed Huggies to let them know – and in case you’re thinking, I wasn’t nasty in my complaint, I was pretty reserved actually. Anyway, Huggies phoned back and wanted to know the details of my complaint and when they could collect the wipes because they needed to check them. I gave them my address but no date or time was organized and I was pretty clear that I wasn’t going to wait around for someone to pick up nappies when I had work to do – not that they seemed to care. Finally, after 3 failed attempts, they picked up the wipes and then I had to wait again for them to pop round on a different day with vouchers and a letter.
I really wish I’d kept the letter for those days when I’m feeling overly confident about my parenting skills and need to be taken down a peg or two. It basically shut me down as a mother and made me feel like I was in the wrong – how could Huggies be giving my child a rash, what kind of mother was I that I didn’t realize that Huggies are masters at sensitive skin and have undertaken every test known to man to ensure that their product is the nicest, loveliest thing ever. I was the bad mother who didn’t recognize that there were “many factors” that caused nappy rash and Huggies’ ridiculously moist wipes were not one of them.
But Huggies, you forgot the cardinal rule, I AM THE MOTHER. Don’t you think that after 40 weeks of growing this baby, I would be so anal about everything to do with my child and would notice every single teeny, tiny thing that wasn’t quite right. Silly Huggies.

So what have I learned from my little experience?
Don’t ever make the mum feel bad guys. It doesn’t get forgotten easily and whilst I used my Huggies voucher to try out their girls 4+ nappies and quite liked them, I can’t help feeling a brand loyalty towards Pampers because they realized that as the mum, I know what works and what doesn’t for my baby and they didn’t question that.

And I think LR agrees….perfect Pampers baby right?




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