THE FIX IS IN
Below is the long version of the details regarding the problem and solutions associated with two new tin case styles.
Case Round D-Shape with Window Clear Tray
Model JCT20120 (manufactured August of 2013)
Case Round D-Shape no Window Clear Tray
Model JCT20020 (manufactured August of 2013)
Ever since we started selling our line of tin CD and DVD cases, the most
common request has been if we could offer different color trays. Late last
year (2012), we took up this issue with our manufacturer. After some
discussion, they told us they would be able to produce trays in clear that were
currently in light blue. Due to the mold being used, black was not a
possibility. In May of this year (2013) we took this new tray color option
to the people (you - our valued customers). The "Great Tin Survey" showed
that an overwhelming number wanted the to have a "clear" option.
Since it was official that we would roll out at least a few models with a
clear tray, we thought it might be a good time to kill two birds with one stone.
What's the other bird? It is the one that comes from another common
customer request: "Can you offer the round style tin with a tray that holds
more than one disc like the square and DVD cases?" The answer had always
been: "We're sorry, but not at this time." The reason is that the
trays for the round and D-Shape models hold the disc on the edge rather than on
a hub in the center. At the time, the center hub was only available in the
square and DVD styles.
A new mold was created to support the style & color changes, samples were
produced and images were sent to us for review. By then, it was July.
With a production lead time of 35 days, 3 weeks on a boat plus unknown time
in customs, we had to decide fast . Furthermore, production time was
increasing daily due to the summer months being their busiest time of year.
With our overall tin case supply running low, we gave the go ahead without ever
having samples in hand. We also knew that if we received the
samples and rejected them, it would take another 10 days to 2 weeks for them to
create a new mold and get us new samples to evaluate.
By the middle of August, our order was somewhere in the Pacific and arrived
the 2nd week of September.
Immediately after receiving the order, we tested out the new style
clear trays. It was quite disappointing. It was also our fault.
We approved the new style without ever having it in hand. The problem was
that removal of the discs was not easy. If the user inserts the disc(s)
so they lay flat at the bottom, there is very little space to get a finger in to
This is not an issue for the square and DVD styles for two reasons:
1. There are four areas around the disc to place a finger configured in the
mold of the tray.
2. Around the bottom of the hub are risers that prevent the disc from hitting
the tray bottom.
Had we seen the samples, we could have implemented #2 (from above).
However, space limitations would not have allowed for #1. We might have
also decided to abort the style change (bird #2). Since we had already
been dealt our cards, we needed to figure out how to proceed.
The above image illustrates how differences in case shape can affect the ability to use a finger for disc removal. The left is the JCT20120 - Tin CD/DVD Case Round D-Shape w/ Window Clear Tray. The right shows the JCT10120 - Tin CD/DVD Case Square Style w/ Window Clear Tray. Click to enlarge (opens new window).
The first idea was to order the old style trays in clear. We would
include them with orders of the affected cases allowing the customer to decide on
his/her own what to do. Unfortunately, the cost to do this would have added 35 -
55 cents per case. This would have solved the problem, but
would have caused a new one. The cases would not have sold at prices substantially
higher than even the DVD style tins. Furthermore, the lead time for additional trays would have been in the two month range.
Without a plan to completely fix the problem, we decided to put them up for
sale as is. Obviously, we were not going to sell these as if there
was nothing wrong. We had to make sure people knew what to expect.
On the product pages for the two models, we included a message in italics explaining the situation and advised against storing more than one disc.
For a month, this seemed to work. They sold slowly at first, but soon
started picking up speed. All was well through the rest of September. Sales were
increasing without a single complaint.
That all ended on October 2nd, when we received an email with the first (and
only) complaint regarding the trays. After 3 weeks and nearly 3,000 cases
sold, we had an unhappy customer. We take all comments and complaints very
seriously. We also realize that if one person has a particular complaint,
then many others feel the same way. Below is the complete email exchange -
all names have been removed to protect the innocent.
I have been ordering tin
cd cases from you guys for 3 years almost and this is the first time they have
arrived with different plastic trays. These new trays are very difficult to get
discs out of and although I have to use a few this week b/c I have clients
waiting I feel bad sending them to my future clients that way. Is there any way
to get the original trays that you had in them previously?
We are very sorry about
the trouble you are experiencing with the cases you recently ordered. These are
the ones with the clear tray that do in fact have a different mold from the blue
tray style. We made note of this style change and warned that it might be
difficult to use at first. One thing not mentioned is that the disc should be
inserted just enough to hold it in place. Pressing down on it should be
avoided. By inserting as suggested, it will allow the user to gently press on
one of the sides to lift the other for easy removal. If possible, please give
this method a try. If this is still a problem we can certainly make an exchange
for the ones with the blue tray.
OK, I had never had to read the fine
print on these before, so it's my mistake. Like I said I already sent a few out
b/c I had too, so guess I'll just keep this batch, but definitely not as happy
with these inserts. It helps to know the half-way trick.
Again, we are very sorry
about the change in the mold shape of the trays. We never intended to put
valued customers in the position of feeling that they have to read fine print or
that they need to implement tricks to properly use any of our cases. We tried
to be upfront on the product page and hoped people would take notice since this
was a new model.
Obviously we were
mistaken. You are this first person to point this out. However, we realize
that for one person who takes the time and effort to express displeasure, there
are at least nine others who feel the same way. We are very grateful for your
That said, we will take
the following steps to address this problem:
1. We will modify the
product description to be clearer than it is now. This will be done sometime
2. We will attempt to find
a rubber gasket (preferably in clear) to fit around the hub. This will prevent
the user from pushing the disc(s) all the way down to the tray bottom and allow
him/her to easily push one side down to lift out the media from the other side.
We will start looking ASAP, but cannot predict if or when we have these.
3. Subsequent factory
orders will include the old mold in clear. Depending on feedback, we will
consider eliminating the new mold. This will be well into next year as we do
not place factory orders very often. The last batch arrived about 3 weeks ago.
As for the cases you now
have, we are more than happy to take back what's left and either swap them for
the ones with the blue tray and old mold or issue a credit to your credit card.
You can also hold on to what you have and wait and see if we are able to track
down an acceptable gasket. Should that happen, you will be the first person we
send them to.
Click either image above for screenshots of what the descriptions changed to after the email. NOTE: a new window will appear.
Following our last reply, we expanded the section in italics to be more
detailed than before. We also added a section in red at the top of the
page directing people below, reminding them of the old style tray (with a link)
and a link to order a sample.
Short Term Solution
The left image shows the two O-Rings that will be included with all the affected cases. The center image shows the small O-Ring the tray. The right image shows the large O-Ring in the tray. Click any image for a closer look (a new window will appear).
We were able to track down O-Rings (incorrectly referred to as gaskets in
the above email thread) in two sizes to fit around the hub. The smaller size will allow
enough space for two discs and the larger will fit just one disc.
Using either size will make removal a seamless process - as it should be.
Unfortunately, we could not find the O-Rings in clear. Black is the only color
available. However, when a disc is in place, it is barely visible.
We already mailed the customer who emailed us O-Rings in both sizes. Moving forward, all
orders will include both sizes. We view this as a short term solution. For a brief
tutorial on how to use the O-Rings, go to our page on
Using O-Rings in Rounded D-Shape Tin CD Cases with Clear Tray.
The left image shows how the small O-Ring will look inside the case with 2 discs inserted. The right image shows how the large O-Ring will look inside the case with one disc inserted. Click any image for a closer look (a new window will appear).
WARNING: Keep the O-Rings and all other small objects away from small children and pets.
Long Term Solution
In the long term we will implement overall changes to the center hub tray mold. These will be properly tested prior to release. Should this become a challenge we will consider going back to the old mold (in clear). Of course, we will keep you in the loop and invite you to help us decide so stay tuned.