Amazon helps avoid 'wrap rage'

At last someone is addressing the problem faced by millions every holiday season -- wrap rage.

Amazon has launched a program to get rid of the frustrating and expensive packaging that drives consumers mad. It's new Certified Frustration-Free Packaging Program provides manufacturers a simple, efficient process for getting packaging analyzed and modified to make it more customer-friendly.

Manufacturers interested in getting their packaging Certified Frustration-Free can now submit packaging, at no charge from Amazon, to Amazon's Packaging certification lab, where a team of packaging engineers will analyze the current packaging and either certify it or recommend modifications.

Once Amazon certifies that the packaging meets Amazon's Certified Frustration-Free Packaging guidelines manufacturers can then use the "Certified Frustration-Free" logo on their packaging, alerting customers to expect an easy-to-open, hassle-free experience.

This is good news for consumers who have watched packaging get more and more complicated. I'm not referring to the temporary frustration of a package wrapped with too much ribbon carefully crisscrossed on the back. That is nothing.

I'm talking about those PVC plastic containers that are sealed together with some type of nuclear adhesive. You can attempt to rip them open with your fingers, attack them with a scissors, and stab them with a knife, but you are more likely to end up sweating and bleeding than to have an open package.

Even if you penetrate this marketing fortress, you quickly find more obstacles to conquer. There are the twisted metal ties that have to be unwound to liberate the product. There are the plastic "prisoner strips," similar to the handcuffs used in law enforcement, and finally a dab of glue.

Amazon initially launched the Frustration-Free Packaging program in the United States in November 2008 with just 19 products.

The company now has hundreds of products from 30 manufacturers worldwide participating in the program and has just added major brands Garmin, Logitech, RadioFlyer and Seventh Generation and will continue to grow.
Manufacturers will jump on board due to the massive selling power of Amazon. And this is good news for consumers.

Barbara Bartlein is the People Pro. For her FREE e-mail newsletter, please visit: The People Pro.
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