Of Beach Trips and Broken Sunglasses

My family loves the beach. I grew up taking weekend road trips to islands that had no running water, no bathrooms, and no beds (we had to pitch tents). I can’t imagine taking my kids to those places!

So early this year, my sister already booked our rooms in Boracay to celebrate her anniversary as well as my parents’. Since the trip was ten months away, my husband and I thought we had loads of time to get ready. Sure enough, we ended up cramming at the last minute.

The weekend before the trip, we found ourselves in Rockwell, desperately searching for rash guards for our daughters. During our last trip to Cebu, the eldest refused to leave the pool! It was a good thing she didn’t burn. But this time, we didn’t want to take any chances. Rash guards were a must!

We finally came across a few in a shop called Swim. I found a pretty pink one for Addie and an orange one for Tammy (sadly, no pink for her – it was a good thing she liked it. She has a clear preference for pink!). On our way out, after I had paid, my husband spotted these adorable little sunglasses on display called Babiators. He picked them up, noticed they were made of a sort of rubber and not plastic so they bent (unlike the cheap ones we have at home that Tammy loves to wear and snap much to our dismay), and the lenses were polarized! He held them out to me and I shook my head. “Too expensive,” I said pointing out the price sticker.

Addie rocking in her sunnies.

“But she can’t break them! Look!” he replied excitedly. Then he picked up one for each of them. “And they can match too!”

“She does hate the sun in her eyes,” I admitted begrudgingly. Remember, I had just shelled out over a thousand bucks for two rash guards. Then clocking the look on his face that told me the sunglasses were as good as sold, I added, “And Addie’s are all scratched up already.” Then my winning line: “Fine, but you pay for them.”

Hooray! My daughters were now going to have eyewear that would properly protect their eyes. When you see how Tammy burrows her head away from the bright sunlight, you’d know what I mean.

Tammy just loves her Babiators.

When we got home, I examined the Babiators and was pleasantly surprised to find a card that said there was a one-year guarantee. All I had to do was email them our receipt and post photos of my girls in them. I had a quick flash of foreboding. Knowing my clumsiness and Tammy’s destructive talents, I had better get on this straight away. And I did. Despite not having packed yet, I searched for my receipt, took a photo, and promptly emailed it. Then I made a note in my phone reminding me to take photos of the girls in the Babiators and to post and properly hashtag.

We know life can be a bit unpredictable, so should your Babiators product be damaged within one year of purchase, we’ll send you a replacement — free. ~ Babiators guarantee

Sure enough, on our last day in Boracay, despite how careful we were with them, Tammy had somehow scratched her right lens. And it wasn’t just a light scratch either. It was a huge gash right smack in the center. When she put it on, she couldn’t see out of that lens.

My heart sank. Despite following the instructions to the letter, I have heard several horror stories about companies that don’t honor their guarantees or give you a hell of a time. I was crushed. I couldn’t wait to get back home and address my problem but at the same time, I dreaded it, expecting the worst.

I didn’t even bother going through regular channels. That’s how paranoid (or burned) I am. I contacted a well-connected friend in the mommy world and asked if she knew the owners of Babiators. She did and could hook me up.

She sent an email introducing us and even before I could reply and explain what had happened, I immediately got a reply saying they have a guarantee and they honor it. I didn’t have to beg, justify, or defend. Based on the reply, I got the impression that I didn’t even have to go through my well-connected mommy friend. Relief flooded through me. I kept thanking Kim, the owner, for restoring my faith in proper customer service.

This is how happy I was, I sent her a copy of my new book, Only A Kiss, because she said she loves chick lit.

It’s awful feeling paranoid and already defeated when it comes to getting what was promised you in the first place. So it’s times like these that, though some people would say you should expect and demand it, I like to celebrate. Because not only do my girls have an awesome pair of sunglasses, their mom learned that lots of things are still going right in this world of shopping and customer service.

Tammy in her brand new, ungashed (!!!) sunglasses.
Tammy in her brand new, ungashed (!!!) sunglasses.

For our next beach trip, we won’t need to cram! We’ve got everything we need already: rash guards, sunblock, and matching, gash-free Babiators to replace the ones Tammy destroyed. Sand and surf, here we come!

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  1. This was so refreshing to read Manang Ines! Having recently experienced such bad customer service, I’m too familiar with that feeling of doubt and expecting the worst from every company out there. But I’m so happy to know that there are still promises that are being kept. I’m not fond of being proven wrong, but this is one of those times that I’m glad to be.