Every year I make some dud purchases.
Some years there are a few that stand out more then others.
Here are my top three for 2014.
1. Mister Moss
I have a passion for real Christmas trees. Love everything about them and no matter how good you think your fake tree is, it's a fake tree.
When I saw the delightful Mister Moss Christmas trees on sale at a local shop, I grabbed them. I was excited about having Christmas trees all year round.
I bought three at once and Mr H hung them outside in our outdoor eating area.
According to the instructions they just need a good dunk in water once a week to keep them going.
But they seemed to be drying up so we watered them some more on days when it was 45 degrees.
When you water them you have to soak them in a bucket of water, imagine when you get the plants out of the water - they drip like crazy. This was ok for us as they were outside, but I don't know how you would cope if they were inside.
Then one of our trees started to die. I sent Mister Moss an email asking for advice and got no reply. The tree slowly turned a bit browner.
Then I asked a question on their instagram account to try and get some help. They ignored me again.
As our tree curled up its toes I went to Facebook and left a message there, but still, they didn't respond.
I gave that plant more attention then any other and still it died.
The string that gives it so much of its character, well that rots too. With all the watering it eventually breaks off, leaving your three perfectly aligned trees not so perfect anymore as the string levels adjust.
These plants are $75 a pop. They look modern and interesting and are a great centrepiece for a table or an event. Just don't go buying them if you want any follow up advice or service.
My remaining trees started to look like they were heading to heaven too so I have recently planted them in the ground, they seem to be the happiest they have ever been.
2. GEOX School Shoes
My kids have funny shaped feet and they are expensive shaped feet.
I have tried to get them into some cheaper options but it just isn't worth it. The blisters, the innersoles, the falling over.
We have a local shoe shop that fits them in shoes that are comfortable and perfect for their feet. This year Immy started school in a great pair of GEOX school shoes.
For a decent pair of school shoes I forked out $120 and knew we would get most of the year out of them.
Until we didn't.
I was happy to pay for all leather shoes, I like that I can clean them up through the year and make them last as much of the year as possible.
Vinyl ain't leather.
If kids feet grow and you have to get new shoes, it's a bit of bad luck. But when the leather is not actually all leather, but trimmed with fake leather, and the toes of the shoes are gone through in just a few weeks...ANNOYING.
I had to go and buy more school shoes in the same size Immy was already wearing because these fell apart so quickly.
If I wanted half vinyl/half leather shoes, I would have bought them in the first place.
If you are buying GEOX shoes you might get a great fit, but be aware you might be forking out for vinyl rather then leather.
3. The ANZ BankI know, we all hate banks, they take our money, make us pay too much interest and the fees. THE FEES.
However, I quite like a decent bank. I like the apps that make knowing where my money is (and isn't) and I like the security of having a little place that my wage goes to each week. I like direct payments of my bills and I am happy for our banks to be making a gazillion dollars a week, it makes me comfortable.
Banks are now very well equipped to know just what is going on in the lives of their customers. Some people think the banks even have a little too much knowledge of our everyday actions.
So there is no excuse for poor marketing and lazy direct mail marketing campaigns.
The ANZ bank, the very same bank that closed my Mums account within days of my Dad dying (let's not even get started on that one) is able to know that a person is dead within a few days.
Yet, they can not seem to work out how to tell the people over the partition in the work station looking after insurance marketing. Instead, they keep sending my Dad letters, mainly asking if he would like to take out a life insurance policy.
The answer is YES. Yes, he would really like to take out a life insurance policy, but as you well know ANZ, he is six foot under and can't seem to sign the paperwork. However, should you find a way to bring him back, we promise to take up every insurance policy you suggest.