Dear Oral-B

I just bought one of your fancy electric toothbrushes, because I live on sweets and I'd quite like to still have some teeth left when I'm 50. I have a consumer question relating to it, which I wonder if you could help me with.

What the FUCK am I supposed to do with this, you fucking halfwits?

This, viewers, is the miserable, greedy, idiot face of business in Britain today. For maximum excellence in dental hygiene I also own one of these, which is (like the Oral-B toothbrush) powered by a rechargeable fixed battery rather than AAs or mains power. The makers of the Waterpik, however, have managed to make an important mental leap which has somehow eluded the drooling, grunting cretins at Oral-B.

The great epiphany they've had is that you don't necessarily have to charge the device in the same place you're going to be using it. The Waterpik, then, charges from a nice sensible three-pin mains plug (in the same non-retarded way that my hair clippers do). You plug it in, charge it up overnight or whenever, then you take it into the bathroom to use it. When it runs out after a couple of weeks of super-fun jet-flossing, you take it back out and you charge it up again. It's not rocket surgery.

Oral-B, on the other hand, seem unable to conceive a scenario where you would ever want to let your toothbrush out of the bathroom, even when you weren't actually brushing your teeth with it. As a result it comes with only a razor-type 2-pin charging plug, on an idiotically short lead. Now, I haven't been in everyone in the country's bathroom (despite my best efforts), but I'm going to go ahead and assume that at least a majority of shaver sockets are located in a similar place to mine, and could easily be more than two feet above a flat surface.

So HOW THE FUCK AM I SUPPOSED TO CHARGE MY FUCKING TOOTHBRUSH, YOU FUCKING MORONS? I can't leave it dangling in mid-fucking-air like The Innocent Derek Bentley, can I? Apart from just being ridiculous, it'd pull the plug out. I can't sit it on top of the shaving light because the shaving light's got a sloped surface, and with a tall, narrow thing balancing precariously on top of it the slightest breeze from the window is going to send it crashing to the ground and smashing to pieces on the hard tiled floor.

(Indeed, the instructions, which come on a ludicrous concertina-ed piece of paper two feet long and two inches wide, specifically say "Do not place or store the charger where it can fall or be pulled into a tub or sink".)

Maybe that's the idea. Maybe you want me to have to buy a new one every week. But at the price I paid for it, I'm not sure that it's entirely unreasonable of me to want to be able to actually use this one at least once, without going and forking out more money for some sort of adapter that you were too stingy to include in the box.

How many pence did you save by cheaping out and not putting one in, or at least making the cable a decent length? However much it was, the outcome is that those extra few pennies of profit mean I'll never buy any Oral-B product again as long as I live (including your posh new toothpaste which I'd been about to try), because on principle I don't like giving money to a bunch of dickheads so they can make my life difficult for no good reason.

What are you, Oral-B, stupid or something? Or what?

28 Responses to “Dear Oral-B”

  1. Tom Feilding Says:

    (get a shelf)

  2. The picture isn't loading for me for some reason, but could you attach it to the wall? My Oral-B brush came with directions for wall mounting.

  3. Why have you got a speaker on your bathroom wall?

  4. It's hard to tell from the picture but would the wire reach to sitting on top of your speaker?

  5. No, the cable wouldn't reach safely to the cabinet (it's not a speaker). No, it doesn't come with any instructions for, or visible means of, wall-mounting. And yes, I know I can buy an adapter. And obviously, none of those things are the point anyway.

  6. Okay so I didn't spot the adapter thing in the piece. Sorry. But still. They're not expensive.

  7. I know. But it's still not the point, is it? I expect appliances I buy to be useable, within reasonable parameters of sensibleness, when I get home, not to have to trek out to the fucking shops again to buy extra bits to make them work.

  8. Surely the fact it has a shaver plug rather than a three pin means it can be used in more places than the Waterpik, as that one can't be charged in the bathroom (where most people would want to).
    Including an adaptor in the box when it's not going to be used by 90% of the people who buy the toothbrush would be horrifically wasteful on all levels.

  9. Charging things in the bathroom is a fucking joke, because it is a room FULL OF WET. Also, may I point out, fewer and fewer bathrooms have shaving plugs BECAUSE THEY ARE SHIT.

    My wife and I charge our electric toothbrushes in the back room, using shaving-to-threepin adaptors. And such adaptors should come with the fucking appliances.

    Cueball – your definition of ‘most people’ is either because you are an idiot who lives in idiotville or because I am a minority voice who does not realise it yet. And do you know what I will do if the latter turns out to be true? I will dress myself up like a shaving plug adaptor and fucking blow myself up in the middle of a Currys.

  10. Tom K is WoSland's new favourite viewer.

  11. I work hard to attain this ass-licking status of greatness.

    I am Stompy on Eurogamer – you previously enjoyed one of my comments there.

  12. Take the bloody thing back to the shop and get your money back.
    Then buy a competitor's product that doesn't have a stupidly short cable. It's the only way they'll bloody learn (did the same with a toaster(not for the bathroom))

  13. I’m sure it makes you feel better, Geigercounter, but sadly international companies are not sensitive to rebellion on the individual level.

    As Cueball shows, too many people are quite happy with a world of charging electrical appliances IN A BATHROOM (which is FULL OF WET) using ridiculously short leads. Because, yeah, we all live in 70s boarding houses with shaving plugs everywhere.

    Related note: in the excellent Get Carter, he shaves with an electrical shaver that’s plugged into the overhead light fitting. Isn’t that just amazing.

  14. Maybe you silly Brits need to get with it and use one single type of plug for all your rooms :)

  15. No, they won't learn on an individual level, but if everyone did that then we might stand a chance. Yeah, I know, pissing in the wind but worth a try.
    I don't have the toothbrush/shaver problem as I just go with the manual option. The toaster was bloody annoying though as it was a replacement for the exact same model that had worked for years – original had cable about 50cm long, exact same model a few years later had 20cm cable. So, when returned, I told them they'd lost the sale just because of their penny-pinching on the cable.
    I'd forgotten about the Get Carter light socket. A relative had an electric blanket plugged in the same way…

  16. mm, most bathrooms now seem to havr a socket at an easy recharger point.. and ofcourse all plugs are 2 pins here..
    think bigger cable would cause other people (including myself) to be irritated at having lots of cables.. (and it's ofcourse not recommended to use an electric cable with 220 when winded up

  17. :D

  18. That is something for the Personal Win Bank right there. However, I would have:

    Splashed soot around my bog
    Called my local newspaper about a freak bathroom fire caused by inadequate protection of consumer safety viz. bathroom appliance charging solutions
    Sent a sternly worded threat of legal action to Oral-B, with an appendix salient local news reports

    I am professional liar, cheat, swindler, and also legally a bastard. Perhaps I should have cards printed…

  19. Nitpicker Says:

    I hope Vic forwards your comments intact. Plan B can be the soot gag.

  20. You're supposed to use a normal fuckin' toothbrush.  What, are your arms broken?  Get some enamel-strengthening mouthwash while you're at it.  Oh, and lose the junk food.  You either get to have sweets or a set of teeth, one or the other.
    Now if you'll excuse me, I have this bottle of root beer to chug down (whistling innocently)…

  21. Root beer? SPEWWW!

  22. I place mine on top of the shaving light.

  23. Irish Al Says:

    Ah, root beer. That Germolene taste, now in a handy bottle!

  24. Might be doing you a favour there. You'd have a 240v appliance balanced on the edge of your sink where water could get into it.
    Building regs apparently state you can't put a conventional light switch inside a bathroom, but you are allowed to fumble around with a 2 pin shaving socket in an awkward position in a room full of wet. Bizarre.

  25. I wonder if it would be allowed to put a light switch on the end of a short cable dangling from a barely accessible shaving plug 10 cm above your head?

    Jesus wept.

  26. @Tom K. You idiot. The reason the sockets are different is because a shaver socket isn't a 240V mains socket. It's perfectly safe to use in the bathroom because it's on a separate transformer to the mains, which provides low charge and makes it much harder to electrocute yourself due to the fact that the contacts are 'floating' (Google it). There's no exposed metal connecting the toothbrush to the wall socket – the induction loop being entirely encased in plastic – making it slightly safer than having, say, an electric light in your bathroom. 
    Or do you only bathe by candlelight too?

  27. You need to move house, thats a daft place to have a shaver plug.

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