I used to use Gillette Sensor Excel razor blades. The Sensor was a twin blade razor whose cartridge had independent suspension, a lubricating strip (I said “lubricating!”) and probably rack and pinion steering, Dolby audio and some other performance features I’m forgetting about. I thought it did a fine job and was satisfied to keep buying replacement blades for it forever. I laughed when the Gillette Mach 3 came out. Its blades were more expensive and how much closer a shave did I need? I thought anything closer than the shave I was getting with the Sensor Excel would essentially qualify as plastic surgery.
And I was really disdainful when Gillette doubled up and released the six-bladed Fusion razor. Gillette spent over $1 billion on the marketing launch, and it showed in the redonkulous price of the replacement cartridges. In fact, they sent me a free trial with a razor handle and blade. Of course getting the razor handle in consumers’ hands is what it’s all about—once you’ve got the handle, you need blade refills. Similar marketing model to inkjet printers, which are essentially receptacles for expensive toner refills.
I found the Fusion’s 5+1 blade head to be more awkward to use than the slim twin-bladed Sensor. To make matters moot, I dropped the damn thing in the shower the second time I used it and the handle broke, rendering it unable to hold a cartridge. Game over. Believe me, I dropped the Sensor Excel many times. Sure, the cartridge would go sproinging off wildly behind the shampoo bottle or the body wash pouf, but once I found it, it’d snap right back on, good as new. So, whatever with the gimmicky Fusion. Or so I thought.
I recently learned the hard way that Gillette no longer markets replacement cartridges for the Sensor Excel. OK, I thought, I’ll bite the bullet and move up to the Mach 3. Uh oh. While Gillette continues to supply replacement Mach 3 cartridges, they no longer market Mach 3 handles. Guess what that means? I stuck with a legacy product for so long that I’m now forced to adopt Gillette’s newest product line. Think anyone on P&G’s marketing team had that one figured out?
OK, I’ll admit the Gillette Fusion gives a fine shave and isn’t all that awkward once you get used to it. But the cartridges cost a hell of a lot more than the Sensor’s did. (poopy face emoticon here)
P.S. In case you’re wondering why I don’t just switch to another brand, how could I? My daddy was a Gillette man.
P.P.S. Yes, I can order Sensor Excel blades online (found some on a UK pharmacy site), but according to Gillette’s website, they are no longer part of the product line, so that’d only be a temporary solution.
P.P.P.S. Before you object, you should know that my dorkiness does not extend to buying a lifetime supply of a personal care product from a foreign online pharmacy. I have my pride.
And this is what happens when Gmail reads my email but not my blog: