Pax vaporizer mouthpiece lubricant for 5 dolla or 3 drops of AstroGlide for $free.99?

Addendum 11/13/14: I am not Ploom/Pax customer service. Here is how to reach them.

(NOTE: In response to this post, Ploom says that if you bought a Pax before they started shipping with lubricant, Ploom will send you some free. See this update.)

I love my Pax vaporizer, except I’ve felt from day one that the sticky stem mouthpiece thing was an unacceptable design flaw. Sometimes it won’t turn on; it just shows the temp setting, unless I press on the mouthpiece just so, so that the LED indicates the unit is heating. Lately, it’s sometimes difficult to get the stem to stay in the depressed position, so it’s hard to turn the unit off. Uncool, and on at least one social occasion, very inconvenient. Just call me Richie Hot Pockets. 

An early call to Pax customer service showed they were well aware of the problem. The nice person I talked to explained that cleaning the unit frequently with isopropyl alcohol should keep it working right. 

Except it kinda doesn’t. Or at least not for very long. Which means, what? I have to clean it every time I use it? Nuh uh. Very impractical. 

So today I go to the ploom site to see if they’ve issued a recall or something, because as terrific a device as the Pax is, this ganking around with the mouthpiece stem is getting kinda old.

But, no! Lo and behold, there on the support page is a video showing me how to apply the newly available—for $5!—Pax mouthpiece lubricant!

So their way of  telling me that their mouthpiece needs lubricant to work properly is to try to sell me five packets of “food-grade, water soluble lubricant,” of which, as the instructional video below shows, you need only three drops per packet. $5 they want for that! To keep their device working as advertised. Lame. 

Wait a minute—food-grade, water soluble lubricant? In my house, that can only mean one thing: AstroGlide

Yup. Tried it. Three veeerry tiny drops. It helps. Thumbs down to ploom, though, for trying to turn a design flaw into a marketing opportunity. I think they should either mail those lubricant packs out free to every registered Pax purchaser, or explain on their site how to use a locally sourced alternative (like AstroGlide, or whatever is in their stuff).

And what’s with the dumb packaging? The foil packs look like they’d be hard to reseal after getting your three drops out. Why not just sell an amount equivalent to the five packets in a small tube so that customers can use more of the product they’re paying for and waste less of it? Geez.