To expect a top-of-the-range trampoline to last more than a year?

(24 Posts)
perfectstorm Mon 22-Jul-13 22:29:56

Last June I got my then 3 year old a TP Activio with Surroundsafe, which is a poncey tension-set, ultra-padded safety net, because I know some medics hate trampolines as they cause a lot of injuries.

This is what the net now looks like:

1. To the left of the entrance.
2. To the right (we tried to repair with duct tape, not very successfully!)
3. The entrance.
4. Hole above the entrance, covered in duct tape, and several pinprick holes above that.
5. Pinpricks to the right of the entrance (all the holes started as pinpricks, then as the trampoline was used failed under the tension - that tension is stressed as essential to proper functioning, as it's what is supposed to keep the kids safe from hitting metal springs when jumping!
6. More pinpricks, round the back this time.
7. The safety note that you can't use a trampoline with a damaged net.
8. The bounce mat's logo, which is still pristine because the weather last summer was so awful and the winter so cold, DS has barely used the damn thing.

I've been going to and fro with TP's spares distributor for a couple of weeks, because the surround net is basically rotted inside that single year and has small holes and bloody great tears all over the fabric parts, rendering it unusable. They've told me it is a month out of warranty and thus I need to buy a new net from them. I did try to explain that warranties are in addition to statutory rights, not in lieu, and you can't sell an outside toy for hundreds of pounds and then say it is fine for it to rot inside a year, but to no avail. I wouldn't mind so much if I had several hulking teenagers, because they might have done the damage through carelessness when alone, but DS is a cautious and wary kid, has been supervised every time, and we've been scrupulous about all the safety information - the side tears are just because the fabric weakened so much that the bouncing tension ripped it. I know it's been a bad winter and was a wet summer last year, but this is just ridiculous. And to be told that they don't care what the law says (that something must be fit for the purpose for which it is sold) because it's out of guarantee, so hard cheese, is galling beyond belief.

Am I being unreasonable in expecting a reputable company, making an outdoors toy, would expect that toy to last more than one summer? I appreciate pregnancy hormones may be firing me up more than normal, but seriously, would you be okay with this? Or am I justified in thinking it should last at least a couple of years, if not more?

Theycallmestacy Mon 22-Jul-13 22:32:51

YANBU, we have had our trampoline for 8 yrs and have only just bought a new net, plus it wasn't as expensive as yours to begin with.

Theycallmestacy Mon 22-Jul-13 22:33:17

Have you contacted your local trading standards?

valiumredhead Mon 22-Jul-13 22:34:58

Did you bring the net in over the winter? They don't last very long ime and need replacing.

Tiggles Mon 22-Jul-13 22:53:08

I left ours out over the winter - at one point we had to shovel several feet of snow off it.
It's still fine this summer.

perfectstorm Mon 22-Jul-13 23:03:42

No, I didn't bring it in, but none of the paperwork suggested that was necessary and none of the families I know, all with more kids and older, conventional trampolines, have done so - yet theirs aren't in this shape! I think it's the design: the Surroundsafe is patented by TP because all the springs are padded, and then the fabric pulled taut so there's no chance of a kid walloping themselves on springs, poles etc. and thus in theory, it's safer. The problem is, once the fabric starts to rot, that tension is increased on either side of the entrance (because the entrance is in netting, not fabric, so the stress falls differently than it does around the back) and it rips there accordingly. It just places too much stress on the fabric - the net is in fine fettle on mine, and most people's trampoline nets are just that: net.

The thing that really pissed me off was that those photos clearly demonstrate the thing is trashed and unfit for original sale, never mind purpose, yet as soon as they learned it was bought in June they said it wasn't their problem. But as I loaded these images on Facebook, and a friend from college who is now a barrister saw them and just told me he'd handle a Small Claims Court claim for me as an early baby gift, I may yet get at least something for the sodding thing.

Thanks for the feedback, it's nice to know I'm not being hormone-crazed in thinking this is piss-poor! And I will certainly be removing the net from the replacement trampoline over winter/predicted terrible weather - wish that had been stressed as necessary when I bought the bloody thing, and thanks for mentioning it. Not, to be honest, that I think it would have lasted anyway. The design is based on the fabric being brand new and not exposed to the elements, and that isn't ideal in this climate for an outdoors toy! As soon as it ages a bit, the requirement that it be pulled taut and subjected to stress with every bounce is pretty obviously going to break the thing, surely? It's an integral flaw, I suspect. Most nets are a little loose, and now I see why - they need to be, to absorb the stretch per bounce.

If anyone has a trampoline brand that's lasted well/not killed anyone to recommend, I'm all ears? I won't ever buy anything else from bloody TP Toys, that's for damn certain. sad

NoComet Mon 22-Jul-13 23:05:28

I've had two TP trampolines, climbing frame and big swing. No trouble at beyond fair wear and tear to frame pads with DDs climbing on and off exactly the same place over and over.

Nets, I can't help you with, we have only just got one as DD has learnt to do cartwheels and handsprings. It's a random cheap one as between the gymnastics and our very windy garden, I don't expect it to last.

chocolatespiders Mon 22-Jul-13 23:07:47

I have a mid priced rectangular with net for 5 years, the bed is still great and I have replaced the pads once.

I think you have a duff one and it should be replaced

perfectstorm Mon 22-Jul-13 23:20:57

Starball the pad is in pristine, as new condition - I showed the white inked logo and it's not even lost any paint! The springs are in fine fettle, too. It's the net which is totally destroyed, and I can't let a 4 year old kid bounce on it in that shape, especially as there's no pad over the springs except at the entrance - the fabric was meant to do the same job!

All I want is a new net, but I am buggered, after seeing how short a life span a Surroundsafe design appears to have, if I am paying for one. It'd be cheaper to just get a different design from someone else.

Friend has said a strongly worded letter, together with printouts of images, to head office and then if they ignore that SCC. I'd be happy to accept a replacement net tbh as the whole thing just makes me feel exhausted, but I am pissed off to all hell at their attitude. You sort of assume a company prominently stocked by John Lewis would take customer service and consistent quality more seriously.

Scholes34 Mon 22-Jul-13 23:21:21

We bought our trampoline from Jump for Fun eight years ago, and we've replaced the surround that covers the springs once in that time because of wear and tear. It was bought for 9, 7 and 5 year olds and is now used by a 14 and 12 year old and has been used by up to four children at a time (yes, I know they shouldn't be on it all at once). We've had just one broken collar bone, when an 8 year old swung his 6 year old brother around on it and he hit himself against one of the padded uprights for the safety net.

As for bringing the net in during the winter, our trampoline is used throughout the year, as long as it's dry.

I'd happily recommend the company. A friend whilst recovering from an operation did all the research and bought hers a the same time and insisted I didn't need to research any further and she'd looked at every site going.

Sorry you've had such bad luck with tp. We had quite the opposite experience with a climbing frame tent just out of warranty. Free replacement delivered without quibble.

Flojobunny Mon 22-Jul-13 23:25:15

Clicked on your thread because my trampoline is falling to bits too. It's the material that surrounds the net and covers the springs that's disintegrating, had mine 2 years though.

5madthings Mon 22-Jul-13 23:27:57

Yanbu we have had our trampoline years and its only this summer we need to reolace the net! And mine is used by four boys inclyding a teen bigger than me and they are rather rough on it.... Wwf wrestling ring...

perfectstorm Mon 22-Jul-13 23:30:12

Thanks, Scholes, I'll be following that rec. up, if TP don't respond to the stiffly worded letter.

TP have outsourced their spares/repairs of faulty items to a third party company, which may be why things have gone to pot there? I'm hopeful, that being so (I just googled and it is a totally separate company, though it's also the company they adamantly advise anyone to go to, without mention that it is not a part of their own brand!) that a direct letter to them may achieve more? confused I can dream!

As mentioned, I think it's a design flaw, but a replacement net would at least mean I didn't have to shell out for a new trampoline at the same time as buying baby kit. (We rehomed most of ours a year ago, helpfully enough.)

perfectstorm Mon 22-Jul-13 23:31:39

Clicked on your thread because my trampoline is falling to bits too. It's the material that surrounds the net and covers the springs that's disintegrating, had mine 2 years though.

Flojo, is it also a Surroundsafe? I'm assuming so, from that description? Honestly I just don't think the fabric can stand up to the stress bouncing provides, as soon as it ages a bit. I think it's a design flaw.

thefirstmrsrochester Mon 22-Jul-13 23:36:53

Like Scholes, we have had our trampoline from Jump for Fun for years, its been left out (took down the net & tent over winter) all year (7 years) and its only this year we have had to replace the mat (due to older ds & his big mates all using it). The net has been replaced once due to a vandalising old enough to know better kid.
YY re it being a WWF ring.......I seriously considered dismantling the thing last summer due to that.

perfectstorm Mon 22-Jul-13 23:40:35

Yeah, that's the other thing - he only really used it regularly last summer, and he was three years old! That's why I included the logo - if you look at it, it's new-looking, no signs of wear at all. God knows what the thing would look like if teenagers had ever used it.

Jump for Fun it is, if they still dig their heels in at TP HQ over a replacement net. Here's crossing fingers they're better on that front than their 3rd party company are!

notfarmingatthemo Tue 23-Jul-13 01:30:34

just looked and we put are trampoline up in 2011 its this one It is faded but that is it our girls are now 11 and 7 so it has had some use. We took it down last winter as we had to clean it so it could come with us to NZ. Not gone up yet as its winter yet but I know it is fine as we wouldn't of brought it with us. It also had to be really scrubbed so we could bring it

Scholes34 Tue 23-Jul-13 08:55:09

Ours hasn't been used for wrestling, but does get good use as cricket nets (my boys can bowl over the top) and for goalie training (great for diving for saves). My 16 year old sits on it sedately with a whole bunch of friends. Can't remember now how much it cost, but certainly was an excellent buy and has provided fund for much longer than a climbing frame.

Scholes34 Tue 23-Jul-13 08:58:06

Our free replacement just out of warranty tent for the climbing frame obviously pre-dates the separate company for tp spare parts.

NoComet Tue 23-Jul-13 09:52:50

I don't thing TP are making the money they used to.

There are far more makes of cheaper trampolines and loads of wooden climbing frame manufacturers.

Sadly it looks like their quality and customer service is going the same way as many other companies.

Ixia Tue 23-Jul-13 09:58:57

We had a b&q 8ft cheapie and the net fell apart earlier this year, aswell as the pads etc. it had been out in all weathers for 4yrs and DD used it a lot.

Replaced it earlier this year with a TP surroundsafe, hoping it isn 't going to go the same as yours. Dd already likes it less as it is too firm (she takes trampolining lessons). The poles are fashioned in a bizarre way and keep coming loose, one is currently on the floor and one of the connections is faulty. We never had any trouble with the frame on the b&q, which irc was about £69.

MummytoMog Tue 23-Jul-13 10:24:41

Our six foot surround safe lasted one year. It was totally trashed (apart from the mat) by the end of that year. Looked exactly like your photos, rips and tears everywhere. And the plastic clips which held the net on snapped, and the stupid hoop that held the mat up broke. We bought a massive plum trampoline www.enchanted-wood.co.uk/plum-14-ft-magnitude-trampoline-and-enclosure.ir?cName=outdoors-trampolines-plum-14-ft-trampolines instead and so far I'm really impressed with it (although it's only been up since March). It still keeps them away from the springs and it looks surprisingly nice. We got it from a discount place, I think it was just over £200 and I'm hoping that it will last for the next few years (unlike the stupid TP).

perfectstorm Tue 23-Jul-13 10:24:43

Well, I have a request to email TP today, with my phone number, so head office can discuss things with me... I'll cross fingers their attitude is way more helpful than their spares supplier's!

I do think the tension around the base of the Surroundsafe is problematic, really. But then again, notfarmingatthemo has one and hers is doing them all fine, so with any luck for you other buyers I just got a net from a duff batch, and the fabric is usually more resilient.

perfectstorm Tue 23-Jul-13 10:25:42

X post with Mummy to Mog - okay, that makes three of us so far with that issue, and one without. Somehow I am not optimistic it's not a general problem. Sigh.

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