Design fail: three-legged race

lonely corner

We recently purchased a "Flip Top Dishrack" from SimpleHuman. It's very cool, lots of stainless steel thingies and snowy plastic that just feels expensive. The rack comes with a drainboard that has a little spout to channel water back into the sink. To raise or lower the drainboard about an inch, there are these little flip-out feet at each corner. Well, there are legs at three of the corners.

The fourth corner has none. You can keep all legs folded up and have a level board that sits right on some ribs on the underside of the board. You can fold two legs out and create a grade to the board for better draining. If your sink sits up a half inch or so above the counter like ours does, you can fold all four out - no wait, you can't. You can fold three out legs and watch the drainboard flex and teeter. This is not to say the leg is missing, in a sense: there are no marks where a leg might have broken off, no telltale leftover flashing, no glue marks. Nothing.

Figuring this had to be a manufacturing defect, I contacted SimpleHuman, and encountered another surprise: Brittany of SimpleHuman told me "that's intentional to allow you to tilt the drainboard."  Er, what? Seriously? Subsequent email exchanged with SimpleHuman resulted in their official take:

Thank you for your inquiry and purchasing our dishrack.  The drip tray is designed to only have 3 adjustable feet and only two are used at a time.  By having only two up at time, it will allow the tray to direct the water for better drainage.  This drip tray is our new dual directional model which allows you to drain the water either vertically or horizontally.  You pull out the two feet that you need, depending on which way you want to water to drain.

You omit a leg, and justify it with that? We generally love SimpleHuman products, but this seems like a product manager overriding common sense - how much did this save them per unit - a quarter? At the very least, someone was a bit short-sighted when developing use cases.

We continue to use the drainboard, with a trio of cut-down wine corks hot-glued together for the missing leg (sorry, regardless of their excuses, it is missing).

At least we miss it.