August 10, 2006

Babies R Ass? Is Screwing Customers The New Company Policy?

While YOUR emails are always rational and compelling, I do get messages from my fair share of cranks. And while I try to read each one with an open mind, I like to think I can spot a Customer From Hell within about 90 seconds.

That said, none of the multiple emails I've received in the last couple of weeks detailing shabby customer treatment and sudden, unannounced, and inflexible policy changes at Babies R Us and Toys R Us sets off any psycho warnings at all. The two new policies in question:

Gift cards no longer work on babiesrus.com, despite, as DT reader John points out, "all the cards still currently state on the back that they can be used at BRU.com, with no signs or warnings at checkout in the stores." It wouldn't be a big deal if there wasn't so much online-only merchandise, says another dad [who wishes to be even less identifiable than a guy named John.]

Also, Toys R Us stopped accepting returns or exchanges without a receipt, period. This policy, at least, was updated online. Refunds, I can totally understand, but exchanges? Of unopened merchandise with TRU tags? Two words come to mind: E. Bay.

All this abusive behavior makes me think someone just came out of a bad relationship and is having a bit of trouble adjusting to single life.

12 Comments

Just another reason why we refuse to shop at Babies R Us.

If places like Target expanded their baby sections, BRU wouldn't exist anymore.

My favorite night, was when I went there the night of the superbowl. We got a scanner when we got there (an hour before the store closed) and started wandering. 15 minutes later they called for all scanners to be returned. We rebelled since we questioned their need to do scanner accounting for the next 45 minutes. After another 10 minutes they called us by name to return their scanner. Punks! 5 minutes later they asked all customers to make their final selections and come to the cash registers. 30 minutes before the store closed. We actually got out of the store with 15 minutes until they closed (tooks us awhile since they only had one checker working, with one to stand next to her and chew gum), and they had already locked the doors. 15 minutes early. Brilliant stuff. If they had ANY real competition they would no longer exist.

They better be careful with the gift cards. In some states, like WA state, gift cards are forbidden by law from expiring. This could be interpreted as a violation of that law.

This seems a little different than "expiring" as they can still be used at the stores... BUT, I could see this as a basis for states to start prohibiting these sorts of action!

And Connecticut also has a "no expiration" clause on gift cards, if there are any readers from CT...

Three other words come to mind: Buy Buy Baby.

They'll take it back, happily, if unopened / in good condition. Even if it didn't come from them. While you're there, buy many things. Things that you're not buying at BRU.

Ditto on the comment about Target! They have a great schmattering of the basics but man, they could do a killing if they ever expanded!!

Not sure if you are aware that Babies R Us just ended a VERY bad relationship with Amazon (who was doing all of babies r us backend supplying and handling/shipping). The two have been locked in a nasty court battle for over a year now so that babies r us could get out of their agreement.

My sister, who had a baby 7 weeks ago, found this out the hard way when a month before she was due everything on her registry turned up on her registry as out of stock. Customarily, we do not buy anything for a baby until after it is born so imagine her angst when she was online for the month leading up to her due date with nothing available.

Babies R Us was no help. We asked them to post a message on their official site telling people to go to stores or call stores directly if people wanted to order things. They told us to do that on my sister's registry (can you say tacky).

Amazon was even ruder when I spoke to them.

Babies R Us is now going through the growing pains of figuring out all of the backend supply chain on their own which is probably why everyone is having problems with babies r us now. Doesn't make it right that all these problems are happening though. You would think they would be a little bit more flexible with customers as they try to work things out.

Pain in the butt, I know.

{yeah, I think I saw a link to that somewhere. -ed.]

You would think that if their relationship with Amazon was so bad that they would be more prepared to be BETTER than they were before. Maybe it wasn't necessarily Amazon that was the problem??

I can't believe people are talking positively about Target in comparison to BRU - have you tried their return policies? I was registered there & needed to return a $200 stroller that was bought by a relative from out of town. I didn't have a gift receipt or credit card (again, out of town family), but it was on my registry. They would only give my husband $40 for the set. They had no record of the price paid for it on registry. My husband said he probably wouldn't shop there again and the customer service agent said 'I don't care'. What's the purpose of being on a registry for that type of treatment? He didn't know any better and took the $. That's the last time we've been in a Target. It sucks to leave a place I liked so much, but BRU is sooo much better.

I attempted to return a toy to TRU for store credit over the weekend and was met with this same policy. Apparently you can have them look up the transaction by credit card number (if that is how you paid) and they will issue the credit to a gift card.

The lady at customer service said that they were moving to a system that tracks customers by their phone numbers to make purchase tracking easier.

[and besides, that can be more easily cross-referenced with other databases to give them a better demographic profile of you. sweet. -ed.]

I will NEVER shop at Babiesrus again. I placed an online order in Nov. They canceled the highchair from the order. Online customer service could (would) not help. They just said "too bad" Now a month later, they have emailed me saying that due to a technical difficulty the item was shipped and I will be charged. I am so furious. They said I can return the item. . but it was shipped to the person that I was buying it for. So now, I have to be the ***** and go to that person to ask them to return it because I bought them one on amazon. And since she will not have a receipt, will they let her return it? Ughhhh. Im also NOT shopping at Toysrus for Christmas since they are affiliated.

I am currently registered with Babies R Us. For the past 2 weeks, nothing that has been purchased off of my registry has showed up as being bought. I've done some research on the internet on several forums to see if anybody else has experienced the same problem, and haven't been successful. There is an upwards of 50 to 60 items that are not showing up on my registry! I don't mean to sound material, but I spent a lot of time on my registry- and the last thing I want to do is run around in the last few weeks of my pregnancy making a million returns. Then another problem emerges if I do not get gift receipts for the many doubles I'm sure I will recieve! (Due to BRU's strict policy for returns)

Am I alone?

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