It's Extremely Frustrating To Buy Two Car Seats From Babies 'R Us

Poor Jenn, she just wants two car seats. She has twins, so she needs two car seats. Otherwise she’d have to leave one baby at home, and last time we checked you weren’t supposed to do that. From Jenn’s blog:

Here’s the steps I took to try to obtain these seats.

1) Looked in the store to buy the seats. Only available online.
2) Tried to get the twin discount online. Not available online.
3) Tried to use a $10 off coupon online. Not available online.
4) Cashed in Club Mom points to get BRU gift cards. They were out of $50 cards so I ended up having to get 8 $25 gift cards for a total of $200.
5) Got the gift cards in the mail, went online to buy the seats, found out they were “temporarily unavailable.” Asked them to send me an e-mail when it’s available.
6) Check a few days later even though I haven’t received an e-mail, available! Yay! Go to check out, only ONE is available.
7) Decide to buy one at BRU and get the other one somewhere else. Try to use Google checkout to save $10. Sign up with that only to realize you can’t use the giftcards with google checkout.

There are 15 steps, none of which result in two car seats in Jenn’s car. We are glad we do not have kids. —MEGHANN MARCO

I just want to buy some freaking car seats [Jenn's Journal]
(Photo: AdamOndi)

Comments

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  1. timmus says:

    I think by step 5 I would be looking elsewhere, like on Amazon. That’s just me though.

  2. Hoss says:

    Calling customer service should be step 3, not step 14. If they don’t answer in 3 minutes, use Amazon. No biggie

  3. He says:

    Just decide which baby you love best.

  4. Amsterdaam says:

    @He:

    You win. I’m not even going to try.

  5. klondikedog says:

    Without experiencing Babies’R’Us its impossible to comment on its suckitude. Their return policies are awful, online store worthless and its just not that great. Unfortunately, it has a bit of a monopoly in the baby market. Trying to return duplicate gifts from a baby shower was next to impossible and they finally relented after my wife was near tears in taking the return. Thanks Babies’R’Us, sorry we lost the receipt for the pack of bibs in the wrong color.

    Even worse is Motherhood, one of the few places to shop when you’re pregnant. Creepy atmosphere, odd pricing, sizes that are all different and needing to supply personal information to buy a t-shirt.

    If Target continues to develop their baby offerings, Babies’R’Us may soon be a distant memory like no car seats or seat belts in VW Beetles.

    K.

  6. acambras says:

    @klondikedog:

    Unfortunately, I hear that returning registry items at Target is a pain in the ass, too. But hopefully less of a pita than at BRU.

    I used to work at a call center where one of our accounts was Motherhood Maternity — we processed phoned-in catalog orders. They wanted us to ask all of these creepy questions of the moms-to-be that called — due date, sex of the baby, etc. It was presumably to beef up the MM database, but I always felt like it sounded like, “OK, ma’am — now that I have your home address, exactly when are you due, so I can break into your house and steal your baby? And will I be stealing a boy or a girl?”

  7. Gasface says:

    I’m so pissed. I tried to order a Wii and they were sold out. THAT IS BAD CUSTOMER SERVICE!!! I AM ENTITLED TO GET WHAT I WANT WHEN I WANT IT AT THE PRICE I WANT.

  8. Scazza says:

    I worked in a TRU/BRU store in canada. I gotta say this is a horrible story and I have heard it happen before. TRU has the WORST online site in existance. Its like they saw every other store doing online retail and they decided to hire some 15 year old to write theirs. That being said, USUALLY the instore are much better equiped at handling stuff like this.

    For example, if they didn’t have stuff in store, usually they would issue a transfer order from other stores (or if its completely off the radar, they will put in an order and offer a raincheque). They also usually check other stores inventory and BRU managers are usually selected from regular TRU managers who have experince in BRU, so they are usually helpful too.

    My advice is call TRU and get in contact with someone in corporate, they are also one of the better companies who take customer complaints to heart…

  9. What is your time worth to you? Is it worth the effort when you could of bought them, spent a few more, and went on with your day?

  10. revmatty says:

    The website is certainly craptastic, but as far as returns at the store I’ve only had exceptional experiences. When our first daughter was born we had no idea what the hell we were doing (and probably still don’t) and bought a LOT of things we didn’t need. We started buying 6 months before she was born, and for the first 3 months of her life I was making returns to BRU at least weekly, often of big ticket items.

    The only caveat they had was that they could not legally accept returns of diapers. That was it. They took back everything even stuff that I’d bought 8 or 9 months earlier. I did of course always have the original packaging and receipts, so that probably helped.

  11. revmatty says:

    Also, we returned at least two different car seats because my wife decided she didn’t like them once we got them installed. Same with a half dozen different baby swings and bouncy seats.

  12. Daytonna says:

    I am not sure why you would waste so much of your time. You do understand that a store “specializing” in babies is only there to fleece you right?

    Here’s the step my cousins took when they had twins.
    1. Walk into walmart, by two baby seats, walk out.

    Yes, I know Walmart is evil, but it is quiet easy to switch Walmart with, Target, Fred Meyers, Shopko, Sears, and have the same result. Don’t complaine about how dificult it is to accomplish a task when you choose to make it that difficult.

  13. aka Cat says:

    I know nothing of Club Mom, but why didn’t she cash in the points before she started this shopping adventure?

  14. Spider Jerusalem says:

    @Daytonna:

    although I’d normally agree (hate branding, and people who live by it), it sounds as though she had money invested in the store, in terms of “Club Mom Points” that could be turned into money and therefore carseats.

    That said, my friends that just had a baby had a really good experience with BRU. His sister bought them a carseat/stroller thingy from up north, and they could pick it up in their local store at their convenience.

  15. aws22662002 says:

    I have twins and not had any issues with babies r us. Maybe your expectations are too high? We didn’t know about the twins discount until the babies were 6mnths old and spent well of $3,000. Went to the store, spoke with the mgr got in store credit. It was a good chunk of change too.

  16. juri squared says:

    And here I thought I was just being hormonal. I have also experienced the joy of being nearly in tears at the customer service counter of both BRU and Target.

    I especially loved the part at Target where they told me I’d only get $20 in-store credit for a gift originally bought online, when the same item was sitting on the shelf in the store (with a different SKU) for $90.

    Also, I had a similar online/in-store problem with BRU. The website said “available in-store only,” and when I printed my registry out at the store, it said “not available in-store.” Thanks, guys!

    Seriously, why do they have to be such a pain to pregnant ladies? Don’t we have enough to worry about?

  17. aloe vera says:

    As someone who is pregnant with her first child – BRU is pretty much the only game in town when it comes to registering. Target’s return policies are pretty bad – only getting store credit for the department the return came from, is what I hear.
    So I’m stuck registering at BRU. In fact, I’m going there tomorrow to put the bulk of my items on my registry.

    Hopefully my friends and family won’t have a hard time shopping there.

  18. etinterrapax says:

    I feel like I really dodged a bullet. Call it denial, but I could hardly bring myself to register, and even though I finally did, people preferred to bring us six million baby blankets and articles of clothing that can only be described as useless (note: if buying for a small infant, they do not have to roast in their clothes in summer. They don’t get that cold that easily). So I never had to return anything because we didn’t buy much before we actually had the baby. Borrowed a crib, bought other stuff as needed, never had to handle this.

    I never found a single garment I liked at Motherhood, and unfortunately, Land’s End got out of the maternity business. But Old Navy has surprisingly good casual maternity (check the website), and many of Land’s End’s stretch pants are roomy enough for maternity and look nice enough to wear to all but the dressiest of jobs. Generally speaking, the choice in maternity at Target was as weak as everywhere else. If someone could open a maternity-wear store full of stuff like what normal women wear, but for maternity, women would flock to it. Flock, I say.

  19. SmoovyG says:

    Over the course of the last year, I’ve learned that BRU’s website is horrible and their registry is a joke, but if you talk to a manager about any exchanges or issues, you’ll usually end up not havig a problem. Target’s always been pretty easy to deal with as well – even without receipts, if the item we had to return was listed as being bought from our registry, they always took it back with a smile.

    I’ve heard nothing but horror stories about Burlington though, so we avoided them completely.

  20. revmatty says:

    It’s real easy to say “Just shop at Wal-Mart” or wherever, but realistically BRU carries a whole range of products not available at any other major chain. And the selection at places like WM, Target, etc, is pretty bad. You can choose from 6-8 car seats that are poorly rated by consumer reports, or you can go to BRU and choose from about 30 higher rated ones. Even more so for strollers, cribs, baby gates, etc etc etc.

    When I lived in L.A. there were a couple of non-chain stores that had great prices and selection, but here in STL the only places other than the rack jobbers or BRU are high end boutiques.

  21. adamondi says:

    YAY! my picture got used! Woot woot! I feel special now.

    I knew it was just a matter of time before someone had an issue with Babies R Us. Ours was minor on the night that the picture was taken. My wife’s parents had very generously bought a bunch of stuff for our first baby, and my wife changed her mind about one of the items. We had the receipt, but not my father-in-law’s credit card. So we knew we were only going to get store credit, and we said so when we talked to the Customer Service girl. She started the return and then asked for the original credit card, not one minute after we had told her that we didn’t have the card and would be happy with store credit. She then said that she could only do a return to the original card or give us store credit on a gift card. I started to wonder if I was hearing an echo. For the third time, we told her store credit on a gift card was exactly what we wanted, and she finally processed the return. Albeit reluctantly. So it wasn’t a horrible experience, but that girl was either hard of hearing or an idiot.

  22. jgpenzen says:

    As the parent of a 1 year old child, I have registered, shopped, and recieved gifts from BRU and Target more in the past year than I could ever had imagined.

    From my experience BRUs return policy is pretty liberal. We’ve never been denied a return even without a reciept. What I would not recommend doing at BRU is buying baby furniture. Since everyone shops there its pretty much gaurunteed that anything of thier showroom floor is not in the back and will be a 3-4 month wait for it to move thier thier warehouse system.

    Target has a little more strict return policy if you don’t have a reciept or gift reciept you can only get store credit for the department from which the item came (so if you return a baby stroller you can’t buy a TV). But aside from that we’ve had no problem returning things. We’ve even ended up returning gifts to them and later found out that they we’re purhcased at another chain when we found the gift reciepts.

  23. dbisping says:

    i doubt if you’ll read my comments after all that, but i think i can help.

    my nephews are all monsters and by chance 2 of the 3 are also twins. they all admit to being monsters, at times without prompting.

    now for the help part…

    contact the manufacturer about everything for the twins.

    they will send a coupon, information on where to find help and maybe more. you just have to ask, even if it’s by email.

    from there, you’re gonna have to find the parent hacking websites of your choice. there is even more info available there.

    here’s one:

    http://www.parenthacks.com

    have fun!

  24. quagmire0 says:

    Actually, my wife and I found BRU to be awesome when it comes to returns, here’s what we managed to do:

    We built our registry, but found that a lot of people just bought outside of the registry, we also got some gift cards. On **several** occasions we found coupons for items that we either got as gifts or purchased ourselves with the gift cards. We had no problem at all going back – and doing this several different times with several items and having them apply the coupons. This resulted in tons of extra store credit and allowed us to buy many more things, we still have credit in fact. As far as their online goes, yeah, it’s a pain. Their online store always has different items vs. in-store and the availability is as spotty as Jenn claims. We had to change several of our sytle preferences on car seats and pack-n-plays since many people in our family are still not internet savvy enough to order anything online.

    All in all, if you’re a little bit flexible and a whole lot frugal, it’s a great store to manipul- er get great deals at. :)

  25. swalve says:

    Solution: go to a different store that has what you want.