Babies "R" Us Ships Car Seat, Which Is Nice, Except You Ordered A Bassinet

Meet Matt. Matt ordered a bassinet from Babies “R” Us for the baby he expects to arrive in two weeks. Babies “R” Us, apparently more concerned about how Matt would transport Matt Jr. home, decided to send him a damaged car seat instead.

Matt writes:

My wife is due to deliver our first child in about two weeks. We decided to buy a bassinet to keep by our bed for the little guy, leaving his crib in his new room. We had store credit from Babies ‘R’ Us, so we ordered one from their website and applied the credit to make it more affordable (side note: all the bassinets in store are over $100, online is the only way to get one cheap from BRU). What we got is decidedly not a bassinet, as seen in the pictures attached. The packing slip-never removed from the box-claims this is a bassinet, instead of a badly damaged/shipped car seat.

BRU’s response: print out a return shipping label, drop off box that may not be accepted by UPS (BRU said we may need to get another box…) and wait 4-5 days for item to arrive back in their warehouse, then wait 7-10 business days for credit. All of this leaves us without a bassinet, with BRU holding our money, both from credit card and store credit until well after our son is to be born. Reversing the charged on our credit card leaves us without the substantial amount of store credit.

Their solution to having a bassinet soon enough: order again and wait for the credit(s), but not too soon, for they say the problem may not be fixed yet, so we’d maybe get another pink and plaid, beat up car seat instead of a bassinet for our new baby.

http://consumermediallc.files.wordpress.com/2007/08/bru_002-thumb.jpg?w=478&h=358

http://consumermediallc.files.wordpress.com/2007/08/bru_003-thumb.jpg?w=478&h=358

Comments

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  1. crnk says:

    Ok, so they screwed up and shipped the wrong item, but they are taking it back and will refund it.
    Is this the only thing you will need from BRU….can’t you just pay for a new/correct one and then have the credit to redeem for another item?

  2. chrispiss says:

    Do some people not understand that companies screw up shipments sometimes? I doubt the box left the warehouse looking like that given what we know about UPS. At least they are refunding it. Yeah it’s inconvenient because the baby’s about to pop out, but it would’ve been smart to have everything ready a lot sooner than two weeks out.

  3. dbeahn says:

    @chrispiss1186: No kidding. You’d think if the kid was important to them, they’d have either:

    a) Had all this stuff together a month ago.

    or

    b) Knowing that time was short, gone and gotten what was needed locally.

    Poor kid is probably in for a lifetime of last minute disappointments.

  4. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    Quit whining – they screwed up, they’re refunding you your money and giving you what you need, albeit NOT in the timeframe in which you’d initially hoped, but that wouldn’t have been a problem if you hadn’t waited until the 11th hour.

    If the company refused to do anything about it and you’d been arguing about it for the past month with them, then I THINK I could remotely understand you writing to Consumerist for assistance, but this is ridiculous. In the time it took you to write this letter, you could’ve gone somewhere locally and picked out a bassinette and worried about the store credits later.

  5. gibbersome says:

    Whats all this fuss about a bassinet? When I was a newborn, my mom carried me around in a picnic basket.

  6. humphrmi says:

    Ah, young grasshopper… as you can see by the posts here, your days of waiting until the last minute to take care of things are over. Enjoy your new baby.

  7. Trae says:

    I think the problem is that the company is making them get their own box to ship it, and not first shipping the bassinet.

    Y’know, I’m tired of this “Companies mis-ship things all the time, get over it” attitude. The point is that companies SHOULDN’T mis-ship things and should spend the five extra seconds to check to make sure that the product on the slip is the one being sent to people.

    In other words, people should do their jobs. Expecting someone to do what they told you they would isn’t that much to ask for, and being annoyed or angry when they don’t isn’t something surprising.

    Lastly, if you don’t want to read about people’s customer service problems, why are you reading the Consumerist?

  8. cedarpointfan says:

    @Trae: Amen!

  9. stupidpeopleshouldntbreed says:

    First thing that should have happened during the phone call is for BRU to ship the correct item. Second, a “call tag” which nobody seems to have heard of, (where UPS will pick up the item to be returned, shipping charges paid by the company issuing the call tag, and shipment delivered to the issuer of the call tag) should have been issued for the car seat. Third, if the customer just doesn’t return the car seat to UPS when they come by to pick it up, I believe they make three attempts to pick it up, Then they can charge for the car seat in addition to the bassinet that they already paid for. It’s not hard to do, and it’s a win-win situation for both parties. Matt gets his bassinet on time if it doesn’t get damaged in shipping, and doesn’t get charged for any additional items he didn’t order, BRU gets their car seat back and can file an insurance claim against UPS or their third party shipping insurer for the damaged car seat they mistakenly shipped.
    Hopefully BRU keeps track of just which employee is logged on to their shipping computer at any given time, so they can reprimand the correct employee and keep this from happening day in and day out. Keep in mind that this isn’t the company that did this maliciously, it was the sloppy work of one employee, possibly the oversight of a supervisor, but doubtful in a corporate world trying to minimize costs. If BRU had handled this situation proactively to get Matt what he needed by the time he needs it, they might save themselves a customer.
    Customer service is supposed to be about helping the customer, doing what they can do to bend company policy to meet the need, and righting wrongs, not about getting the customer off the phone as fast as possible to rack up your own phone call statistics for the month to get your next promotion or raise.

  10. acasto says:

    Obviously some people haven’t spent two seconds in a hectic business environment if they can understand how something can be mis-shipped. Even in small companies with less than twenty employees there is mis-communications and errors. Come back to Earth already!

  11. pdxguy says:

    @Acasto: Some of have spent more than two seconds in a hectic business environment. But we can still take a extra few seconds to make sure that what is in the box matches what is on the label. By doing this, my hectic business will prosper far more your hectic business – I’ll have more satisfied customers in the long run.

    It’s not how much you ship out the door. It’s how much you ship out the door correctly. Customer Service 101.

  12. nursetim says:

    Everyone here who thinks it’s Matt’s fault for waiting until the last minute should realize all of the stuff you need for a baby, especially your first. Perhaps this was the last thing they needed, and thought that two weeks before the baby is born was enough time. They already have a crib, so it’s not like they have to use a box with a blanket in it for the baby. Notice in one of the pictures the packing sheet that can be seen in the plastic holder that says bassinet. You telling me that the person didn’t notice that he/she was putting this on a box that is clearly not a bassinet.

  13. Chicago7 says:

    @gibbersome:

    When I was llittle, they just kicked us around. They didn’t even bother to pick us up – just kicked us into the kitchen to the feed trough, kicked us outdoors to get hosed down, kicked us into the garage to sleep (carbon monoxide really puts you to sleep fast – how I miss those days of deep sleep!).

  14. Scazza says:

    Just like EVERY OTHER Toys R Us customer, they wait until the last minute to buy their stuff. You should see every Toys R Us at 6pm on Xmas EVE, place is PACKED with retarded parents screaming at cashiers with crap like “What do you mean Tickle Me Elmo is sold out??!?!”

    Yeah, those days were hell…

  15. Razzler says:

    @Trae:
    First point: You can get a box for $3 at Staples. If it’s that much of an issue for the guy I’m sure BRU will be willing recoup the cost.

    Second point: Warehouse people are only human, and it’s absurd to expect 100% accuracy in shipping. The best the company can offer in the event of a mix-up are a refund and an apology, and that’s exactly what this guy got.

    Third point: We’re calling the guy out because this is the sort of thing that happens every day and isn’t really a big deal. Sure, the kid’s not going to have a bassinet immediately, but that’s the guy’s own fault for not planning ahead.

  16. andyparkerson says:

    What BRU should have done is to take the guy’s CC info, immediately ship out the bassinet and new UPS shipping label, and tell him to return the car seat with that label. If he returns it within 30 days, he won’t be charged for the second (first!) bassinet. Otherwise the CC will be charged for the full price.

  17. Chicago7 says:

    This does make Dell and KitchenAid look good. Both companies have shipped replacement items to me BEFORE getting the defective product back.

    /And BOTH of those items cost a LOT more than a baby carrier!

  18. queen_elvis says:

    @Trae: Yeah, seriously. I’ve never been pregnant, but I hear it’s kind of distracting.

  19. infinity306 says:

    Maybe you should’ve priced the car seat first.. you said most bassinets were over $100 locally.. I don’t know how much you paid BRU for the Bassinet that they messed up. but by googling the Car seat you apparently got lowest priceI can find it for is $129. [www.google.com]
    You could’ve kept the seat, or sold it and got your Bassinet seperately. only Alpha Omega Elite’s that I see listed on BRU’s site are $159..

  20. SrtaMaestra says:

    So maybe they shouldn’t have waited until the last minute, but the company really needs to be a little better about making this right for the customer. Why not ship the correct product, in a box that would be suitable to return the carseat, and give the customer two weeks to use that box to return the carseat, and if it isn’t returned, charge their credit card for the carseat too? Sure, businesses make mistakes, but keeping customers happy (and hopefully returning despite your mistake) is all about correcting mistakes if they occur–quickly and painlessly.

  21. erica.blog says:

    Uh, what’s the point of buying a bassinet to trip over weeks in advance of needing to actually use it? Do you people buy cars for your kids when they are born because they will want one someday? Buy eggs because you know you will have scrambled eggs a month from now? They bought it in what would have been a very timely manner, had the item delivered been the correct one. Two weeks is plenty of time if Babies R Us is capable of shipping the correct item. Perhaps you will be reminded from my use of bold tags that this is Babies R Us screwup and the company is not handling it well.

    @Matt and Mrs. Matt — good luck with the new boy, I’m sure everything will go fine despite BRU’s attempts to the contrary ;-)

  22. homerjay says:

    Bassinets are overrated. My first slept in his car seat for the first three weeks of life (Not in the car, mind you) and then into his crib. It was very convenient beucase we just kept it next to our bed.

    The second had a huge stupid basinnet (this was a month ago) and I hated it. It took up a ton of room in our bedroom and was WAY too low to be comfortable.

    My advice? Keep the carseat.. Its a pretty nice one. :)

  23. Buran says:

    @cedarpointfan: I’m surprised it took that many comments for someone to point out the inexcusability of this.

    But why can’t they take it back at a store and give you credit on the spot?

  24. Davo950 says:

    Step One: Take the thing back to the store, get store credit for the amount you paid, including the shipping. (The store manager should be able to give your shipping money back because it was BRU’s fault.
    Step Two: Use the store credit to buy the thing online again, and you’ll have it in 3-5 business days.

    End of problem… Happens all the time. Why is this so difficult?

  25. Televiper says:

    Yes, people in warehouses do make mistakes. Which is why you don’t place all the onus on the costumer when a mistake is reported. It would of made more sense for BRU to send them the bassinet and a box to ship the car seat back in. NO waiting 4-5 days for shipping, and no waiting 7-10 days for a credit on their account. The only reason they don’t have what they ordered is poor customer service.

    It’s the 21st century. You should be able to buy something from anywhere in the country and receive it within 2 weeks (with the exception of availability).

  26. Televiper says:

    Also new babies are expensive. They probably couldn’t afford the bassinet earlier, or wanted to hold off. Isn’t this the website that preaches not putting things on credit, only buying things you can afford, and paying off your credit card each month?

  27. JustIcedCoffee says:

    Let me get this story straight. Mat orders a 40 bassinet, receives a 160 dollar car seat, and doesn’t want to ship it back in a box?
    1) sell on craigslist.
    2) call the Baby’s r us store and see if they carry the carseat. Return it there.
    3) get a pic-a-nic basket!
    4) problem solved.

  28. Shadowman615 says:

    That’s one reason I do a lot of my shopping at Amazon. They’ve always been great with returns. In fact, they usually ship the return out the day you make the claim, then let you print out a packing slip and give you 30 days to send it back. Or course, this only applies to items actually sold and shipped from amazon, not to other sellers on their site.

    So there’s really no reason to expect anything less from other large companies.

  29. CumaeanSibyl says:

    It’s not really anyone’s business why they want a bassinet. If you think they’re stupid and unnecessary, don’t buy one.

  30. dancing_bear says:

    At least the “Not a Bassinet” graphic is funny.

  31. topgun says:

    @infinity306:
    I agree totally. I always look for an angle to come out ahead.
    I really hope that $100 is not a major issue for the person who posted this. I know I’m fortunate not to be in that situation. I agee this is a screw up but it happens all the time. Life goes on.
    Like the other response spend $20 in gas and take it to the nearest Toys R Us

  32. legerdemain says:

    @Shadowman615: I’m only partially a fan of Amazon’s returns, particularly when items were shipped out via their free shipping option. Depending on certain thresholds, they’ll add shipping to the rest of your order and subtract that amount from your refund. Last year, I bought a Hot Wheels toy from them that I later realized was both too fidgety for a 3-year-old and sold at double Mattel’s MSRP. After learning the refund would cost me return shipping and what the original shipping would be, and learning that Amazon wouldn’t match either MSRP or any other prices, they lost my first-round position for holiday shopping.

    Now, five years ago, their service was really impressive. I’d email them with a problem, and they’d solve it within the hour.

  33. HungryGrrl says:

    “BRU”s response is standard and acceptable. Probably the problem is that the item number on the website is wrong… Hopefully they will figure out what’s going on send the right item.

    I’m dealing with a similar situation- from the vendor’s perspective- with a mucked up Ebay sale. I made a mistake and the buyer is freaking out- apparently he needed the item very urgently and my little mistake has cost him time and money- yet he wasn’t willing to pay for expedited shipping or contact me and let me know of the urgent situation.

    Generally in life you can have stuff fast, cheap, or right- pick any two. You can’t get it all. If you need something specific in good quality RIGHT NOW, you will have to bite the bullet and pay a little extra.

  34. Trae says:

    @Razzler: So, you’re saying that the customer should have to pay money (no matter how little) for the *company’s* mistake? Don’t you realize how ridiculous that sounds?

    Secondly – I know that warehouses screw up. The point is they *shouldn’t* and when they do the company that owns them should go out of their way to provide service to rectify the situation beyond what Babies R Us has done in this scenario.

  35. Snakeophelia says:

    “This does make Dell and KitchenAid look good. Both companies have shipped replacement items to me BEFORE getting the defective product back.”

    Same with Zappos, and it wasn’t even really their fault – they sent the shoes I ordered, but the pair turned out to be defective. I called Zappos, and they sent me a new pair the next day at no charge, and waited for me to send in the old pair (which is easy since Zappos sends pre-paid UPS labels along with their boxes).

    Yes, companies make mistakes. But if I were on a tight budget and ordered something I needed, I’d be royally pissed if the company made me do work to correct their error and refused to send me what I had PAID FOR until I sent their mistake back to them.

  36. MyCokesBiggerThanYours says:

    What’s the difference?

  37. infinity306 says:

    Hmm Customer orders a $40 Bassinet and gets a $159 Car seat.. decides to bitch and moan on Consumerist instead of just ordering a new $40 bassinet from someplace else and selling the Car seat for probaly a bit over $40 or keeping it as a $160 car seat he got for $40.. crazy

  38. HungryGrrl says:

    I think returning it to the warehouse is a bad idea because likely they will just repeat the error if the car seat was in the wrong location in the warehouse, in the ‘pick location’ where the bassinet is supposed to be.

    If money is such an issue, I wonder why the consumer didn’t consider a used bassinet? There are many consignment stores that specialize in lightly used baby stuff and children’s toys.

  39. DJ-Pandemic says:

    This not only is BRU’s fault, but why why why are they stocking Chinese Triad POS slave labor car seats to begin with? (Research Cosco the company if you dare. Scary stuff.)

  40. 12monkeys says:

    You might just return the car seat to a local store and get store credit for it. It would be more than the bassinet anyway.Then use the store credit to buy the bassinet again.You will have some left over for diapers and binkys and things.

  41. 12monkeys says:

    Just checked….You would make a cool $120.00 for your troubles.

  42. BenMitchell says:

    Umm – I don’t know about you guys but I had most of these things given to my wife and I at her baby shower months in advance. We had the babies room and everything he would need, including diapers and clothes months ahead of time :(

    Not trying to stomp dude, because what happened did suck. But it is being resolved as per the companies policy. They did not argue or try to make it difficult for the customer and thats about all you can really expect.

  43. BenMitchell says:

    @Trae: I’m not sure I agree with you, that they should bend over backwards. Mistakes happen. They are resolving the situation per their guidelines. Which are available to anyone prior to ordering. If this was such a big deal, I’d would have factored in the possibility of an error and possible return.

    But thats just me – I’ve had things like this bite me in the ass before as well. But I just took it with a grain of salt and tried to be understanding. Not everything can be perfect :( And so long as the company resolves the issue – what more can you ask for?

  44. Razzler says:

    @Trae:
    If you had actually read my post, you would have noticed that I said BRU would almost certainly be willing to recoup the cost of the box. You’re overreacting, guy. Chill out.

    Sure, in an ideal world there would be no war, no one would die of curable diseases, and warehouse workers would never screw up shipments. The thing is, we don’t live in that world. That’s why companies have guidelines like this – guidelines that, in this instance, are being followed to the letter.

  45. JayXJ says:

    @acasto:

    Personally my job is quite chaotic. So I take the extra few seconds to MAKE SURE I’m doing it right. This saves me alll sorts of time not having to redo it later. ;)

    Mistakes happen unfortuately, seems like they could have handled things more smoothly but not the usual horror story we see here.

  46. Davo950 says:

    MANY OF YOU ARE MISSING THE POINT!!!

    This isn’t about griping about being sent something with a value 4x what you ordered, it’s about being sent something you DIDN’T ORDER, and NOT being sent what you DID ORDER.

    Mistakes happen, sure… WHEN YOU’RE UNABLE TO READ THAT THE BOX SAYS CAR SEAT. Come on, these people work for Babies R Us. They are shipping car seats, bassinets, cribs, and the like, all day long. How hard is it to do your job correctly? It’s not like being sent a book titled “Idiots guide to getting an A+ in math”, when you ordered a book titled “Idiots guide to getting your A+ certification”. Of course if shipping positions paid a little better, they might attract an employee that can read ENGLISH!!!

    This is a service economy, and when all of the big companies out there make mistakes like this day in and day out, I might just have to step in to the market and do this myself and start taking market share from any company willing to allow it’s employees to make these kinds of mistakes and taking with it the bad name that comes along with it.

    It’s shipping, not rocket science. It’s not even something that gets thrown in another box. The box itself is the thing getting shipped, giving the person handling the box even better odds of finding the mistake.

    Warehouses don’t make the mistakes… the people who work there do… Please understand that distinction.

    When an employee does something, he does it as an agent of the company he works for. Therefore the company needs to take responsibility for the actions of that employee (and deal with the employee later, but that’s not my point), and make it right to the customer by shipping the correct item right away, and if necessary, ship it 2day air or something prudent to try to get it there.

    The only reason that these mistakes are acceptable today is because of all of you out there who just “take it with a grain of salt”. These companies want you to buy from them online. That way they don’t have to waste retail space on the item, and they don’t have to pay to truck the thing to thier store. In exchange you’re going to accept their mistakes, and just say “Oh well, maybe they’ll get it right next time” when they mess something up? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU ALL!!! Stand up and fight for your right to correctly shipped merchandise that you’re paying way too much for!!!

  47. Nicococure says:

    Some goofy ideas folks…. As though the first thought of expectant parents of a newborn would be to resell a product they didn’t order to make money. “Forget the bassinet honey, now we’ve got cold hard cash!” PLEASE. They had every right to get what they ordered–they paid for it didn’t they? The sale was a binding contract with BRU, and one party didn’t uphold their end of that contract. Yes, BRU can take as long as they feel is “reasonable” to work it out and get them the bassinet, but we all know that going the extra mile to make sure they got it asap wouldn’t kill the company. The truth is, sometimes it all depends on your persistence and with whom you speak when you call customer service.

  48. lis123 says:

    I would have been pretty angry too. First of all, for a mistake this blatant (obviously the packing slips were switched and never checked before shipping), the local store should have taken the product back and issued a credit, as well as assisted the customer IN STORE to reorder the product – regardless of store and online policies. I would go so far as to say that they may have even offered expedited shipping as a way to apologize for the error. There is no wrath like that of a pregnant lady with the wrong baby gear. I almost jumped through the phone when a Target.com operator told me that my extra car seat base had been “lost in processing” after I had waited over 9 weeks for it, and was then over 8 months pregnant. One of the biggest issues here is that pregnant women and their spouses tend to do things the most “convenient” way, and it is NOT convenient to order something, have to return something to the post office, wait to have the right item shipped, etc. Much the same as it was not convenient for me (a single mama) to wait to receive my car seat base until I was unable to get into the backseat of my 2 door hatchback, and therefore unable to install it – which meant I had to ride in the back and hold my poor baby’s head up on the way home from the hospital, because the person who installed it for me didn’t understand the concept of needing to recline the infant carseat.

    BTW lots of parents don’t order bassinetts until very late in the pregnancy, because they intend to have the baby sleep in their crib in a nursery or have fantasies of co-sleeping and the family bed – only to later realize they really want the baby in their room, but safely in his own bed.