Babies R Us Won't Issue Refund Without Harassing Gift Recipient

Reader Merry says that If Babies R Us double-bills you, and it was a gift purchase, you’ll need to let them harass the giftee if you want your money back.

Merry writes:

A client had a baby. I found her registry on the Babies-R-Us website and tried to purchase a gift on-line. When it came time to fill out the info for the card, the website stopped working. Since the gift was coming from me and 2 other colleagues, it was important that the card reflected this info. I called the 1-800 number to fix the problem. The customer-service rep looked up the information, apologized for the inconvenience, and placed the order over the phone. The process was pretty slow and I ended up spending about 1 and 1/2 hours between my time on the web and my time with the customer service representative.

About a week later, I realized I had not received an email confirmation of the order. I called customer service, and the representative looked up my information and said that the order never went through. I asked her to re-place the order. This process was also pretty slow, and I spent about 45 minutes on the phone.

Several weeks later, I check my credit card statement. I see I was charged twice for the same item. I call customer service, the representative (Stephanie W.) looks up my information and tells me not to worry, I was only charged once and the second charge was just a hold on the credit card. It sounds fishy to me, but I let it go.

Last night, I check my statment again and find I am still being charged twice. I call customer service again and the representative (Joe) keeps me on the phone for over an hour trying to figure out what is going on. I can hear his manager in the background, though I never speak with the manager. They eventually transfer me to a superviser (I beleive the name was Amanda). She tells me that I was charged twice because I received two items. I explain my story — AGAIN — including the fact that I personally received NO items, my purchase was off a gift registry.

She tells me the only way she can credit my account for the double bill would be for me to call the client and ask if she received 2 items and ask her to return the second item. I explain why this would be highly unprofessional. She offers to call the client on my behalf. I explain why this does not solve the unprofessional problem — such action would reflect poorly on both me and Babies-R-Us and I did not authorize her to do so. So she said my only other option was that Babies-R-Us could send UPS to my client’s home to see if they could find the duplicate item. I rejected this option for the same reasons.

As I mentioned to the supervisor, I have a 1 1/2 year old and have already spent hundreds — probably thousands — of dollars at Babies-R-Us and Toys-R-Us on her and her young friends. Babies-R-Us can keep my money on the duplicate purchase (about $60), but they will not see another dime from me. That’s at least 15 years (probably more, counting future kids, cousins, etc) of presents that will be purchased at other stores.

You could always call your bank and explain the situation to them. They might be able to resolve the issue without pestering the new mom.

Has this happened to you? How did you handle it?