Toys R Us: No Exchange On That Gift Without A Receipt

Apparently Toys R Us has a policy that says that even unopened video games that still have the Toys R Us price tag on them cannot be exchanged without a receipt. No exceptions.

Reader J says:

I complained via EECB, and got an email back from their PR flack saying, in essence, “tough noogies, that’s our policy.”

The short version is that my 9 year old son received a videogame for Christmas that he already owned. The relative that gave it to him forgot to keep a gift receipt. But because it still had the Toys R Us price tag on it, and we never took the item out of its shrinkwrap, we were confident that we could exchange it for Toys R Us store credit or another game, or the like.

They refused to accept any return without a receipt, and did so with my 9 year old child looking on, mystified. I asked to speak to the clerk’s supervisor. Her response was, “that’s just a policy.”

Incredulous that they were really taking this kind of approach, I followed your advice and sent an EECB to the executive committee (they’re now privately owned, but I was able to track it down). Today I got back the response I referred to above.

Guess Toys R Us isn’t the best place to buy gifts for people that like video games. We took a look at their website and found this policy:

Return Guidelines for Video Games/Accessories/Systems/Computer Software/VHS/DVD/Music Electronics/Radio Control Items/Trading Cards/Collectibles/Consumer Electronics

We will accept returns within 45 days of the purchase date on the following products: video games/accessories/systems, computer software, VHS, DVD, music electronics, radio control items, trading cards, collectibles and consumer electronics. The original dated receipt is required for a refund or exchange, and the item must be returned in its unopened and factory sealed package. If the item has been opened, it can only be exchanged for an identical item when accompanied by a dated receipt. Refunds and exchanges will not be given without a dated receipt.

We took a look at some other policies from retailers who sell video games. Target will reluctantly exchange some things without a receipt. Best Buy wants a receipt and a photo ID. It seems like Walmart will give you a “shopping card.”

J followed up with the EECB he sent to Toys R Us. In it, we find that Target was happy to exchange the game for him.

J writes (to Toys R Us):

A visit to the nearby Target provided a stark contrast in customer experience. We went into the Target and explained our situation. We asked if they would accept the game for exchange, even if we had no receipt and it was not purchased at their store. They quickly gave us a gift card for the value of the game, which we used to replace the game at their store. In brief, they made the sensible business judgment that so long as (a) the item presented was an item they carried; and (b) we were not looking for cash in exchange, that it made good business sense for them to give us store credit and encourage us to shop there. Not only did we end up exchanging the game there, but we bought another Nintendo accessory in the process, which would seem to validate that judgment.

Indeed.