Has Toys 'R' Us Forgotten That Its Customers Are Children?

Alexander wonders: if Toys ‘R’ Us is a business that caters to children, why aren’t their policies very child-friendly? If fickle children receive duplicate gifts or things they just don’t want, why won’t the chain take them back? He shared a recent experience along with his rant.

Holidays are coming again, and you might be thinking about buying some gifts for your kids, and you think you’ll be able to take them back if your kids don’t like them? Think again when it comes to Toys’R’Us! You buy them, you are stuck with them, this is the new “anti-kids share-price friendly customer service policy” of this company, and you, as a consumer, are not part of the PE ratio, or EPS, or any other ratio, just SOL ratio!

We purchased several birthday gifts for our daughter at the [redacted] Toys’R’Us, one of them being a small cheap video camcorder for about $50. Our daughter didn’t like the gift, so we wanted to return it and exchange for something else, however, store supervisor “W” told us that TRU does not allow any returns of electronics at all! You can only exchange a broken item for exactly the same item or handle it through manufacturer’s warranty, but you can’t get your money back or even a store credit even if you bring the item one hour later after the purchase!

This was never disclosed during the check out process, this is not clearly stated on the store receipt, when we asked this unfriendly “supervisor” W. where this policy is clearly explained to the consumer, he pointed to a blue sign hanging about 20 feet up in the air below the ceiling, (the very last place you would look at the store for consumer disclosures without somebody actually pointing to this sign), and according to him this sign constitutes “CLEAR LEGAL STATEMENT” in the eyes of Toys’R’Us!

How Ridiculous! First off, how does Toys’R’Us defines “electronics” that are not subject to this draconian return policy? With half of all toys right now on the market having batteries or some type of simple electronic chips, it means that most of toy inventory at Toys’R’Us is now technically classified as non-returnable.

Secondly, if Toys’R’Us as a business TRULY CATERS TO CHILDREN, then TRU probably should do some really expensive market research and may be learn that kids don’t always like their gifts and parents have to return them. Alternatively, TRU should clearly state non-return policy on the receipts (like all electronics stores do) or clearly state so during the check out process, not hang some obscured signs 20 feet in the air and think that this will excuse their horrible customer service.

We are done as customers of Toys’R’Us, there are plenty of good children’s stores out there with much higher appreciation for customers, not just their corporate bottom line!

Comments

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  1. Robofish says:

    A lot of stores don’t let you return opened electronics and those that do often charge a restocking fee. But it doesn’t sound unreasonable for them to take it back in this case.

  2. tedyc03 says:

    Legitimate complaint.

    However, this letter highlights the many ways the American education system fails us, especially in the ability to author coherent written statements.

  3. agent 47 says:

    Redacted…

    …remember when Consumerist had balls?

    • Taliskan says:

      It is to my understanding many people who email in letters which to have their last name (sometimes whole name) and location withheld. Since Alexander gave the name “W” versus a full-name, I think it a fair assumption.

      • milhouse24 says:

        I think Agent 47 was referring to this sentence: “We purchased several birthday gifts for our daughter at the [redacted] Toys’R’Us, one of them being a small cheap video camcorder for about $50.”

    • crazydavythe1st says:

      I think it has something to do with some of the site’s membership taking stuff into their own hands. I had a something I submitted about a store posted once on here with none of the location information redacted, and the store was getting calls from random completely uninvolved strangers regarding my issue.

      I should have known better, but this particular store was of the mindset that a negative posting on Consumerist was about as bad as it could get and so they had no incentive to help me – ESPECIALLY since Consumerist virtually NEVER posts positive stories these days. Can’t say I blame them. *Sigh* when Gawker owned them there was a fairly even mix of positive and negative stories, believe or not.

  4. aloria says:

    Valid gripe, but holy shit is the tone of this letter pretentious. I understand wanting to add a little color, but “you, as a consumer, are not part of the PE ratio, or EPS, or any other ratio, just SOL ratio!”?? Dial it down a notch, Jackie Harvey.

  5. qbubbles says:

    That place makes me wanna cry… probably because there are screaming children being dragged out of it.

  6. paoloacca says:

    im confused, or shall i say i didnt see anywhere where it said the girl opened the camera. It said she didnt like it.
    Not many stores takes back open electronics, does Toy-r-us have a specific return policy for this?

    Alot of times electronics can look cosmeticlly fine, but internally can be broken

    • ExtraCelestial says:

      The downside of hearing only one side of a story…

      Toys R Us’ policy is only regarding OPENED electronics (completely in line with most other retailers), the OP seems to have conveniently left that part out.

    • McMead says:

      Well TRU has measures so that people do not loose their receipts and when we offer that they ignore that. Their policy on electronics or video games is that it cannot be returned if they are opened just exchanged. I dont think people see this stalemate from the eyes of the employee. I personally laugh at the people that refuse the offer of free tracking receipts at TRU or when they dont ask for a gift receipt then few days later try to return it. Before your gripe about the stores return policy look at it from your perspective, would you allow this to happen in your store. However the person must have caught a bad M.O.D. I have no problems returning electronics that have never been open.

  7. FatLynn says:

    Cameras are so tricky, because people buy them for events, take pictures/video, and then return them with some frequency. They are also some of the most frequently shop-lifted items.

    A no-refunds policy hurts people who buy these items, but allowing refunds hurts everyone in the form of higher prices. I’m really not sure what the best policy is on this type of thing.

    In any case, TRU should have made the policy much clearer before purchase.

    • ShruggingGalt says:

      Like the orange stickers Fry’s will attach to the box?

    • bigTrue says:

      Like the big sign describing the return policy that is very similar to the one at Target hung in the Customer Service desk?

      This would have happened no matter where the OP had gone. The policy is for open electronics. So, basically, the kid opened the camera and then said they didn’t want it.

      Tough titties. Really. Yes, bad apples ruined it for all of us, but that’s the way it is. There are very few, if any stores that will take back opened electronics because “It was bought for a child.”

      It’s similar to somebody using a pair of boots enough for us to see scuffs on the bottom. Sorry. Yeah, I know you only “walked through your backyard” and your feet started to hurt. The company I work for cannot sell those as new and we’re not taking them back. Best bet? Put it on ebay and somebody will give you 75% of the new price for it.

  8. JBlank912 says:

    Toys R Us has always been unchildren friendly. Years ago, when I was 15, I rode my bike several miles to go to the toys r Us and they would not let unacompanied miners into the store. At 15, I was not allowed into a Toys R Us store with out an adult. what part of Toys do they not understand. This policy is not posted anywhere except at the store, no where in there ads. No wonder they are going bankrupt.

  9. runswithscissors says:

    With video games and media and even game consoles then yes, fine. Don’t take returns of opened items. But the OP is correct that more and more toys can be classified as “electronics” by any number of criteria. Technically this could include the entire store.

    I couldn’t tell from the article whether it is only opened electronics they won’t take back, or unopened too?

  10. Gandalf the Grey says:

    “You don’t even see kids anymore. You just see little wallets with pigtails”

  11. SharkD says:

    While I loathe Toys ‘R’ Us (mainly because the local store hasn’t seen a remodel since it was opened in 1986, when I was 7, and has been consistently filthy and dingy ever since) children are not their target demographic.

    Their parents are the customers. (Yes, even if the child is spending their “own” money — few sub-tweens are savvy shoppers and even fewer understand the concept of engendering customer loyalty; they just want the toy and 9-times-out-of-10, if there’s a TRU in the area, there isn’t likely to be a mom-n-pop toy store.)

    • TWSS says:

      Exactly. The parents are the customers, the kids are the end users.

      The real issue here is whether TRU has adequately posted their return policy – not “somebody PUHLEEEZE think of the children!”

  12. lettucefactory says:

    I’ve heard many complaints by parent friends that the ‘R-US stores have draconian return policies, but I’ve never had a problem. I even returned a stroller to Babies R Us that I’d taken out of the box and assembled, and used once. No questions asked. Maybe I just got lucky, IDK.

    Of course, if the camera was open or not is a huge factor in this particular complaint, and it’s not clear at all from the letter. It’s not unusual at all for stores to not take back an opened camera. But if it was unopened, of course I’d see the gripe.

    All that said, WOW. Parents “have” to return gifts that children don’t like? It’s nice to have the option, yes, but…how about you encourage your child to donate that unwanted gift to charity? A really good lesson for the kid, and I’m sure some child out there who could never possibly afford his own video camera would really like it. $50 may be cheap to the OP, but that’s some family’s entire weekly food budget, you know?

    If your child balks too much at donating her stuff, well, then maybe that cheap little video camera isn’t such a bad gift after all, right?

    • nbs2 says:

      I’ve heard they are falling in line with each other, but BRU has a much better return policy than TRU – even on items that both stores carry. I remember having to zip down to BRU when the TRU near my work wouldn’t let me return some gifts we got when our first was born. At BRU, it was a simple, “Was there something wrong with it? No? Ok, that’s fine. Here’s a store credit.”

      Like I said though, I’ve heard that BRU is falling in line with TRU.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      I kinda thought that about the donating too. If the item was opened, tough luck. If I couldn’t return it, I’d at least be happy that SOMEBODY was getting enjoyment out of it, and thus I would not consider my money wasted.

  13. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    I agree that it’s a legit complaint and I’m surprised they don’t have the return policy on the receipt. Granted, that’s a little late to find out you can’t return something but most stores do it.

    I’m not surprised at the sign hanging from the ceiling but only because I’m used to them being there. They’ve had the notices hanging up for as long as I can remember. It makes no sense to do it that way; I have to wonder whether it’s an ADA violation to require customers to be able to bend their heads back and look up at the ceiling to read their policies.

    • Michaela says:

      It is on the receipt. The OP just said it was not clearly visible to him.

      Honestly, I feel like we aren’t getting the whole story.

    • Griking says:

      “I have to wonder whether it’s an ADA violation to require customers to be able to bend their heads back and look up at the ceiling to read their policies”

      You’re kidding right?

      Please tell me you’re kidding.

  14. cmdr.sass says:

    Redacted has to be the worst city in America.

  15. LTS! says:

    Toys R Us caters to materialistic adults who need to buy their children every cliche toy on the market. This is to help the adults alleviate their lack of parenting abilities. How often have you seen an adult buy a child a reward for doing something?

    These kinds of arguments bore me to death. We bitch when we are not told of the polciies and yet we complain when the paperwork is a mile long with all the policies. If you weren’t sure all you had to do was say…

    “Hey, I’m buying this as a birthday present what is the return policy in case they don’t like it or they get two of them?”

    HOLY SHIT… look at that.. you’d get an answer.

    To the person who sent this in.. I have another TLA for you.. since you love them so much

    STFU

    • FatLynn says:

      How about the OP teaches her child to be gracious in accepting gifts, too?

      • dangerp says:

        One of the few times a ‘blame the OP’ was actually insightful. I wonder if her daughter has picked up on and is learning her father’s harsh tone, bitter attitude, and unwillingness to be gracious, move on, and make better of the situation. This could have been a valuable teaching opportunity.

        Of course, I’m sure I make a better armchair parent than I would an actual one.

      • myCatCracksMeUp says:

        Harsh, nasty, and unhelpful.

        I think it’s great that the little girl doesn’t have to pretend to her own father that she likes a gift that she doesn’t.

        The quality of the video recorder probably sucks and even a little kid doesn’t want crappy quality recording.

        I bought a digital “kids” camera from some fancy internet kids store for my granson’s 4th birthday. Before wrapping it, I opened it, put batteries in it and tried it out. The quality of the picture on the viewfinder was horrible. Way too horrible to give to a kid since it was he wouldn’t be able to tell what he was viewing. I took the batteries out, repackaged the camera and sent it back for a full refund saying that it was defective, since it was defective in that the picture on the viewfinder was so unclear.

        TRU sucks and defending them and denegrating the parent shows that you’re probably one of the insufferable commenters who love to always blame the OP.

      • RedOryx says:

        Agreed. I can’t imagine how my parents would have ever reacted if they had spent $50 on a gift for me and my only response was I “didn’t like it.”

        • arcticJKL says:

          I would withhold the next $50 worth of gifts until we evened out the situation.
          I like the idea of donating the toy.

          I think the return should never have been made but Toysrus should have a better posted return policy.

        • erickbatton says:

          Yes, this person is a horrible parent for teaching their child to tell people that they didn’t like their gift…

    • TechnicallySpeaking says:

      TLA stands for three letter acronym. Since we’re being hypercritical, you should STFU until you can ensure you wont be wrong.

      • dangerp says:

        I’m pretty sure it was meant as sarcasm.

        I’m convinced there’s three types of people in this world. Those that can count, and those that can’t.

        • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

          No, there are 10 types of people in this world; those who understand binary, and those who don’t. :j

    • Outrun1986 says:

      If you ask the policy you might be told the item is returnable by the cashier just so the cashier can complete the sale. Retailers lie about this all the time.

      • sopmodm14 says:

        all items are returnable….there are just conditions

        can’t be open is one of them

        duh

        the writer could’ve just asked

        • myCatCracksMeUp says:

          I’ve returned many open items to many stores over the years. How else are you going to know you don’t like it unless you open it and try it out?

          TRU sucks as do all the smug, smartass commenters here.

    • myCatCracksMeUp says:

      I think you should STFU.

      The parent’s complaint is legitimate.

  16. carlathecommander says:

    It’s not like TRU would be stuck with the return anyway. They’d RMA it back to whoever they bought it from, just like any other return.

    • Gulliver says:

      Because it does not cosrt any moeny to do that between labor and storage and time.
      I will make this clear to every person who ever buys anything. ALL SALES ARE AS IS SALES UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED OR LEGALLY REQUIRED.

      End of story. If a store chooses not to give a refund on any item ever, they can. The problem with this OP is he believes his daughter changing her mind is a valid reason to return an item. What if I went and bought a CD or DVD, copied it and returned it? Maybe I use a game for the Playstation, then tire of it after a few days, should I return it and swap it for a new game, thereby never paying for a new game? Maybe I want a suit for a wedding, I wear it and then return it the day after the wedding, and say its because I don’t like the color. Or maybe it was my birthday party and I got a cheap camera, took pictures, and now I want a store credit for other items.

      How about when you purchase items you know BEFORE you buy what is and is not available to you in the way of returns.

      • Mphone says:

        Oh God yes!

        Not liking something, is not valid. I work at a small locally owned business. People cannot get it through their skulls that we lose money when someone returns something. So it better be a damned good reason for us to refund. Not liking it, isn’t good enough.

        • UnbelieverDjak says:

          Policies like this are part of why WalMart kills stores like yours (and TRU, for that matter). Sure, returning an item costs you money. But people buying stuff is what makes you money, and people knowing they can shop with confidence at your store is what makes you a lot more of it. Take that element away, and the only reason people come into your store is if they know what they want, and that only if you have a lower price (not likely).

          No, the biggest advantage the small stores have over the larger ones is that personal feel. Start turning away customers because you’re not making money on every transaction…

  17. crazydavythe1st says:

    I think y’all are confused. Children aren’t customers. Mommy and Daddy with disposable income are customers.

    Children get suckered into Toys R’ Us and convince parents to deal with crap customer service. Children see an ad for the latest must have item. Repeat process.

  18. SiddhimaAmythaon says:

    check your local laws that notice will not fly in California

    http://ag.ca.gov/consumers/general/refund_policies.php

  19. Yentaleh says:

    This is the same chain that also prevents children from playing with the merchandise. That super cool Thomas the Tank Engine table? FORGET IT! Its under 4 inches of acrylic and they are now raised up off the ground so kids won’t get their grubby hands on it. Their bikes? strung together and locked up tight. (I asked to see one, and they would only unlock it if I PROMISED that my son wouldn’t ride it, in store.) They have made the store so unchild friendly that it breaks my heart to see kids go in there and then leave crying because it was such a miserable experience. Also if you don’t give your telephone number, zip (or postal) code and a name they won’t sell to you. (I went in to buy some HOTWHEELS for my son because he needed a distraction and they wouldn’t let me leave without my personal information.I finally gave them a number to the Vancouver Canucks, with the name Ivana Gohnow and a random Canadian postal code which they couldn’t type in because this happened in Seattle.) I hate Toys R not Us and I avoid it like the plague now.

    • sopmodm14 says:

      at my local TRU, the staff is always enjoying themselves and interacting with the kids (although the college kid who worked there hated the cleanup)

      they can’t have bikes and balls everywhere…its a place of business, not a frigging playground, and you should reconsider their policies as a safety precaution to you and your child as a fellow customer..

      ..i appreciate that they like up the bikes…i don’t want me or my young one getting run over by crazy teens or unsupervised kids,… and to add, i’ve had no problems with askin staff to bring items from top shelf

    • Disappointed says:

      I work in a retail store that, for the most part, sells clothing. We also sell children’s soccer balls, footballs, and rubber playground-type balls. These balls are left out in bins. Consequently, parents will let their children play with them while they shop. I’ve seen kids throw balls at each other from across the store, and, generally, treat the store like their own personal playground. 9 times out of 10, the parent does not buy the ball that little MacKenzie or Jayden threw across the store and destroyed in the process, making it (the ball) unsellable. In fact, the parents don’t even have the decency to put the ball back in the bin where it came from–they just leave it on the floor.

      So, in other words, I can understand why a store would restrict their customers’ access to toys. If they didn’t, every parent would treat it as a free amusement park, and leave the shop, having purchased nothing, and leaving the toys that their kids played with in horrible condition. Unfortunately, many people are rude, and the rest of us have to suffer for it.

  20. Joedel263 says:

    Was the camera opened? The policy is posted here:

    http://www.toysrus.com/helpdesk/index.jsp?display=returns&subdisplay=returns

    Electronics can only be returned within 45 days from date of purchase (with receipt or gift receipt) and once opened can only be exchanged for the same item.

    This is usual for most retailers.

  21. perfectly_cromulent says:

    File a dispute through the credit card company/bank. This is actually against visa regulations to not properly disclose the return policy. If it was not on the keypad at the time he signed and if he didn’t sign anything telling of the policy, he stands a good chance of winning.

    • Mphone says:

      If that is the case. That is crap. This whole charge back stuff is really being misused.

      • perfectly_cromulent says:

        I agree this is probably abused too often, but It’s the merchants own fault for not complying in the first place.

  22. xjeyne says:

    I can just imagine how this scene went.

    Customer walks in with a chip on their shoulder, fully aware of the return policy (despite saying they didn’t know), and expecting the cashier to deny the exchange. The customer’s body language is already a little bit aggressive and their voice has irritation under it, which probably makes the cashier a bit uncomfortable. (This is called douche-chills.) The exchange IS denied because maybe the cashier just doesn’t have that kind of power, and instead of politely asking for a supervisor, the customer DEMANDS the supervisor and prepares for an argument while they wait, because they’re sure the answer will still be no. Supervisor comes to assist and is met with a very confrontational and irrational customer that starts making even more demands, and because this person couldn’t just be nice about it, the supervisor’s answer is also no. This sends the customer over the edge and they start making threats about letters and phone calls, probably asks for the 800# for customer service, etc.

    Had the customer actually done their research before buying their daughter a $50 camcorder and had knowledge of the return policy, the customer might have been able to approach the supervisor in a calm and professional way, explain the situation, and I bet the supervisor would have been willing to bend the policy for them.

    Now, I could be wrong, but I’m definitely getting this vibe from the way this letter was written, as others have said. People often forget that retail employees are people, not robots, and often will react to the demeanor of the customer. Coming at a supervisor with demands and threats will only make them more stubborn. Coming at them as another human being and explaining the situation nicely will get you much farther. Even the people reading this letter and commenting in this thread have noticed the tone and have immediately dismissed the complaint. If I guessed the scene right, and Alexander reads this, I hope he goes back and apologizes.

    • d0x360 says:

      Not always. Sometimes the policy is the policy and it cant be changed. The rules are in place to protect the business and lower losses.

    • Dieflatermous says:

      Boy I’m glad your imagination is here to completely re-write the story for all of us.

    • runswithscissors says:

      I wish you ran the whole judicial system! You could just “imagine” how the accused (or anyone really) committed the crime, then convict them and issue punishment. Think of the savings in lawyers and judges and court time!

  23. VOIDMunashii says:

    While it’s not a pleasant policy to be on the customer end of, I understand it completely. Some people try to use toy stores as toy and game rental services; returning items once their child is bored with it/when it has served its purpose. Perhaps they should just charge a restocking fee instead of flat-out refusing the return though.

    As far as the sign goes, if it is a clearly visible sign (and at most of the TRUs I’ve ever been in, it is) then it was there. If you did not see/read it, that’s unfortunate.

    If OP finds the policy objectionable then they should do what they say they are doing, and shop elsewhere. They should also let TRU’s home office know; it likely will do no good, but you never know.

  24. Mphone says:

    Why should Toys R Us take the hit for something just because your precious didn’t like it?

    Sorry jack, you buy it and it is yours. Now if it didn’t work out of the box. That is a whole different issue. But just not liking something you opening and used. Sorry…

  25. DanRydell says:

    The article is missing an important information that i’m surprised Laura didn’t get an answer to before she posted it – was the item opened? It’s unreasonable to refuse returns on unopened products purchased recently, but it’s entirely reasonable to refuse returns on opened products that the customer simply didn’t like. Returning opened products costs someone money – either the store or the manufacturer is going to have to take the hit. Why should they shoulder that cost when the customer is indecisive?

  26. satchelpig says:

    I had the same experience with Toys R Us involving a video game that was never open and still had the Toys R Us price tag on it. They refused to take it back without a receipt, even though all we wanted to do was swap it for another game — the game we were returning was a duplicate. We took it to Target, and they took it back freely for store credit.

    How these people are still in business completely escapes me.

  27. Karnivore says:

    TRU doesn’t cater to children; they cater to parents. Oh, and none of this nonsense would’ve happened if you shopped at say… Walmart. Yes, I’ve said it.. Hate them all you want but you can’t argue with their liberal return policies.

  28. Outrun1986 says:

    Children are fickle consumers, a lot of kids want the exact toy they want in the exact color and style and whatever, and if they don’t get exactly that they throw it on the ground and say they don’t like it, never to look at it again.

    I can really see where the OP is coming from here as a consumer, even if you buy a gift for a kid, you never know if the kid is going to like it or not, even if its the same thing they asked for a week ago, their mind could change by then and now they suddenly don’t want it.

    About 90% of the toys in a TRU are electronic in some way, so in theory yes, this could include most of the store.

    I am really surprised this chain is still in business. The local TRU stores are horrible, the chain overcharges on many items, and have unfriendly cashiers who look like they really don’t want to be there (which they probably don’t) but the demeanor is worse than Walmart. If I have to buy a toy as a gift or for some other reason I would rather buy it at Walmart. Babies R Us is completely different from Toys R Us.

    The return policy really should be written on the receipt and if an item has a special return policy the buyer should be told at the register. When buying a video game a lot of stores will tell you that it can’t be returned if its opened when you buy it at the register. Even if the consumer asked the return policy they will likely be fed some line by the employee that the item is returnable just to complete the sale. Even if the item was opened, which we don’t know in this case, most stores take back opened electronics within a certain time period as long as you can provide a receipt so for TRU not to take it back would be unusual. If that is their policy, then I will make sure I buy electronics elsewhere, because in the event that I have a problem, I would prefer to buy from a place that will at least take my item back with no hassles. I would be with the store if the OP went back to return an opened electronic item without a receipt but I don’t think that is the case here.

    The text on the overhead signs is usually small and hard to read, probably on purpose, and I do agree that is bad placement for a return policy. The only one I have seen that has a good overhead sign is Target because the print is large and easy to read. This further illustrates my constant complaint about store return policies not being specific enough, if a store has a very specific return policy and needs to adhere to that policy without any exceptions then the policy needs to be stated in multiple places in the store, and perhaps on any item that is being sold under that policy.

  29. DeeJayQueue says:

    I abhor TRU’s customer service policies.

    God help you if you want to buy something on a gift registry. Heaven forbid someone buys something for you and you want to return it.

    Almost all of their policies are in place to prevent or stem the tide of ghetto-ass parents who buy things for their kids to play with and then return them, or buy another set of something to replace the part that their kid broke, and then return the new set with the broken part, claiming it was “like that when they bought it.” Now, I can understand that that probably happens more often than most reasonable people would care to admit, but there’s got to be a better way to sell toys.

    Anecdote:
    I wanted to buy something for my friend’s son’s first birthday party. They’d done a registry at TRU, but when I went in to buy the thing it all came unraveled. I forgot to tell them that it was on a registry till after I rang it out, but I figured they had a way to manually edit a registry in their computer system, like they do at Bed Bath and Beyond *(I know BB&B can do this because I used to work there) so I didn’t think much of it, but as it turns out they had to return the item and re-ring it.

    So now I had to go through the return process, which feels like the type of process you undergo when you’re under suspicion of industrial espionage. Then they go to re-ring the item and they can’t find the registry. It’s not under either his, his wife’s, or his son’s name, first or last. I look up the registry using my iPhone, and give them the number. They say it doesn’t correspond to any in their system. I show them on my phone where I can see the items they’ve registered for, their names, etc. It’s like talking to a brick wall.

    Finally, some sort of deity saw my plight and took a modicum of pity on me, and by a type of magic I’m sure my soul will burn in hell for eternity for invoking, they found the registry, re-scanned the item and all was well. 35 minutes AFTER the initial purchase.

  30. StrangeEmily says:

    Hmmm, I don’t know why but this article has made me smile. I can’t help but wonder how a person without any common sense could compare a camcorder to a toy that has a battery. Why they didn’t ask about the return policy at the register or service desk before paying for the item in the first place when the OP already knows so much about children in the detailed complaint is beyond me. I’m not even going to get into what the OP was thinking about, giving a little girl a camcorder. Too Easy…

  31. sharkzfanz says:

    Return policy is 45 days. One employee was wrong. Go to another store or call the store manager. Worst case just dispute with your credit card company.

    Print this ans take it in: http://www.toysrus.com/helpdesk/index.jsp?display=returns&subdisplay=returns#exceptions

    Thanks!

  32. sopmodm14 says:

    i think its standard policy that opened but not defective electronics items are exchange or gift card only

    as far as I know TRU is the only store that gives valuable coupons to kids and gives them a a FREE gift $3 or less (if more, the parents just chip in the rest)

    the only ironic thing is that the stores are so torn apart from other kids running around and tossing things everywhere, that i forbid my kids to act like that.

    i don’t think they classify most things that need batteries as electronic items, just a toy with an electronic feature

    seems like there’s nothing wrong with the policy just buyer’s remorse

  33. vizsladog says:

    Sorry to hear about your problem, but stores have never been required to accept return merchandise. Toys ‘R Us is entitled to whatever return policy it likes, and to suffer the consequences or enjoy the benefits that result.

    When I was growing up, the whole notion of returns was “all sales are final”, and I still approach purchases with that in mind.

    On another note, the writer seems to be teaching his child that a gift is something that has no meaning beyond whether the recipient likes it or not. In my world, if someone give me a gift, I thank them for thinking of me. I may not use it, but I certainly wouldn’t return it unless it was a duplicate. If the store doesn’t take it back….Oh well.

    • Cantras says:

      This, to all points, especially the last paragraph.

    • myCatCracksMeUp says:

      It was a $50 video recorder.

      The quality was probably so bad that even a child wouldn’t like it.

      That would have nothing to do with being unappreciative and everything to do with being sensible and knowing that it was crappy quality.

      Most likely she couldn’t even make out the picture of what she was trying to record on the viewfinder part, rendering the thing useless – just a piece of junk. Why would you expect her to NOT point out to her dad that it was not very good?

    • Disappointed says:

      Exactly! I have never, ever, returned to the store an item that I received as a gift. When I was a child, my parents never returned a gift of mine to the store just because I didn’t like it.

      I just wonder how all of today’s spoiled children will be able to deal with the real world in 10 – 15 years’ time.

  34. Cantras says:

    Though I agree with the complaint about “electronics” being a rather nebulous category, a camcorder falls rather squarely into the spirit and letter of describing something as “electronic.”

    There was a sign, in an extremely normal place for a sign to be. it’s only 20 feet. That’s about where my grocery store hangs the “EXPRESS LANE” sign and the “this aisle, bread, cookies, crackers” type signs.

    You didn’t read the sign. It would be nice if they took the return, but you have no right or reason to expect them to.

    And I’m cringing at a $50 video camera being one of “several” gifts (from one source) for someone of an age to have their birthday shopping done at TRU. If I got something like that as a kid, it was because I asked for it specifically and to the exclusion of anything else, and it’s not like I grew up poor.

  35. TacomaRogue says:

    Easy way to avoid something like this is to ask for a gift receipt for each individual gift. If something can’t be returned they can’t print a receipt for it and most clerks will tell you before the transaction is complete. However, I find it odd that the OP couldn’t return the camera. When I worked at TRU a few years ago we accepted most non-game system related electronics as a return.

    Also, like someone else suggested, donate the unwanted toys you can’t return. There are hundereds of kids who would be thankful for them.

    • Outrun1986 says:

      I don’t mean to be sarcastic here, but most toy donation places are not taking any form of used toy. All the donation places only take new, unopened toys. Goodwill and salvation army do not take used toys here and they have signs stating that they do not (I guess they just throw away the ones that get donated). Its a real shame and creates lots of waste. The only way to do this would be to have the child give the toy to another child directly.

      • TacomaRogue says:

        Really?! That’s horrible. The last time I donated any toys was in the 90’s and the place my mom took me to donate them was more than happy to take all the toys I felt I was too old for even though they had been used. I guess growing up in a small poor-ish community people are happy to get whatever they can. Kids today are so spoiled.

  36. drburk says:

    Many many stores have return polices on big boards hanging from the ceiling, Khols, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Menard’s, Meijer, need I go on.

  37. jdmba says:

    Headline is WAY in error. The parents are the customer. Children are their TARGET.

  38. Jane_Gage says:

    If my parents bought me a fifty dollar camcorder and I didn’t pretend to like it/thank them there would be footage on it of my first colonoscopy…

  39. Sorry4UrInconvenience says:

    Using a bunch of “!” in your letter does not make your arguement any more credible.

  40. MzPaqman says:

    I actually just recently quit after working for Toys R Us for nearly 10 years. For the longest time, the return policy was printed in full on the back of the receipt paper, and their electronics policy was there to protect the company from losing money on products they couldn’t resell or lost money on returning it to vendor due to damage. The past couple of years, the company has switched to plain receipt paper, one of many stupid little cheap-ass changes they’ve made to cut costs and have a bigger overhead. Over the past 3 years, they’ve done away with embroidered Toys R Us work shirts making you buy your own red polo, replaced the nice plastic engraved nametags for plastic lanyards with a printed paper name badge, done away completely with employment anniversary gifts…up to about 4 or 5 years ago Toys R Us was really all about pleasing the consumer with great promotions, numerous coupons that you could actually combine, great stock, a friendly atmosphere and many in-store events and hands-on demos for children. Now like most corporations all they care about is their overhead. The coupon policy now is so pathetic half the coupons are useless on most popular items (including video game software), payroll hours have been reduced to ridiculously low amounts so no store has the proper staff to maintain normal everyday customer service and upkeep, we have a third of the stock we had 2 years ago and we never get a decent shipment of what’s really in demand, prices keep going up and our weekly sales promotions aren’t even good deals. They say they made these changes because they were losing money yet they continue to dump money on the useless Toys R Us Express locations that only sell overpriced FAO Schwartz toys and the crappy KBToys products they got stuck with after they acquired the company and sink even more money on a pointless electronics department remodel. They’re losing even more money alienating customers because their child can’t use their Geoffrey’s Birthday Club coupon on the Nintendo DS game they’ve wanted all month or the Monster High doll they want has been out of stock for 3 consecutive weeks or they have to leave the store because they stood in the bike department for 45 minutes without anyone ever coming to assist them. The Rewards R Us program seems like a good idea but even that is ridiculous. If you don’t reach the minimum $150 worth of eligible purchases in the 3-month earning period you don’t get your $5 coupon. And they make sure to mail the coupons like 3 days before the expiration date so you have “plenty” of time to use them. And to add insult to injury, the whole “restructuring” of the company not only changed Geoffrey to that rejected looking cartoon but practically wiped him out of all marketing. All the poor decisions finally added up and drove me to give my notice 3 weeks ago – 3 months shy of my 10th anniversary.The company no longer has any pride, and there is no pride or joy in working for it. If more and more people stood up and complained about the ridiculous changes, stopped shopping there and even bombed them on their Facebook page and at 1-800-TOYSRUS and even snail mail, maybe just maybe they’ll get the picture. But I’m afraid it’s too late and it won’t be long until the company completely goes under. Unless it goes public again as rumored and is bought by a corporation that can restore it even partially to its former glory.