My Toys ‘R’ Us Package Is Simultaneously Shipped And Out Of Stock

Angela ordered a toy from Toys ‘R’ Us last week. She understood the risk inherent in ordering just a few days before Christmas, but didn’t expect the non-shipping wackiness that would ensue. The company issued out a shipping label and had a UPS number ready to go, but the item never left the warehouse. They claimed that the item was “shipped,” but UPS never got it. That label was out in the ether, but it turned out that the item was out of stock. It was shipped, but not shipped.

I had my own strange interaction with Toys R Us this week. On 12/21, I ordered one of the Christmas “hot toys” at about noon. I elected for two-day shipping. The item did not ship until midnight, meaning it would not arrive until 12/26. I was fine with that, as I knew the risk of ordering on 12/21. I thought it was strange that the item wouldn’t ship for 12 hours, but after the stories on Consumerist about Toys R Us, I wasn’t too surprised.

On 12/24 I checked the shipping status. Toys R Us still claimed that they shipped my toy on at midnight on 12/21. UPS claimed that someone had printed a UPS label for the package, but that it hadn’t been received by UPS. I thought this was interesting – my definition of shipped is not that a shipping label is placed on an item, but that the item actually begins its trip to my house.

Called Toys R Us today (12/26). UPS still showing that a label was printed but that the item wasn’t in the possession of UPS. After 20-30 minutes on the phone with Toys R Us, I was told “UPS never picked up the package” and “it’s out of stock so we’ll send you one when it’s back in stock.” I said, “if my item is sitting somewhere with a label on it, then how can it be out of stock for me and why would you have to send me another one?” The rep said, “I’m sorry, it shows that the item is out of stock.” She had no other answer. It sounds to me like they never pulled one for me, even though I had paid for one. I asked for, and received, a full refund.

This was the first time I had ordered something for shipment on Toys R Us’ website, but will likely be the last.

One bad experience can sour a customer on a company for life, or at least for years. On some level, it’s a miracle that Toys R Us gets most of what customers buy out the door and in the right place during the holiday season. It doesn’t feel that way when it’s your gift that