Inventory Error Means I Can’t Make Toys ‘R’ Us Price-Match Itself

Sam wanted to take Toys ‘R’ Us up on its price matching policy. He wanted to perform the daring–and generally not allowed–maneuver of asking a store to match its own online-only price. Here’s the catch, though: the item that he wanted should have been available for in-store pickup, so he could order it online and pick it up in the store. The same exact item was sitting in the store inventory.

In the end, the difference is only $4. Most people would give up and hand over twenty bucks for the item at this point. Sam is not “most people.”

I went online last week to check out some gift ideas for a birthday and found two items. One is regular price and the other is on clearance for $19.99 minus 20% online only discount for the final price of $15.98. As it indicates that the item is available for free in store pick up, I check the inventory on the item only to find that it is not in stock in any store within a 10 mile radius. Thus I put off the purchase until I have a chance to visit the store physically.

While at the store over the weekend, I came upon a shelf full of same exact item for the price of $19.99. As I could have purchased the item online with in store pick up with the inventory data was more up-to-date, I asked the cashier if she can match the online price due to the inventory discrepancy. Note that this is the first time I attempted to use the price match at Toys R Us due to the “Price Match Guranteed” signs plastered in different parts of the store. The cashier was apologetic and stated that she can’t due to policy not to match online only prices even if it is from Toys R Us. Unwilling to give up due to the inventory error, I asked if she can speak to a manager. Manager Hakeem, having spend not even a minute listening to why I requested the price match, already going through different reason why he can’t do a price match.

“It has to be a different item.” – I replied, “please look at it, it is the same exact item”
“Oooo. The price is the same, both of them are $19.99.” – I replied, online has the 20% discount off the clearance

“We don’t match online prices.” – I replied, “I understand, but the inventory error won’t allow me to make the purchase online.”

Annoyed that he didn’t even want to be bothered and doesn’t seemed to be apologetic at all, I asked why Toys R Us even have a price match policy when it can’t even price match itself. To which he replied, “I don’t care, I can’t do anything for you. You just have to make the purchase online.” I asked for his manager to which he responded that he is one and I can’t do anything more about this. He won’t even give me his last name.

I’m sending this email due mostly to the confrontational attitude that this manager displayed right from the get-go. At Walmart, something like this would’ve been handled by a cashier since the difference is less the $10. Even Best Buy doesn’t put up any fight doing a match to their website when there is a difference and they are not known for customer service. It baffles me how someone like that even become a manager at Toys R Us.

If this is the general attitude of Toys R Us representatives when one has to use the price match policy, please don’t bother having one in the first place. You will do better not getting people mad.