Melissa & Doug's Sky High Customer Service

The Melissa & Doug toy company helped Tracey’s daughter pick up the pieces after she accidentally crashed her month-old block plane into the ground, breaking off the metal pin that held the wheels together. Tracey emailed Melissa & Doug to warn them that the broken pin could potentially cause a choking hazard. She quickly heard back from Chris, who told her that she could either receive a replacement toy or pick out a new one. Just in case something wasn’t in stock, he said, Tracey should pick out two toys…

It’s Above and Beyond, so you can guess how this ends. Tracey writes:

My daughter got this set of toys for her birthday. These are heavy, solid wood toys; only the wheels and airplane propeller are plastic. She dropped the airplane on the floor and the metal pin that holds the wheels on broke and fell apart. We had the set for less than a month when it broke.

So I e-mailed the company one evening explaining what happened. I just wanted to make them aware of it because the wheel and pin could pose a choking hazard.

They got back to me the next morning and wanted me to call. I called and spoke to Chris, who told me I could choose another toy or replace this one.

I asked him if he was giving me free reign to shop on their site and he said “within reason” and told me to choose 2 toys in case he couldn’t get my first choice.

OK. So her vehicle set retails for $20. So I thought since I’m only sending back 1/3 of the set, the plane is worth about $7.

So I sent them an e-mail back with the following choices:
A picnic basket which retails for $20

And a wooden stacking toy which retails for $7.

I also mentioned that I would be equally as pleased if they just replaced the broken plane.

A few days later a box arrives. It had BOTH the picnic basket and the stacking toy!

They asked me to package the broken airplane in the same box and give them a call so they could arrange UPS to pick it up. I did so, and UPS came the following day.

Needless to say, Melissa & Doug have a customer for life. I was really happy with their customer service and how quickly and easily they dealt with my problem.

Great work, Melissa & Doug!


Edit Your Comment

  1. Utilitarius says:

    That’s great customer service, but what about the possible choking hazard?

    • Kajj says:

      @Utilitarius: Pretty much everything’s a choking hazard when you break it into little pieces. She’s sending back the plane, so maybe they’ll examine it to see if this is something that’s likely to happen often.

    • unpolloloco says:

      @Utilitarius: Sounds like that’s why they wanted the plane shipped back to them – so they could look at it themselves

  2. MomInTraining says:

    I love Melissa and Doug toys. My daughter has a bunch of their stuff and it is usually very durable and nicely put together. I highly recommend them too!

  3. BeeBoo says:

    I frequently give Doug & Melissa toys as birthday and Christmas presents. For the most part, they stand out from the schlocky crap at the toy store for their simple and classic but clever designs and better quality materials and workmanship.

    There even have been a few, like an abacus, that I really wanted to buy for myself!

  4. mechfluff says:

    Nice. It won’t be too long before I have friends whose children will be celebrating birthdays. I’ll have to check out this company if not just for their customer service and quality of product.

    Thanks for the recommendation Tracy!

  5. BeeBoo says:

    Here’s the abacus.


  6. Jabberkaty says:

    I want the picnic basket with the happy food. How OLD am I?

  7. komodork says:

    Never heard of the company but any company that has a good customer service like that, I will defiantly become a customer!

  8. Roclawzi says:

    And due to their great customer service, I’m going to check out their site and see if there’s things for my 3-year old for Christmas. Do no other companies realize that taking care of the customer pays for itself?

  9. theczardictates says:

    “Ditto” to the other satisfied Melissa & Doug customers. We have a ton of their stuff for our four year-old. It’s great to find toys that your child loves and that you feel good about buying. I especially like their puzzles, chunky old-style wood instead of injection-molded plastic.

  10. nice to see the little guy stand out. They are based in my hometown (pop. <18,000) and only recently got a building with their name on it. It’s great to see such a “small” brand get such a renowned reputation.

  11. HildaAeson says:

    I just went to their website to check out their stuff. Our first baby is a few weeks away.

    Must. Have. Giant. Duckie.

    Maybe I’ll share with the baby

  12. PDX909 says:

    As a product design engineer is warms my heart to see a small company doing so well with such a simple, well designed and safe product line. Our family have been fans of the M&D products for 4 years or so now. I’m happy to hear that their customer services is top notch too.

  13. ivanthemute says:

    Bryan from the other thread would have yelled and complained about Chris.

    And to service rep Chris and M&D’s toys, awesome. I’d never heard of the company before this. I will seek you out for this coming Christmas.

    • SabyneWired says:

      @ivanthemute: That makes two of us. My fiance has a new little niece, and methinks she’ll be getting some M&D’s toys as she grows up.

      As for me, I especially love their huge stuffed dogs. Too bad they don’t have Cairn Terrier ones. =

  14. GretaDandradeine says:

    It’s rare to find such “Above and Beyond” Customer Service anymore..especially around Georgia

  15. roguemarvel says:

    I used to work at a privately owned toy store that sold M&D and I loved their stuff. I would always recommend their toys (the toy pictured here is one of my favorites). They are one of the only companies that actually makes wooden toys and the quality is amazing.

    When working I would sometimes wish I had kids so I could buy them M&D toys.

  16. craftypants says:

    I would be willing to believe that the company was so generous in its response (both toys) because Tracey was so reasonable in her request (either of two low price toys or just a new plane) rather than threatening to sue them for a gazillion dollars because her precious snowflake could have poked their eye out on the axel pin.

    Having worked in independant toy testing here in the UK I am not surprised that they would like the plane for analysis, as someone above mentioned, they would want to check for a design flaw which would make this a common occurance. In light of how many toddlers crash their toy airplanes and are liable to eat the wreckage then the product should be able to handle most average air accidents.

  17. dantes666 says:

    My brother just had a baby and I am definitely buying stuff from them! To bad they don’t have children toys on how to fix computers so my brother can stop calling me.

  18. bcsus83 says:

    Yet another reason I absolutely adore Melissa & Doug. They are a great company, and they make absolutely amazing toys. They are very well-made and they are reasonably priced, especially considering the sheer quality. The vast majority of my children’s toys are M&D, for that very reason. I highly recommend them!

  19. theczardictates says:

    p.s. For those of you looking for M&D toys — I’ve found them in my local Toys’r’Us (Sterling, VA), especially the puzzles. I don’t know if its a national distribution deal or if I’m just lucky.

  20. flipx says:

    Sounds like a great company hope that it does not get so big that the personal touch is lost because they have to hire some VP for customer service who is an Idiot.Why Why Why do company’s have such poor CS? Then they all sit in the board room wondering why sales are down or nonexistent. Is it the higher you go in a company the stupider you get?

  21. lindner says:

    I totally agree with the above comments about the lost art of Customer Service! This is how a company should act towards their customers.
    Melissa & Doug made a simple gesture, that cost them very very little in the long run (not even expected by the customer) and probably turned it into hundreds, if not more, of dollars in future earning both from the customer and others through word of mouth.

    I will be looking at them this holiday for toys for my son as well as gifts.

    well done

  22. mblackstone says:

    I bought an art easel thingy for my daughter from them last Christmas on the internet.
    When I received it the box had been damaged and the chalk board damaged.
    I contacted M&D and they made every effort to make sure we were taken care of.
    Good to see them getting the kudos they deserve!

  23. aloe vera says:

    Hey! I’m the Tracey who wrote about my M&D experience. What has happened since writing the Consumerist was that Doris – the other customer service rep I was in contact with – followed up with me out of the blue about a month later to thank me for contacting them about the problem, and inviting me to contact them in the future if need be.

    Again, customer service that is above and beyond!

  24. mph says:

    I had a fantastic experience with M&D too. Bought a kids’ piano, my 2-year old was playing with it a little too hard, and it fell and broke. Called them up, and they sent out a new one at no charge.

    They make great toys at great prices and the best customer service anywhere.

  25. Scoobatz says:

    I have a similar story to share about Melissa & Doug. Several years ago, my son received a toy that basically involves a child using a little hammer to pound different colored wooden balls through a couple of holes in a wooden cube. Problem was, the balls were just a bit too big (or the holes too small) for a 2-year to muster up enough strength to hit the ball inside. It took a bunch of hard whacks from Mom or Dad to make this thing work.

    We received the toy as a gift. I had no original receipt, no gift receipt. My wife decided to call the customer service number on the back. I told her not to waste her time. Less than 10 minutes later, she was off the phone and told me that she received an apology, and we will be receiving another one directly from the company in a few days. What about the one we had? No problem. Just keep it, they said. Sure enough, we had a replacement the following week. And, like I said, this happened years ago. Obviously, their service made a lasting impression on us. (And, we have since purchased many of their products.)

  26. CaldwellMover says:

    I have an 8 year old son with autism who is really rough on his toys, and M&D toys have consistently stood up to his abuse while learning from/playing with them. The toys are educationally sound for what he needs developmentally, and incredibly fun too! How nice to hear that they take care of their customers as well!

  27. dinnyin says:

    do they make their stuff in the United States?

  28. MartinMabus says:

    Melissa & Doug has an online toy store for the first time ever this year….so you can find all of their toys in one spot, and they are very reasonably priced……which really helps these days. The site is

    I love the site.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Melissa & Doug’s customer service is AWESOME ! I had an especially hectic morning one day, with my youngest of three in tow and had bought their art easel from our local toy store. The shop owner brought the easel out and rested it near the back of my vehicle – I wasn’t paying attention and accidentally ran it over — no one’s fault but my own – needless to say, the rest of my day didn’t go much better after that. Regardless of the circumstances behind the damage, this company sent me the replacement pieces for only the cost of shipping !!!! All the way to Canada folks ! Now hows that for amazing customer service ! WOW !