Little Tikes Offers Refund If I Write All Over My Daughter's Toy Pony


Tatiana’s daughter has a Giddy Up and Go pony from Little Tikes, a cute toy horsie that isn’t cheap. When there was a problem with the toy and it was beyond repair, she contacted the company and they offered her a refund, but with a catch: she had to mutilate the pony beyond the point where someone would pick it up from the curb, somehow keeping her daughter from seeing this. Then she had to send Little Tikes detailed photos of the mutilation. This makes sense, but Tatiana has never heard anything like it, and wonders whether other readers have either.

She writes:

I just have to tell you about this crazy exchange of emails between me and Little Tikes. Last September I bought my daughter a Giddy Up and Go Pony- retail price $269. A few months ago when we went to change the battery, the zipper came clear off the track and cannot be repaired. I knew the warranty was about to expire so last week I finally emailed to see if we could get replacement covering for the head. I sent my original receipt to them along with ten very detailed photos. The company admitted it was a warranted item and said they would have replaced it but it’s no longer in production, so they offered me a store credit on their website instead.

But here’s the catch: I have to completely deface the entire product- with permanent marker- to make sure that no one can ever use it again then photograph and document all of this and mail it to them to approve before I would get the credit. I guess the initial photos of the flaws weren’t enough. Or the second set of photos they requesting asking for a clear shot of their logo on the product, though it was obviously theirs. Here’s today’s email from them:

From: “” Subject: RE: Product Question, Replacement Part, or Warranty
Date: September 17, 2012 1:09:15 PM EDT

We are sorry that your Little Tikes Giddyup ‘N Go Pony has a defective part. We can offer to assist you in the following way.

Please send us a photo of your product completely defaced, we will be happy to send you a Coupon Code for the purchase price of the item. To deface the product, please write the activity number 307924all over the item, on every part and side, several times using black permanent marker. The goal is to make the item as unattractive as possible, so that no one
will want to take it from your trash or recycling and use the item or call us with a similar complaint. E-mail your photo of the defaced product to] in a jpeg format, or
mail it to:

The Little Tikes Company
Attn: Consumer Service
2180 Barlow Road
Hudson, OH 44236

When submitting the photo, please reference your name, address,
phone number and the above activity number.
Your photo will be reviewed and placed in our service files, and we will send out the Coupon Code. This offer is good for 30 days. Do not discard the defaced product until you have received the Coupon Code. If you have any questions please contact our consumer service line at 1-800-321-0183 and we will be glad to assist you.
Thank You,
The Little Tikes Company
Consumer Service

Is it just me or is this bizarre??