10 pounds doesn’t seem like much of a weight difference, unless you’re talking about the difference between a 15-pound infant and a 25-pound toddler. Reader O. had this problem when shopping for a playard (does no one say “play pen” anymore?) with a bassinet and changing table included. The shelf tag for the changing table claimed that it was good for up to 25 pounds: not bad. Except it is kind of bad, because it’s not true.
Recently, we bought a playard, the Graco Pack ‘N Play Playard with Reversible Napper and Changer. One of the key selling points for us was that, according to [the shelf tag at] Babies R Us, the changing station is safe until a baby reaches 25 pounds. With many other playard stations, the limit is 15 pounds, so that is an enormous difference with a significantly longer shelf life. An accompanying photo from a [redacted]-area Babies R Us store shows the 25-pound limit.
The thing is, Babies R Us is wrong. As the Graco manual, and the Graco website clearly indicate, the limit is, in fact, 15 pounds.
So, none too happy about this, but not sure what I wanted to do, I contacted Babies R Us to alert them to this potentially disastrous, and dangerous, mistake. I was bumped to a supervisor, who told me a district manager would be contacting me to discuss. That was on Feb. 21. On Feb. 28, having received no call, I called again, now with a second complaint about Babies R Us: They don’t call you back when they say will. So, the person on the phone said, apologetically, I’d get
a call within 24 hours. Of course, more than 24 hours has passed, and since Babies R Us doesn’t want to talk with me, I decided to talk with [Consumerist].
I ran into another issue with Babies R Us when purchasing a crib mattress. We really liked a model by Simmons, but there was one troubling aspect: According to Babies R Us, the depth of the mattress was 6.3 inches, and federal law mandates that no crib mattress be more than six inches deep. I contacted Babies R Us about this, was told I’d get a call back, but I didn’t.
I called Simmons, and they were very upset to have such a potentially damaging bit of information tagged to their name. Simmons assured me all of their mattresses conform to federal law, and they would contact Babies R Us to have them make the change.
I felt comfortable enough that the error lay with Babies R Us, and that Simmons did conform to federal law, so we purchased the mattress. It is exactly six inches deep. And, some two weeks later, the Babies R Us website still says 6.3 under the Additional Info tab.
So, Babies R Us is dispensing some seriously bad info to its customers. I’d still like to hear from them about the 10-pound difference in the playard.
We’re going to pass O’s complaint on to Toys ‘R’ Us, but that’s true: it is bad to have misleading and inaccurate info on the site. If the store isn’t with-it enough to make sure information is correct, should it be the vendor’s responsibility to check up on every retailer and make sure they have good specifications online and in every store? Why is it the responsibility of a safety-conscious parent…who no one wants to listen to anyway?