Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Post Where I Rant About Toys R Us

Anyone know the email for Gerald Storch, the CEO of Toys R Us? I got no satisfaction sending the following email to their customer service address. They send you to a form with a limit of 2,000 characters. Hell, my curse words alone about my latest experience with them would fill 2,000 characters.

Lacking a real email address, I'll be sending this snail mail. Why? Because I'm going to stick with my husband's adage regarding encountering stupid people in the universe. "If we don't tell them they're stupid, they'll never know."

In its entirety, then, my email sent last night:

I visited your store in San Rafael at 7:30 p.m. today. I was interested in purchasing a Sony 2GB Walkman Video MP3 player for each of my children. There were none on display. I approached the clerk in the electronics area where the items are sold and asked her if there were any more available. She said they were all gone. I asked her if there would be more available tomorrow, when your "Super Deal Days! Door Busters" continued. She said no more trucks would be arriving. As the sale had started at 3 p.m., I inquired as to how many had originally been available. In quite the surly voice, she said she had no idea nor could she find out. I asked if there were a manager I could speak to. She pointed vaguely in the direction toward the front of the store and said he was in the customer service booth.

I waited in line for several minutes to speak to him, finally returning to the electronics area when the same surly clerk entered the customer service booth. In the electronics area, the regular clerk stationed there had returned. I waited in line behind one customer. When he was finished, I asked him if he could tell me if there were any more of the items in the store. He (politely) asked me to show him which item I was interested in. He looked at the empty space and said the last one had been sold. I asked him how many there had been originally. He said there had been only one when he arrived at his shift at 5:30 p.m.

I explained to him that I understood the concept of "limited quantities available" but wanted to know how many were in stock to begin with. He understood, and then he referred me to Rolo, the manager. He called Rolo on the walkie-talkie, and Rolo indicated he would be another five minutes with a customer, so I said I would just go back over and wait.

Five minutes turned into 10 as the customer in front of me needed to first be declined for a Toys R Us credit card and then have her $100 bill checked. Only then, once she had walked away from the counter, did she and her friend ask why she didn't get the Disney princess bedding of-some-sort for $99, which was what it was marked in pen as being. As Rolo began to investigate that, I walked away, giving up.

My husband and I have three kids. When we first started frequenting this Toys R Us store nearly 12 years ago, we had only positive experiences. Those positive experiences continued for a number of years. In the past five years, I can count on one hand how many times we have crossed the threshold into that store. The clerks are notoriously slow and rude. The store is continually in disarray. All in all, we try to avoid your store, even though it is just several miles away from our house.

I know your organization has had terrible sales in recent years. You can blame the discount stores such as Target and Wal-Mart for your poor sales. You can blame Amazon and other online sites. You can blame the bad economy. For this store, you have only yourselves to blame.

There, I feel better already.

[Edited on Tuesday, October 28: Toys R Us reached out to me on the corporate level. They are looking to make amends for my bad experience. I appreciate that. In a gesture of goodwill on my part, I've removed the photo of their CEO from the post. Once I talk further with them, I'll let you know what happens. What do I really want? I want to know that I either did or didn't "merit" the MP3 players. How many were in stock? Was it a sufficient quantity? Did they restock them? If I did merit them, I want to buy them at the advertised price. Oh, and I want that surly clerk to go through customer service training. I don't think the first time for her did the trick.]


Tara R. said...

That was some serious customer service suckage. I hope you get a positive response to your letter.

D... said...

I have come to the conclusion that customer service doesn't exist anymore. Nor is there any store pride. Too many workers give off the appearance of being "lazy" and non-interested. And the stores tend to look like a stampede of longhorns barreled through.

Let us know if you hear back from corporate TrU!


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