The workers in this company are targeted when it comes to these reviews. Any negative review that corporate finds out about is turned around to us not doing our jobs. (except for the return policy that got changed without notice, so people who already purchased something suddenly couldn't return it)
It's going to sound kind of mean, but if you don't like the service in the stores, don't shop there. And instead of complaining about the employees service, complain about the policy behind it, or the obvious lack of training that the employee received.
Let corporate see that they are the cause of these problems. True, there are going to be horrible workers, but until you can see the stress put on the workers, you'll never understand why. Just an example: Our work performance is based on YOUR credit score. You're not buying a car, the bank doesn't take ownership of your crib until it's paid off. Our work performance depends on if Chase thinks that you will pay them back.
Besides that, workers all over the place are forced to carry 80+ lb boxes alone because they understaff people capable of carrying it. 60lb boxes are stored on top shelves requiring a ladder to get down... OSHA would have a lot of fun doing a surprise inspection of these stores. So when a worker doesn't even look to see if we have something, or they're hesitant to sell you the thing that you wanted. Remember, we care about our safety, the company doesn't. We're just trying to avoid that risk of injury.
So if the service is that bad, which I agree that it is, go to Walmart or Sears to buy what you need and save money while you're doing it. If you're using this page, unless it's a complaint about a specific worker, try to limit it to complaining about the policy that caused your complaint, not the person who had to tell you the policy, because we get blamed when it seems like it was just a bad worker.
And if you do shop there, be ready for an even more extreme game of 20 questions every time you shop, because the company got more strict on BPPs, batteries, and credit cards, to where its actually a write-up, with the chance of being fired, for forgetting to ask ONE person about those 3 things, and then any random charity we're taking donations for.
As workers, I know you all understand, job stress causes bad workers, there's a point where you just "snap", you stop caring, and you stop trying, especially when your paycheck doesn't even pay for the gas to get to work. We're not out to get the customer, we all know that your repeat business is what gives us a chance of getting hours, we want you shopping there so that we have a job. But now, it's obvious the company doesn't care, they make more money in credit sales than they do in actual sales.
Our jobs are constantly at risk because of how our customers choose to use their own money outside of our stores. This isn't a way to run a business, boycott us, let corporate see that they're driving our customers to shop somewhere else. Make them know that they have to actually train their employees, that the average person doesn't have perfect credit, that you just don't need batteries for a crib or stroller...
The customers are the ones with the power to change how the company runs, as long as you keep shopping at our stores, corporate sees it as working fine, and any problems are with the employees. Almost every complaint in here is based on how the company is run, let them know it. Stop shopping at our stores, tell your friends to stop shopping, call corporate and tell them that the store across the street treats you like a person and not a dollar sign, just let them know that their policies, staffing habits, prices, and high interest credit cards just don't work.
ENGLEWOOD, COLORADO -- I am writing to you today, bringing to your attention the extreme dissatisfaction my family and I have with the behavior exhibited within Toys R Us, specifically Store #9540. Shopping for her first bicycle, my wife and four year old were looking at the selection available in your store 9540. After examining the bikes, we settled on the 14" Dora the Explorer by Huffy (SKU: 3BA03462) retailing for $79.99. Per the store instructions on the bike, we pulled one of the voucher slips, which indicated the price of the bike ($79.99), and [paraphrasing] "bring this slip to one of the cashiers and a bike will be brought out".
After waiting in the checkout line for several minutes, the cashier instructed me that I would need to go to the back of the store and get an assembled one. Questioning the cashier, I told her that I wanted a bike that hadn't been used as I was looking for a brand new bicycle for my daughter. The cashier proceeded to call to see if the store had any bikes still in the box. To my dismay, the answer was no, as it's "store policy to assemble all the bikes". We did not have an option as the voucher indicated.
Conceding that I would not be able to have a "brand new" bike, as all the bikes in the store were used by other kids, I went to the back of the store and brought up one of the two Dora bicycles. Waiting in line another five minutes or so, and adding to my discomfort, I learned that I would need to pay a $10 assembly fee. Informing the same cashier, and manager standing beside her that I was not going to pay a "mandatory" assembly fee for something that I did not want to have assembled (nor did any customer have an option to avoid). I was told if I wanted the bike, the fee was going to be applied.
Upset, I decided to take my business Target, purchasing a comparable bicycle, still in the box, for less money. The very next weekend, my family and I were back in the same store , as we had two 15% off one item coupons that were set to expire in a few days. We found and were ready to purchase a $59.99 WowWee Alive Cubs Lion Cub (SKU: AAE81639) and a $9.99 safety sign to complement the bike we purchased the week prior. As the Lion Cub was a surprise for our daughter, I stood behind to purchase this separately (in another line), while my wife and daughter purchased the safety sign (using one of the two 15% off coupons) in front of me.
After their transaction was complete, it was my turn but was immediately told that I could not use my 15% off, as this coupon was only good for baby products. The coupons' disclaimer read that this was not to be used for iPods, video games etc but made no mention to stuffed animals. I told the cashier that my wife just used the very same coupon ten seconds earlier but she did not budge. I then offered to return the $10 sign and use that coupon for this more expensive ($59.99) item and we were told that once the coupon was used that it cannot be used again.
Extremely frustrated, I asked to speak to a manager as I could not understand this unwillingness to work with a customer who wants to spend money at your store. Ten minutes went by waiting for a manager to help resolve this issue before I gave up and decided to take my business to another retailer.
I cannot imagine that this behavior is part of your company culture which is why I am bringing this to your attention. In these hard economic times, many customers are seeking value in their selection process and are willing to take their business elsewhere if they are not receiving it. These two separate events represent lost business to your company as I was able to get the value I needed from another retailer. As my family is expecting another little one in September, we hope these types of issues are resolved so we can continue to include Toys R Us in our purchasing decisions.
I was looking for the Barbie & The Diamond Castle Playset for my daughter for Christmas. I had looked everywhere. I looked at all the Wal-Marts, Targets, and KMarts in El Paso, TX and Las Cruces NM. I had also had to travel for work so I checked the Deming NM and Silver City NM Wal-Marts also. I was not able to find it anywhere.
On 12/12 I went onto Toys R Us web page to try to order it there. They were out of stock but they had this feature that you could get an email when it was in stock. I get email on my phone so I thought that would be great because no mater where I was I would get the email and then I could order the Barbie & The Diamond Castle Playset right then and there, so I signed up for the notifications. The next morning on 12/13 @ 6:30 AM I got the email that said they were back in stock. I got up from my bed and ran up stairs and ordered it over the phone.
The guy I talked to told me that it was in stock and would ship within one to two business days. That would make it ship on 12/15 or 12/16 because it was Saturday. He assured me that I would have it on time for Christmas. The Toys R Us web page also said if you order anything before 12/19 you would get it by Christmas Eve. The guy told me I qualified for some makeup kit for free also I just had to pay for the shipping. I said fine and added it to the order.
On 12/13 @ 7:28 AM I got the email confirming my order with the items in stock and ready to ship. At 10:30 AM I got another email from Toys R Us saying the items are being processed and I would be charged $111.46 for the items with shipping.
On 12/15 without fail the first item was shipped. I went on to track it and found out that it was just the makeup kit from Toys R Us. Not the Barbie & The Diamond Castle Playset that I had really ordered. Just like clock work the Makeup kit arrived from Toys R Us on 12/17, but the item I really ordered still had not shipped out. I then called Toys R Us when I got home from work and the person I talked to said that she was not sure why it had not shipped out but would look into it but I should still not have any issue with getting it here before Christmas. I said OK thanks.
I waited until 12/19 to call again to see what was the status because it still showed processing the Barbie & diamond Castle Playset on the Toys R Us website. When I finally got to a person it was around 12 PM. The lady I talked to told me that it had still not shipped out and could not understand why. She put me on hold for about 10 min and said that she would get an email to her supervisor and they would be calling me back. She also told me I would be getting it before Christmas. Once again Toys R Us was lying to me.
I never received a call from anyone. I got an email @ 4:22 PM on 12/19 saying that the item had shipped. I went on UPS to see when I would be getting it and it only said the billing information had been received. I had to wait until 12/20 to see when I would be getting it. I was glad it had finally shipped.
So today 12/20 I went onto UPS.com to track my Barbie & The Diamond Castle Playset and what a surprise… I was not getting it until 12/30. THAT IS FIVE…FIVE…DAYS AFTER CHRISTMAS. I am so disappointed. I called Toys R Us again now for the fourth time and talked to another lady. She told me there was nothing she could do for me. She said the package was too heavy or they could have expedited it. Why was I not called? I would have paid the extra to get it on time. I was told I would be called by a manager. It seems to me that the “managers” at Toys R Us are afraid to talk to the customers.
The lady on the phone from Toys R Us told me that she would have to send another email to the manager and they would call me. I told her I wanted her to ship me a new doll house and make it two day. Then I would get it by Christmas and I would send back the one that gets here on 12/30. She said that she would send that request to the manager in the email. I asked if I could talk to a manager and she said there are no managers there. I asked it there was another phone number I could call to talk to someone above her and she said NO.
I asked how long it takes for a manager to call me and she said, “I don't know.” I can't believe this is the way Toys R Us runs it business. I am a manager for a major communications company and if one of my customers, I don't care who it is, wanted to talk to me I would expect my techs to put me on the phone with them right then and there.
I would never treat a customer like Toys R Us is treating me. If we are nothing else in this would we are all connected by the human race. How is it that Toys R Us is so disconnected that they can't simply talk to their customers? An email has to decide if my daughter is going to have a good Christmas or not. Man Toys R Us you really blew it.
Here is the info. If you would like to do an internal investigation. I sure you will not but I really don't care at this point. I will also be posting this on every site I can find so that everyone will know what Toys R Us did to me and my child on Christmas.
So my wife and I tried to return a few things to Babies R' Us that were given to us off our baby registry: nothing was opened, everything brand new, and still being sold in the store and online for the same retail price, and we had all the gift receipts. The stuff was bought in June, and now it's December, and we had no idea there was this new hard-line 'nothing-can-be-returned-after-90-days' policy because on the gift receipt it says "Easy Returns."
Beyond a few basic stipulations, nothing on the receipt mentions 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, or any kind of time or date limitation. It basically makes it seem like you can return the merchandise to a local store or via return labels, as long as you have a reason and a receipt (which is the case at many large retailers).
So we brought the stuff back to the store and were informed about this militant policy and how we couldn't get store credit or anything 90 days after the initial purchase. I pointed out that everything was new w/ receipts, etc. I even offered to take 10% off retail value to get around the policy, since all we wanted was store credit. They said no, on the store level they couldn't override the policy (2 managers told me this).
They said call the 800 customer service line and they might override it. So I got on the phone, in the store, and after 1 representative and 2 supervisors in their 'call center,' I was told they could not override the policy, that only the corporate office could. So I said connect me to the corporate office and they said they had no contact with the corporate office. So I kind of lost it on them and they miraculously found the number to the corporate office.
With the corporate office I explained to the poor receptionist my situation and she connected me to one person (voicemail; so I called back), then another (voicemail; called back), then another (voicemail; give up). I wanted to speak to an actual human in corporate to resolve the situation and get this override, but apparently the irony of a human working in corporate was lost on me at that time. In hindsight I see my error. Anyway, I'm still in the store, making a scene, and by now another manager is there to appease me and my wife (an hour and a half has transpired by this point).
He tries to help us by calling the online warehouse and asking them to take the return, but before calling he explains to us that the person who bought the gift would get the credit, not us. We're so dumbfounded, flabbergasted, disgusted, infuriated (insert additional adjective here) that we can't even argue the stupidity of this, even as he calls someone at the warehouse who basically says, "Nope, after 30 days the sale is null/void/final--no credit or refund for anyone." But at least we returned to our apartment armed with the corporate number (973-617-3500), and a few names who may be in the customer service area who could override this policy.
The moral of the story is this: the Babies R' Us return policy is ridiculous. They don't print any of this on their receipts like every other major store does (at least not for online orders), and they expect you to go online and find their return policy (and if you are shopping at Babies R' Us, presumably you have a child, and if you have a child, do you have the time to go online, without prompting, to randomly investigate a store's return policy, when the gift receipt you have in hand says "Easy Returns"?).
Thus, we'll no longer be shopping at Babies R' Us. I mean really, you think we can't find what we want at Target, Buy Buy Baby, or Diapers.com? We told the last manager we spoke with that they were going to lose our business, and he even said that this was something that was brought up on their conference call when the new policy was announced; and that the new owners/corporate anticipated this and this was what they thought was "in the best interests of the company." If you Google "Babies R' Us return policy" you'll find a lot of complaints, and everyone says they won't shop there anymore.
Well, the customer is still always right in my eyes. They'll be getting a few calls from us, and if you have been burned by Babies/Toys R' Us, feel free to call their corporate headquarters in Wayne, NJ (again, that's 973-617-3500) and let them know your displeasure. I'm sure if they receive enough calls, they will start to reconsider what is "in the best interests of the company." And if Babies R' Us can afford to piss people off and lose business, congratulations. Shows you not everyone's hurting during the recession. Happy Holidays.
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA -- For those of you dropped out of high school or never finished middle school, I can see why you can't grasp return policies. A receipts sole purpose in its existence is for the consumer's ability to exchange a good - whether defective or inadequate - for another. In the case that the product cannot be replaced, then - and only then - can a refund or a store credit be registered.
For a store to accept your double / defective / unwanted item without a receipt stating that you had in fact purchased it at that selective store, would be unruly and wrong for them to do so. See, there is a thing called space. Matter takes up space. Firsthand, working in warehousing, I can say that defective items that are issued refunds interfere with what is needed to be done in the back of a store whose functions include stocking, emptying trucks of products, and ordering new ones. If you cripple productivity by reducing the usefulness of the workers, while on shift, you are hurting profit gains in the long run.
Another aspect to consider are the three main types of profit (stay with me, latch key kids): Economic profit, loss and normal profit. If your open threat of, "I will never shop here again!" is going to harm them, you are wrong. Most of the products you buy at any department store (especially TRU), are of normal profit.
The money put into purchasing them directly from the manufacturer isn't that much less than you buy them for. Granted, specific types of hardware (such as controllers for a video game system or a DVD player) are of economic profit - they generate more than they are purchased for, first hand. But most of the things that FILL stores are just to bring you to shop there.
The Buyer Protection Plans (which cost them practically nothing because they have one large contract that pays an insurance company a large amount of money over a short period of time; the insurance companies rely on the reliability of the products they are backing and TRU gains a large net profit because the extenuating sum they paid will be less than what they will make over a certain period of time) and the credit cards (25% interest payments after 6 months to 2 years) are what make them money. Not the products.
If you never bought these plans, you are basically worthless to them. If you return an item that they cannot resell or do not offer, it has no use. It is an economic loss and as a general courtesy, unless you intend to become a shareholder in the company's finances, you're one of millions that they can afford to lose.
Stores aren't in the business to lose money. If you have a legitimate problem with an item and you have a receipt, there is no reason they should disregard your ability to exchange it. They had lost more money on their open-ended return policy than they had gained.
To whomever stated in an earlier review that TRU's reason for failing is their return policy, newsflash: They've been going down before this. They ALTERED it to save themselves from getting worse. The only reason Walmart and some other stores can afford to keep open-ended return policies is because they are monopolies.
There is competition, sure, give another four years and everything will be destroyed by big bargain chains. They ship the economy and jobs to places overseas for the cost of cheap production and low efficiency. It's the realization that customer service doesn't exist anymore. Some stores have the ability to exchange your item because it's pennies on a dollar to them; others struggle to keep themselves afloat.
You can refuse to shop from them all you'd like - it's freedom of choice. But I hope most of you are content shopping at bulk stores and eating McDonalds for the rest of your lives because Americans are what's killing the economy - not the housing market. You can't buy into a system that doesn't give back into it.
SOUTH PORTLAND, MAINE -- I purchased all of my necessities for both of my babies at Babies R Us, thousands of dollars worth. The crib I purchased for my daughter was recently recalled, as it seems that babies died using these Jardine cribs. As soon as I became aware of the recall, I contacted the recall center. This is where it becomes very baby unfriendly. The recall center mailed me an envelope to send them all of the crib's hardware in. Unfortunately, you have to take your crib totally apart and your baby has no place to sleep while you mail the parts in.
Several days later, meanwhile my daughter is still without a bed. Jardine cribs sends me a voucher for a new crib, which is only good at Babies R Us. I go to Babies R Us in South Portland, Maine and they tell me they have no cribs for my voucher amount, but I can use the voucher towards a new, more expensive crib. Fine, I want my daughter to have a crib that is safe and she needs it straight away. Next, I choose a crib which is $60 more than my voucher and I go to order it, only of course they have none in stock. I check on a couple of other cribs that are more than that and they are not in stock either.
Now what do I do? They tell me that I have to order the crib, from their warehouse, but it will only be 7 to 14 days and I will have my new crib. I explain to them how my infant daughter has nothing to sleep in and they seem not to care. Babies R Us promises to call me as soon as my new crib arrives. I wait, and wait, and wait... 14 days has gone by and I call Babies R Us. They still do not have my crib and they are not sure when it will be in. I tell them that it is truly unacceptable and I need to get my daughter a crib ASAP. I ask if they will refund me my voucher and they said they will not.
I ask if they will give me credit to use at Babies R Us for the amount of my crib, so that can go elsewhere and buy a crib, without losing hundreds of dollars. They say they cannot do anything for me and will not help me out. The only thing I can do is wait for my crib to arrive. I call every day and check to see if the crib is in. Finally on the 21st day after I placed my order, it had arrived. I went to pick it up with my older 3 year old daughter. The box it was in was all smashed up on one end and I was worried it was going to be damaged, in fact, at that point I felt like crying.
My 3 year old daughter asked if she could go on the Elmo ride in the lobby of Babies R Us, but I didn't have any quarters. So I asked the clerk who was checking us out if we could have 4 quarters for a dollar bill. You know what she told me??? She said "No" that she couldn't open her drawer without a cash sale. Well, I'll tell you what, don't waste your money supporting Babies R Us, because they do not care about your children! I am so upset with them, yet can do nothing but warn other consumers. :(
INDEPENDENCE, MISSOURI -- Toys R Us is tanking financially the last few years and with good reason: their return/exchange policy is not consumer friendly. My son unexpectedly received an electronic game (Hullabaloo) from a fellow preschool classmate. I don't know the other child's family well... We just pass pleasant "hellos" as we pick up our kids. It was very kind and generous for this family to think of my son and buy him a gift at Christmas. Needless to say, my 4-year old was excited about his new gift.
Unfortunately, the game was defective out of the box. I assured my son that we would exchange it for a working model and not to worry. The next day at pre-school I thanked the family that had bought my son the gift and (awkwardly) informed them that it was defective and that I needed to return to the retailer to exchange it. It was an embarrassing and awkward moment for both of us. They offered to return the gift themselves, but I wasn't going to put them out on my son's behalf after they had already demonstrated such rare kindness.
They informed me that they had purchased the game at Toys R Us, and assured me that they should have no trouble exchanging the gift for a new one. So off my son and I went that day after school to our previously favorite toy store. To my surprise, shock and disappointment, Toys R Us would not exchange the game. They insisted on having a receipt. Now I had already felt bad about bringing up the whole ordeal to the generous gifting family, there was no way I was going to ask them for receipt... sheesh.
So, I went home with my disappointed son in tow, and I checked out the return policy online. Sure enough, no receipt, no exchange. What a crappy deal. Then I noticed that if I ordered from Toys R Us online and the item was defective, they would refund the money and ALL the shipping charges. So, I ordered up a new Hullabaloo online and the instant it arrived via UPS, I called Toys R Us and claimed it as defective. I swapped out the new one for the broken one, got a return shipping label emailed to me and got a full refund!
In the end, Toys R Us did exchange the defective toy and it cost them much more than just taking care of it in the retail store: they paid shipping both ways, they lost a customer for life, and as the editor of a weekly church bulletin, they got a LOT of bad press (plus my $.03 here). Tsk, tsk Toys R Us sometimes the short-sighted policy that you think is saving you money is in effect sealing your future doom. I can assure you that as fathers, mothers, grandparents and children learn of your uncooperative policy, you will lose future sales, customers, and money. The writing is on the wall: Toys R Us is soon to be bankrupt.
Look at a similar situation just a few years ago with a large, national company: Just For Feet. They adopted the same return/exchange policy in '98... less than 10 years later, bankrupt, gone, out-of-business. Toys R Us has had this bad policy for 2 years now. I predict that by 2012, they will no longer exist. Bold prediction? Maybe, but look at their financial statements of the past 2 years... downward trend is an understatement. They are already well on their way to bankruptcy. IMO, this policy is the kiss of death for retail business.
LEXINGTON-RED BANK, SOUTH CAROLINA -- Lesson learned: Do not trust Toys R Us when they say your printed online receipt is proof of purchase and will be acceptable for refund or exchange on defective merchandise. We are so very disappointed! My 8 yo daughter has been asking for a baby annabell for a few years now, finally got one for Christmas and it was defective. We purchased it through Toys R Us.com. When you order online, you are given a receipt on your screen and told to print it for you records. They also send you one via e-mail.
Since our doll was not working properly, I called customer service at Toys R Us online and they told me I simply needed to print my receipt and take it in to the store to exchange the doll for a new one. I also called the store and asked them before I drove 45 minutes to get to the closest store and they said that was correct. I get there, Toys R Us near Columbiana Mall, Lexington County, Sc, and they told me that there was no refund number on my printed receipt, it was not a valid receipt, and therefore they would not exchange the doll.
We asked to speak to a manager and the clerk refused to get him. We walked around the store and found the manager and he was very uncaring and said he needed a refund number & my printed receipt was not a valid receipt and he would not exchange the doll.
First of all, it is not like I am asking for a refund. I just want to exchange the doll for one that actually works. I could sort of understand them being a little suspicious or hesitant if I was asking for my money back on the doll. I know some people do try to trick stores and get money for something they didn't purchase there, but that is not the case. I just want to exchange it and I have proof that I purchased it from Toys R Us.com. The manager also said that Toys R Us.com is a different company than the Toys R Us stores.
Well, then why do they have the same name? Aren't they affiliated with each other? I called the online company from the store and asked told them about the store's poor customer service and asked them to simply give me a refund number to give to the clerk so my daughter could have a properly functioning doll, and they said they couldn't do that. They would have to issue a return label.
They would order another doll and charge me another $50 and once they received the defective doll, they would refund me $50. I told them that was simply not right that I should have to be out another $50 and at this point I was not trusting them with another dime of my money. I am so disappointed not only in the doll, but also in the way Toys R Us stores and online have not helped us in this situation. My poor daughter is crushed that her doll is not working properly. She can't understand why people aren't being fair and just exchanging the broken one for a new one, which is how customer "service" is supposed to work.
It has not helped matters that this gift was supposed to be from "santa" and now her parents are having to provide "receipts", etc. for a gift santa was supposed to have given her, so now she has a lot of questions. I purchase birthday and christmas gifts for over a dozen children each year, and I usually purchase them in advance, when I see things on sale, etc. I am sure most of you do this. I also purchase most online so I don't have to shop in crowded stores. Toys R Us store and online has just lost my business!
MAYFIELD, OHIO -- This letter is to complain about the manager, Rico, at your Mayfield, OH store. I went into the store yesterday to buy my daughter her first bike. I noticed that there were no tickets for the one she wanted so I asked for someone to check in the back for me. Someone came over and told me to take one of the floor models and since it was already assembled, I wouldn't have to pay the $10 fee. After checking the two bikes out, I chose the best one and was told since there were a couple of scratches that maybe I could get another discount.
At checkout, I asked the girl at the register about it and she called over the manager. Rico, informed me that not only are there no discounts, the bike is $10 more since it was assembled. When I told him that was not what I was told, he said "that is not our store policy." I could understand that, but it was the way he said it. After going back and forth for a while, he asked if I was sure there were not any boxed up.
I told him there were not tickets at which he snapped at me, "we make our own tickets!" Then he told the girl to ring me up, "so I wouldn't hold up the line," with the $10 off and he would check in the back, and if he found one, I would have to pay the $10. Right as the girl was about to finish, Rico walks over, slams a box on the counter and says, "one Princess bike (dramatic pause) boxed" and walks off.
I told the girl that I will pay the $10 assembly on the new bike, but not on a floor model, so go ahead and add it on. She had to call Rico over to void the transaction. He walks over, doesn't say a word to me or her, did what he had to do, and walked away.
I understand that it is only $10 and about store policies. But as I stated earlier, it was his attitude that was awful. The way he got in my face and, at least to me, accused me of being a liar. I was waiting for him to start poking me in the chest to prove his point. I could have gone to Walmart and gotten the same bike in a different color cheaper, but what is the first place you think of for toys? Toys R Us.
I don't know if he was having a bad day or what was going on, but you don't treat a customer like that, especially at a place that is aimed towards kids and families. What if my daughter we with me when this happened. I have to say that he definitely took the enjoyment of buying my daughter's first bike away from me. It is an experience I will not forget and I will definitely pass on.
CLEARWATER, FLORIDA -- Avoid the Clearwater Toys R Us/Kids R Us store on US 19 at all costs. Take it from someone who knows the inner workings of this corporate monster - it is absolutely NOT worth the hassle that they will give you there. I worked at the 8728 store for nearly a year, and it was in no way, shape, or form an enjoyable experience.
Training for new Sales Associates was essentially non-existent. A concept would be briefly explained, like "Piecing means pulling all of the items on the shelf to the front and straightening as necessary." The Associate would then be sent out into the store to figure things out for themselves - where things are located, how to point Guests in the right direction, whether or not a particular brand or item is carried.
Some things were never even explained at all. Even a year later, I'm still not entirely certain if there is a purpose to those obnoxious Key Items or how to program a Sapphire or an LRT for a registry (something I asked to be shown a number of times, but there was never actually anyone in the store who knew how to do it and explain the process to me).
Because of outrageously low wages for the competent employees (I made minimum wage the entire 11 months I worked there) and incredibly rude upper management, the turnover rate was embarrassingly high. I could easily name 20 different associates who worked there during my time in that store. Although Associates are "not permitted to discuss wages amongst one another" lest they "be fired for doing so" (director quote from the Store Director), it was impossible to avoid seeing pay rates when we cashed one another out.
There was absolutely no reason why the pay discrepancies were so huge. Associates who had only worked at the store for a week were being paid $9, $10, and $11 an hour in several instances, while some people who had been working for more than 6 or 8 months were STILL only being paid minimum wage.
Someone who is reliable, experienced, and trustworthy should NEVER be paid significantly less than someone who is unreliable, inexperienced, and still new to the environment when the two hold the exact same position. And let's be honest, here - a company that has zero respect for their employees is bound to have just as much respect (if not a little less) for their customers. Toys R Us is no exception.
For starters, there's the heinous corporate-wide return policy that has certainly gained more enemies than friends since its implementation last year. Yes, I realize that the goal is to try to eliminate fraud and the phony returns for items not even purchased at a TRU store. But it's pretty asinine to sit there and argue with Guests about this return policy while making no efforts to eliminate shoplifting, which is like a plague at the Clearwater store, and probably at many other locations.
(Recently, a couple of guys managed to successfully walk out of the store with over a thousand dollars' worth of stolen electronics from the RZone - half a dozen television sets, DVD players, PlayStation games, etc. Neither the RZone Associate, the Customer Service Associate, nor the Cashier so much as batted an eyelash when the sensors beeped as these two pushed shopping carts loaded with stuff out of the store. It wasn't until later, after the store closed, that the security cam's tape was reviewed and everyone finally realized what had happened.)
On a personal level, it is extremely rare to find a Sales Associate in the store itself who is courteous and helpful, especially considering the turnover rate and the lack of legitimate training. Most workers in the store hate what should be, in theory, an interesting and fun job because of the way they are treated by their superiors.
The rule of thumb at the Clearwater TRU is that if you need a manager, he or she will be hiding in the office, which is in the corner of the apparel section. Typically, the manager(s) will be talking to the "favored" employees (and believe me, the quasi-nepotism/favoritism present in the store is disgustingly apparent) and ignoring requests of assistance from other Associates. Guests are always kept waiting 5 minutes or more, with no apology or explanation from the manager for whom they were waiting.
If you should happen to have a complaint or an issue at this store, my advice is this: avoid the Store Director, who is meddlesome at best and completely incompetent at worst (true story: when opening the store one morning, she asked to have the key to open the registers. First of all, she's the Director and if anyone should have a key, it's her.
Secondly, it doesn't even NEED a key - the monitor screen says in bold, with nothing else listed below or above it: "PUSH F1 TO OPEN REGISTER". How someone with little common sense and no practical knowledge of how the store runs becomes a Director is something that I have yet to figure out). She is dismissive, cold, and downright rude to customers and employees alike.
Around St. Patrick's Day of this year, I caught some kind of nasty flu virus and was out of work for three days. I asked my mom to call the store for me on the second day and tell them that I was really, really sick and wouldn't be able to work that day or the following one. The Director proceeded to tell my mom that she absolutely would not accept a substitute caller on my behalf, and she proceeded to accuse my mom of being a liar, insisting that I wasn't as sick as I seemed.
My mom was also informed that if I did not bring in a signed note from a doctor (hello, terrible flashback to grade school), I would not be permitted to work in that store again, "a report would be placed in [my] file," and I would be "reprimanded accordingly." As if that means anything.
At that time, I had been working there for 8 months and had only called out of work a total of three other days, all for legitimate reasons (when my best friend was rushed to the ER and had emergency surgery, because of a car accident, and one day because I had a nasty cold). And not to toot my own horn or anything, but I'm a good kid - good grades, showed up early for work everyday, always willing to stay late or come in on days when they needed an extra hand...and that was the treatment I received for being a more than halfway decent employee.
I know for a fact that Guests often receive similar treatment from managers and Associates alike, because I have witnessed it. Often times, when someone phones in a question, the Associate says they'll check on the status of an item for them; what really happens is that the person is put on hold, there's some chit-chat between employees, and then someone picks the line back up and makes up an answer for them (usually it's "No, we just sold out of [whatever you're looking for])! Sorry about that. Maybe you should try the store in St. Pete, or perhaps New Port Richey."
Sadly, the same often happens to people who come in the store and ask about an item. I was one of only two or three Associates who actually bothered to look in overhead storage for a toy, or to check the back bays and see if maybe the item had not yet been put out on the shelf for some reason.
It probably doesn't seem like much, but I know that my honesty and willingness to help as much as I possibly could were appreciated by the Guests. It's a shame that the managerial staff disrespected me so much that I finally sought employment elsewhere because I did genuinely enjoy helping out the parents and working with the kids. Anyway...I'm glad I got that off my chest. All in all, consumers are better off shopping elsewhere, and potential employees are better off applying elsewhere.