It's not just because of the stupid backwards "R" in the name (which, as a Russianist, I always read as the letter "Ya"), but I loathe Babies "R" Us. Actually, I didn't have any strong feelings about the pre-ambulatory division of Toys "R" Us until this evening, when I was trying to order shower gifts for my cousin, who is expecting a little boy. The shower is scheduled for Sunday afternoon in Columbia, SC, and I didn't have time to make it to the store earlier this week (primarily due to back pain), and won't have time to undertake a huge shopping trip tomorrow. But I was cheered to see on the Babies website (she was registered there and at Target) that they had a "pick up in store" option--the items you chose "would be ready for pickup in an hour". Cool. Pre-order, pay, swing by the store three miles away and pickup. Seemed pretty simple and customer-friendly.
SEEMED being the operative word.
First, you couldn't just select a list of items, see if they were available at your chosen store, and then add them to your cart wholesale. No, you must select each one separately, see if the local store you chose originally was the one at which you wanted to pick up each successive item, and if, in fact, that store had the item in stock, and then add it. So, that took half an hour. Then they had a byzantine checkout process--although Paypal was listed as an option, and usually communicates flawlessly with external websites, the Babies website insisted it "couldn't deliver to the address chosen" and demanded I re-enter my personal data despite the fact that I'd carefully, SLOWLY requested the items to be readied in-store for ME to pickup from THEM. Finally got the order confirmed at 7:52, and sat down to eat dinner and watch an Amazon movie.
At 8:50, my phone chimed, letting me know that I had an incoming email. Glanced at it, and saw, to my surprise, that Toys R Us/Babies R Us had sent me a notification-only email to the effect that "We have received and processed your request for the cancellation of order #--". What the hell?!
I phoned them immediately. After I gave up trying to deal with their irritating automatic phone system and punched "0", I reached a very nice little customer service person, who explained that, "yes, many customers are confused" but the fact was that the store where you have asked to pick things up doesn't actually take them off the shelves, but a local warehouse ships to them, and the warehouse was out of what I ordered. First of all, this makes no sense--they had a "ship to store" option, too, but I didn't choose that! Second, why on earth would it make sense for them to maintain a "pick up in store within an hour" system when they don't keep the items in the store? Seems to me the delivery vans would be constantly out on the road, running from store to store--why not just drop the items off at customer's houses? And furthermore, I forewent several items (which I could have had shipped), because they were listed as being unavailable at my local store.
I was nice to the little customer service rep, but I told her that she should share the recording of our phone conversation with her superiors--they just lost my business. I will NEVER buy from Babies "Ya" Us again. Oh, what slowed me down further on the online checkout was the fact that there were no online coupon codes--the Babies/Toys people have basically hijacked all the couponing sites' space for "deals" by using them as advertising space--instead of "click on this link to activate code" (with other online retailers, these can be anything from percentages off to free shipping on any order), their links promising percentages off are just links to the regular store pages. "No coupon necessary" indeed. Their prices are high, their website promises what it doesn't (literally) deliver (or have available to be picked up), and I heartily discourage any of my fecund friends and relations from giving them further custom--they most assuredly don't deserve it.