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My frustration with TRU and what they did about it...

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When I started seriously investing in Legos my trips to TRU became more and more frequent and so did my anger and frustration with their pricing. TRU seems less like a toy store and more like and an airport gift shop. I mean does anyone there know what they charge EVERYWHERE OUTSIDE OF THEIR STORES???? With the internet so readily available and even the average consumers becoming ninja-like in their ability to find the cheapest prices how can a bunch of suits sit around in an office and think they can get away with marking up their prices sooooooooooooooo much???

If this wasnt the worst bit of it then comes the sales??? I ask what is the point of a sale when any and everything thats worth buying is significantly marked up before said sale??? This and the worst is a con and and its best is an outright lie. 

Anyone here who's bought Legos for more than two months knows all too well what I'm speaking about. What I decided to do about it was write an email to their customer service. Heres what I sent:

 

This is an email concerning the general frustration I have with your store/website. I'm always getting survey request when I purchase things from the physical location so I hope the fact that I've taken time out to actually write up an email and send it is reason enough for somebody to take note and actually give me a written reply instead of a canned statement. Whatever the response I will be posting this letter and the reply to my various social media accounts.

Ok just so it's understood, I LOVE Toys R Us. I always have since the first time I went there as a 6 year old child. As a child all that mattered to me about your store was getting in, finding something I wanted, then completing a strategy to get my parents to purchase whatever it was that I found. Times were a lot simpler then. As an adult, however, more and more things about your store and its policies are making coming there to shop more and more frustrating. At this point I am making the trip to your store simply for the nostalgia as your policies and prices are bested by just about every other retailer out there that sells toys.

First lets talk pricing. Your in-store pricing is on average 5-20 dollars more expensive than the Target right across the street, the Walmart down on the corner, and 5-35 dollars more expensive than their corresponding websites. Now with the invention of the internet its hard for me to find a reason for this other than to milk parents who would do anything to quiet a screaming child. Is it to take advantage of individuals who aren't savvy enough to check pricing before they make purchases??? This is something I would expect of a theme park gift store where vacationing zombies think little of pricing but are more focused on relaxing. These ridiculous mark ups are particular to your store and has relegated me to purchasing things from you ONLY when there is a sale or promotion and only when that promotion beats the competitors, which is rarely the case because your prices are already 10% more on average. Which brings me to my next point.

Coupons, sales and other discounts. I recently called RewardsRus to find out why points that I had earned had not been transferred over to my account in the form of coupons, of which I had earned 20 dollars. I was told that on average it takes 4-6 weeks for points earned to be converted into coupons. 4-6 weeks??? How can ANY retailer say 4-6 weeks to a consumer and it be ok??? NOTHING I've ever had to do at a store has EVER had me waiting 4-6 weeks for results. Again, with EVERYTHING being computerized how can such an archaic policy even be in place??? 
Today I received an email stating 20-25% off a complete purchase from now until the 21st. "GREAT!!" I thought and hurried to your website to purchase the most expensive thing that I wanted which was a Lego Superstar Destroyer that retails for 399 (which is one of the few Lego items on your store website that sells for the same price it does everywhere else). After I had it loaded into the cart I tried to apply the coupon and found that it wasn't applicable to this item because it was a "HOT DEAL" item. I literally laughed when I saw that this item was a "HOT DEAL". "No it's not!! This is the same price it is EVERYWHERE ELSE!!!". This is as close to being an outright lie as I've ever seen. Then when I saw most of the other items I wanted were all HOT DEALS it basically makes this promotion absolutely useless for me.

I love being in your store. The look of happiness on childrens faces, the smell of all that plastic and your super friendly employees. It would be the place that I would want to purchase toys from for the rest of my toy purchasing days. However, your policies and pricing have pretty much squashed that possibility. Nostalgia isn't enough of a reason for me to pay a 10+% premium. Coupons that I cannot use are wasted paper and junk-mail. And rewards points that take 4-6 weeks to be able to use is just nonsense when most other points programs have almost immediate accessibility.
I shouldn't have to make reasons or find excuses to go to your stores. It should be the other way around. A department store that doesn't specialize in toys should be coming up with reasons to pull customers from you. Instead, all your competitors either at their stores or their online equivalent have the same products you do and are beating your prices without the need for coupon codes. And when they do have sales........it pretty much looks comical how over the mark your pricing is.

I have 100 dollars coming to me for your holiday promotion. After that coming to your store to shop will happen with nowhere near the regularity that it has in the past.

Here's to hoping someone who has the authority to make changes finds this email. Its been an awesome few decades, but the camel's back is beyond broken.



Anthony Grayson

Former Loyal Customer

 

 

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And here is their response:

 

Dear Anthony Grayson,


Thank you for contacting "R" Us. We are happy that you have decided to write us expressing your feelings and concerns about the present day policies and procedures of the 'R" Us company. Sorry that as a company, especially while your now the parent in this case, we have failed to provide a full fledge 100% satisfactory for you like we did for you when you were a child. 


Anthony you seem like a very logical person so we as a company ask that you understand that we are trying to adjust our policies and procedures but this process can not happen over night. In the mean time, we will be more then happy to accommodate your in any way we can. "R" Us first priority is customer satisfaction. Although, over the years (decades in your case), it may have seem like we have lost that main focus with that priority, but please believe we are working to gain that trust and reputation back. 


Now regarding your concern as far as our competitors "low prices" verses our prices, please keep in mind that we are a company that supplies strictly for the needs of Babies, Children and Teens' entertainment and enjoyment. While other companies supplies many other things, besides toys, to gain and maintain a profit to keep their establishments up and running. However, this is not an excuse for the pricings of our items. Being that you are a loyalty member and express dissatisfaction in having to wait 30 days or at the end of every month, to allow your purchases to add up and be able to collect $5 value Reward Dollars for every 500 points earned, that is system generated and unable to make a change with that at this moment, once again, we apologize and that is something that we are working on to be more pleasing for you as well as other members, for it is a rewards program and should definitely be rewarding not a pain. 


With all of this being stated, on behalf of the "R" Us company, I want to deeply apologize for your experiences with us in store and as well as online. Contact us at 855-422-7715 in regards to reference #xxxxxxxxxxxxxx and one of our associates will be able to assist you with placing an order, if you graciously accept our offer of 30% off any online item up to a maximum purchase amount of $599.99 for the unfortunate inconvenience. This offer is for any item on our website and good through 12/31/2013. 


Thank you, once again Anthony, for contacting the "R" Us Family. Sorry if we failed to cover all of your concerns in this e-mail response, but your feedback is very much appreciated and will be escalated to the proper department and used in consideration when changes to our policies and procedures are in review for modification. Despite the circumstances, we look forward to serving you for more decades to come. 


Please keep in mind that "it is not easy for a camel to get through a needles eye", but "R" Us is not giving up with the effort to please each and every customer on an individual bases, but we can't please them all. We would hate to see you go and would love to keep you as a CURRENT customer.


Hope this is the response you were hoping for, for this is not a canned statement but a sincere acknowledgement. Whenever your ready to place that order just give Us a call and one of our associates will be more then happy to assist you. Thank you Anthony and we hope to hear from you soon. 


Sincerely,


Shanice 1354
Toys

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So basically, what happened was what I expected to happen.....nothing. And yeah sure change doesnt happen overnight but I dont see TRU changing in a thousand nights. The 30% off was amazing though. I maxed it out with a SSD and a modular. If they wanna gimme a 30% discount I'll use the hell out it sure but its not gonna keep me shopping there. Anybody see this weeks joke of a BOGO??

Thanks for the discount TRU......but you still suck!!!

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Yeah I was guilty in the early days of this site of complaining about TRU. I have since learned that it does no good so I decided to let my wallet do the talking. I don't care what sale is going on or if they are selling sets for 75% off, I will not spend a dime there. There are plenty of places to buy LEGO so I'm not missing out on anything. TRU can and will continue to charge outlandish prices and a letter, no matter long or well written will ever change that. Instead of wasting your time writing letters put your time into finding other stores with decent sales and prices.

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Wow, I guess this post was a mistake. Didnt think I'd catch heat for it, though. I definitely wont be whining about TRU again thats for sure. My apologies fellas...

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Wow, I guess this post was a mistake. Didnt think I'd catch heat for it, though. I definitely wont be whining about TRU again thats for sure. My apologies fellas...

Nothing wrong with this post, its been discussed many times before. TRU lost my business a long time ago, which sucks because I, like yourself enjoyed the nostalgic aspect of the store. Unfortunately they don't care about that, they just want to make as much money as the possibly can. Like I said though I highly doubt prices will change. It sucks but it is what it is.

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I see both sides of the story - while I tend to side with Legopocalypse and stephen, I get how it can be frustrating to shop at a store for years only to see it lose the customer service you have come to expect.  If I read your e-mail correctly, that was your primary frustration - the realization that your expectations developed over time were not being met.  Completely understandable.

 

That said, I agree with the responses above.  TRU can charge whatever they want and it's up to you to speak with your wallet.  A letter will get you a discount, but lost revenue will get their attention.

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The only thing to do is exactly what Stephen is doing - not shopping there. If you disagree with their pricing, don't buy there. But you have to stick to your guns. You can't shop there when it's convenient for you or when they have a sale that you like or they're offering some promotional item you want. Until a significant number of people do this, it will never change.

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It's ok. We all must vent at times. TRU is just such an easy target. Keep the faith brutha. I really miss KB Toys though. Their prices put TRU to shame.

 

 

And look where it got KB toys--out of business.  Toysrus used to be cheaper--then they went bankrupt.  This is the new business model---it either works for them-or it doesn't.  It's not the same store we all remember as kids.  That store went bankrupt.  The name and assets were bought and taken private, and has been rebranded into what you all see now.  If you don't like it---vote with your wallet.  I am some what convinced most of their customers are nostalgia seekers, and parents and grandparents buying gift cards--not realizing how little you get there for your money, comparitively.  Fact is TRU giftcards look better than walmart cards as gifts

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I really am not a fan of toys r us, but it is a store to be utilized like any others that we shop at. I buy only good stuff there, especially polybags when bogo happens. I've made really good money from some toys r us purchases. Even though I don't really shop there for myself anymore, it's still a useful store sometimes. 

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Guest TabbyBoy

I was at T5 at Heathrow Airport this morning (now in Rome) and I was SHOCKED to see Hamley's prices. Not only are they NOT Duty Free prices but also marked up by 25%+. For example the Passenger Train (7938) was

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It really depends on what you look for at Toys R us.  If you go and get Licensed themes you WILL get ripped off 99% of the time even with sales.  There are very few exceptions one example is $31.50 for the 79004 Hobbit's Barrel Escape.  I also have had very good luck with castle theme sets.  The one near me marks those up by ~10% but those prices did not increase when they have buy one get one 40% or 50% off or the buy 2 get 1 free deal.   Then again it might just be my Toys' R Us that is an exception as the one the next county over marks up by 15-20% of the retail. 

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I appreciate you sharing these emails. It definitely provides some insight into the corporation, and shows that if you press hard enough in the right spots you can at least move something. While your message, I agree, is unlikely to change anything in itself, you didn`t waste your time IMO. 30% is fantastic for an SSD, and at least you saved $120 in the end. I`d focus on that positive factor, knowing all the while that the rest of us would kill for that deal... haha  :laugh: But seriously, good on you for taking the time!

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Guest TabbyBoy

All we have to do is start boycotting these places. I now DON'T go to:

 

TRU - Need I comment?

Hamley's - Slightly above RRP in town, well above RRP at airports

WH Smith - Well above RRP in most branches which makes their "multi-buy" offers misleading (they have good offers on chocolate though!)

Argos - Too many shabby boxes covered in unsightly stickers, some are unchecked customer returns and really piss-poor packaging when shipping

Trove - Way way overpriced and I'm surprised Tesco even give them web space! (Moon Buggy anyone?)

 

As this site gets bigger, retailers will begin to notice so, we should name and shame them more I think.  Not libel as I have proof in my instances.

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I'm honestly impressed that Toys R Us sent you a letter that actually addresses your concerns - it might still be a total form letter with your name inserted, but it doesn't feel that way.

 

I know you don't like the answers they gave you, and TRU definitely isn't first on my list of places to look for bargains, but they gotta do what they think they gotta do, and I'll decide on a case by case basis whether their deals are good enough for me on any given day or promotion.

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Guest TabbyBoy

TRU the next big name in the UK to go belly up?  We can only hope!

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You know, if Toys R Us did go belly up sometime then what would happen to their exclusives or the Technic theme for that matter? Would they simply become Lego exclusives or possibly go elsewhere? I hate how Technic has for whatever reason become an unintentional Toys R Us exclusive theme. So bogus....

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Thank you for sharing your story. It took quite some time and thoughts to write that letter. There is no downside for doing it and you ended up with a 30% coupon. Not too shabby. TRU was great before it filed chapter 11 and bought by private equity. The investors tried to cash out over the summer with no success. Until they have to listen to public investors, the current business model is here to stay. I treat TRU like the Lego store. I would only shop there for the exclusives. There are plenty of retailers that wants me as a customer.

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TRU is price matching now. I invoked their price matching of amazon.com (they won't match Market Place), but as I couldn't use both the BOGO 40% with the price matching, I opted for the for the BOGO.

 

Anyway, know your options and you'll be a little more empowered to make buying decisions.

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