Saturday, July 19, 2008

Toys almost weren't them...

To Toys R Us, where the fun is there awaitin' to be discovered. Unfortunately, there are also some half-witted managers gettin' in the way of a gettin' your hands on the fun. The first thing I noticed today was a small gang (gang in the sense of an informal body of friends, as opposed to anything resembling knife-weilding mini-Krays) of rather well dressed and polite but slightly excited youngsters - the kind of people you'd expect to find in a toy shop, to be honest - looking at a glittering array of soft toys. First one manager, then a second, then a third appeared, with walkie talkies, to stare at these young people, who, although they liked picking them up and waving them around, were hardly likely to exit the shop with the 5ft stuffed fluffy zebras and lions they were having so much fun with. But the management thought otherwise and called these innocent proceedings to a halt. No doubt, at the far end of the store, a smack head was popping Nintendo Wii accessories down his pants. I interrupted management, basking in the glory of a successful 'kill', because, try as I might, I couldn't locate the Little Tikes 3-in-1 Turtle Play Centre I was in the shop for. We'd been alerted to its in-store presence and bargan £4.99 price by a leaflet circulated in a newspaper the previous day. "I'm looking for the Little Tikes 3-in-1 Turtle Play Centre as advertised in a leaflet circulated in yesterday's newspaper." "Oh yeah?" said manager #1. "Yes. It was £4.99." Manager #2 decided to join us. "£4.99? We don't sell anything like that for £4.99." "Well, you do," I said, "It was advertised in a leaflet circulated in yesterday's newspaper." "What sort of a leaflet was it?" "Well, one that said Toys R Us all over it." Managers 1 and 2 both mumbled something about going to find something then walked off in different directions, neglecting to actually tell me what they were up to. I was left to loiter on my own. The #2 eventually came back, brandishing the leaflet. "Here it is," he told me, showing me the Little Tikes 3-in-1 Turtle Play Centre for £4.99 that they don't sell. "Yes, that's it." "I think he's gone to get them." #1 came back with several boxes. "These aren't £4.99. These are considerably more than £4.99." They were four times that price, it turned out. "That's not what I asked for at all." "Yes, I know you wanted the one you've seen for £4.99 but I thought I'd show you what you could get if we don't have the other ones. These are bigger and better but...yes, I realise you only want a cheap one." In more simplistic times, that may well have been the point at which I attacked him. Not that I'd have got the chance - at this point he noticed a 10-year-old walking around the store carrying a football. It looked to me like he may be buying this item. But then I'm not the experienced Toys R Us manager #1. "If you're not buying that ball...put it back!" he shouted at the child, before abandoning me and my difficult request for a Little Tikes 3-in-1 Turtle Play Centre for £4.99 to follow this young man. Meanwhile, at the far end of the store, a smack head was probably stuffing his socks full of Playmobil. A considerable time later, when I'd almost given up hope, #2 tracked me down and thrust a Little Tikes 3-in-1 Turtle Play Centre for £4.99 into my hand. "That's it. Thanks for putting yourself out so much locating it for me," I said, without a hint of sarcasm. His answer? "It's all part of the service." Hell yeah.

1 comment:

mersault said...

Nice story. We try not to shop at toysrntus anymore, after they initially refused to take back a return when we didn't have the card that it was bought with. A long 'heated debate' with our local managers #1 and #2 ensued and I had to restrain the wife. Do you know what they said? 'Madam, we won't tolerate verbal abuse of our staff at toysrus' The wife then threatened them with physical abuse if we didn't see our refund. We got it. Eventually. Somewhere, in the belly of the beast, we're probably on a staff training video...