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January 8, 2018

Did Toys”R”Us Really Make a Mistake in its Posted Return Policy?

Filed under: Computers,Internet,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 6:29 am

Every December, Consumer World releases its annual survey of retailers’ return policies and this time around it found that three stores had tightened their policies since the year before. One of them was Toys”R”Us.

In 2016, the toy chain had a two-tier return policy: 90 days for most items, but only 30 days for various electronic goods like cameras, video game hard, computer hardware, etc.

*MOUSE PRINT:

2016 TRU 30 day items

In November 2017 when Consumer World visited websites to find the current return policies, the Toys”R”Us policy had changed. “Computer hardware” which had been in the 30-day category the year before now was in a new separate section of its own indicating only a 15-day return period.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Toys R Us exceptions 2017

So Consumer World reported that Toys”R”Us had shortened the return period from 30 days to 15 days for computer hardware in its December 18, 2017 report. (Keep this date in mind.) On that same day or the day after, in planning for a TV segment on return policies to air just after Christmas, staff from the Today Show contacted retailers to confirm the changes that Consumer World found. Toys”R”Us reportedly told Today that it had not in fact changed its policy to 15 days for computer hardware, and that it was still 30 days.

Taken aback by the possible error, MrConsumer doubled-checked his verbatim copy of the Toys”R”Us policy captured in late November and sure enough it said “15 days” for computer hardware. Surprisingly, however, a visit to the ToysRUs.com website on December 19 — a day after the report was issued and just after the Today Show contacted Toys”R”Us — revealed that the policy now said “30 days” for computer hardware.

*MOUSE PRINT:

TRU policy dec 19thDecember 19, 2017

What MrConsumer said upon seeing that Toys”R”Us apparently had changed its website after hearing from the Today Show can’t be printed on a family website. He did some sleuthing however, and discovered through the miracle of Google cache, what the website said the very day before the company heard from the Today Show, December 18.

*MOUSE PRINT:

TRU Dec. 18December 18, 2017

Consumer World asked the company why the policy had been changed back to 30 days and whether it was the result of the Today Show contacting them. MrConsumer was told in a phone call that the 15-day policy was listed in error and that the company changed it as soon as it learned of the mistake.

A review of archived copies of their returns page reveals that that whole separate section singling out computer hardware for a special shorter return period was added and has existed online at least since August 2017. The return policy signs in a T-R-U store checked by Consumer World on December 20, however, said “30 days” for computer hardware.

So what do you think? Did Toys”R”Us make an innocent mistake in their posted return policy online or did they backtrack when they found out that the change was going to be part of a news story on national TV?

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6 Comments

  1. It appears to me that they were caught red handed. A whole new section is not just added by mistake.

    Comment by Tim — January 8, 2018 @ 8:26 am
  2. Looks like T-R-U made a statement that was U-N-T-R-U-(E).
    *You know companies just hate being caught out like that! Keep up the good work!*

    Comment by Sunny H — January 8, 2018 @ 8:35 am
  3. Toys R Us is complete hot mess of a company. They will dump at least 100 US stores this year and if they do not fix the debt problem they have they will go fully bankrupt.

    Comment by Richard — January 8, 2018 @ 10:46 am
  4. If there were signs in the store that said 30 days for computer hardware, it may have been a mistake on the webpage. Large companies like TRU aren’t alway s well coordinated when it comes to cross company messaging.

    Comment by Wayne — January 8, 2018 @ 1:19 pm
  5. Just an honest mistake. *cough*cough

    Comment by Rick M. — January 9, 2018 @ 8:24 am
  6. I think they realized their 15 day return policy was going to become national news and that scared the be-jeebers out of them. Hence the change.

    Comment by John P — January 10, 2018 @ 2:41 pm

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