Last month, my daughter showed me her bike and she pointed to the tires, which I immediately noticed they were worn out and needed replacement. I immediately thought about going to craigslist and get a used bike for her. But, my daughter had already decided for me that she needed a new bike. Being the generous Father that I am, I told her I would buy her a new bike and we went shopping at Toys R Us.
Impressive Bike Selection
I was impressed by the great selection of bikes at Toys R Us and my daughter tested out several 20 inch bikes. Eventually she found one that she likes and we made the purchase. To save extra $10, I even decided to assemble the bike myself.
When the employee bought the box, I noticed that the box was not only dirty but also somewhat falling part on the bottom. Figuring it was still new inside, I took it home and started assembling right away.
Assembly Gone Bad
The first thing I did after taking out all the parts from the box was put together the front wheel, which I ended up wasting next 10 minutes on this first step. For some reason I could not find a way to attach the front wheel to the front body frame of the bike. Frustrated, I put back all the parts into the box again and took it back to the Toys R Us.
Another Bike Please
I told them about the problem with the bike and asked for another one of same kind. When they brought another new box, I again noticed that the box was not in good shape. I was afraid that something again could be wrong with the bike just looking at the condition. I started complaining about the box and they eventually called their supervisor.
Assembling at the Store
I asked the supervisor if I could open the box in front of him and he agreed. This time I was able to attach the front wheel in less than 30 seconds and realized that the previous box contained slightly bent front body frame which caused the front wheel not to fit. Because I can now attach the front wheel, I was happy and was about to take it back home.
A New Damaged Part
Just then, I noticed something wrong with the front brake. When I compared the front brake with the back brake, it was obvious that the front brake was oddly shaped. I immediately pointed that out to the supervisor. It turned out the brake was damaged. I ended up returning the bike in disgrace for a full refund and promised myself never to shop here again. One thing for sure, Toys R Us is not willing to do much to make satisfied customer.
A New Bike from Walmart
My daughter was disappointed that she still did not have a new bike. The next day, I took her to Walmart. Although the bike selection was not as impressive as Toys R Us, the assembly is free. We spent next 15 minutes looking for the perfect bike for my daughter, which she ended up picking a pretty blue bike. No assembly necessary. Just pick out the bike and take it straight to the cashier. I was amazed how easy it was at Walmart.
Moral of the Story
When we buy something that is new, we expect the box and package to be new as well. Many stores like the Toys R Us do not take care of their merchandise during loading, shipping and unloading. And thus the merchandise get easily damaged. As consumers, you really need to pay attention to the packages. Make sure there are no dents or no holes and look for any extra taping around the box. If the box is not in good condition, you need to request for another one even though it’s a hassle to do so. Remind yourself this is one of ways to become the ultimate smart spender. It could save you a lot of time, energy, and gas mileage in the end.