I sent a few tweets over the last few days about my experience at Buy Buy Baby in Dallas with a stroller car seat adapter. In one of the tweets I mentioned that I would blog about the experience I had.
I can summarize the experience in a paragraph, but I want to talk about why I would blog about a bad experience with a good company: because it’s important for us as consumers to be able to set our expectations of a store or business before we buy there. It’s up to each of us to decide whether the weakness of the brand is greater than their strengths.
Sometimes, such as in this case, I might have a bad experience with a store or brand, but remain loyal to the company for products outside the scope of the current issue. I like Buy Buy Baby because, although they are a national chain, they carry a lot of natural and organic baby and kids stuff that I’d normally have to buy online (and pay shipping, and wait 3-5 days…). They are also well-known for their great customer service when something goes wrong. I have also heard they are one of the best companies to work for in the U.S., so I know they treat their employees well, which is a big deal to me when I shop at a national chain (and part of the reason I rarely EVER shop at Walmart). Plus, they are the same company as Bed, Bath & Beyond, so they accept BBB 20% off coupons and gift cards as well!
What Buy Buy Baby is not good at (at least in the Dallas location) is being knowledgeable about their own products. This is not the first time I’ve gone to that location and known more about the product than the person selling it.
To be completely honest, what this experience has taught me is not that I can’t trust Buy Buy Baby for the natural and organic products I need in the future, but just that I would not recommend buying a stroller from Buy Buy Baby (or another big-ticket item that would require knowledgeable sales staff). I would definitely recommend going to a boutique-style shop and talking to friends and family who have experience with the brand or product.
So, having addressed that topic as it is, here is the experience in brief:
We bought an amazing Baby Jogger City Select stroller, along with a second seat (to make it a double), a tray attachment, and a special car seat adapter that will allow me to put Little Lady’s infant car seat in the stroller as a second seat until she is big enough for the full seat, all at the same time from the Buy Buy Baby in Dallas (off the Tollway). We had a little trouble finding a car seat adapter in the store that had not been opened and had all the parts in it. It cost $60. We went home and found the box HAD been previously opened and contained only 2 small pieces out of what should have been around 10 pieces. We had just paid $60 for an almost completely empty box. The next morning, I piled both kids into the car and went up to Buy Buy Baby again to get an unopened box. The associates had trouble finding an unopened box again, and also seemed very unfamiliar with the Baby Jogger brand at all. At one point they suggested I ALSO take one of the other previously-opened boxes that also had pieces missing, in the hopes that between the two boxes I would have enough pieces… what? NO. I want an UNOPENED BOX WITH ALL THE PIECES. They eventually dug around and found me a box that was smashed but unopened. I took their word for it and left. When I got home, I discovered that they had given me a car seat adapter for the wrong model stroller. So I had to go back a THIRD TIME. This time I went directly to the Plano store and asked for the manager, who immediately understood what I needed and got it (unlike the first time I went back to the Dallas store when I had to explain to 2 associates and a manager what I needed and they were still confused).
In the end, the Buy Buy Baby customer service still stood up at the Plano store, so I know it’s not dead. Which is good, since they seem to get things wrong a lot in Dallas. And yes, I will probably still be going back for all my natural and organic baby and toddler needs – even to the Dallas store. It’s just a good example of how sometimes we’re forced to just suck it up when we have bad experiences and continue to throw our money into the bottomless pit that is baby and children’s products.