About a week ago, on a whim, I decided to look at cribs on the BRU website again. I was excited to discover that they were having a big sale on baby beds, and then doubly excited to find a crib that I liked. If you remember looking at the cribs we were considering, the bed in question looked very much like the first one I shared: a light cherry finish with a “sleigh bed” style. It had been marked $200 originally, but was on sale for $110 with an additional 20% off. Since $88 for a crib sounded like a pretty good deal, and since we had a nice big BRU gift card to use, we decided to take the plunge. Heck, according to the website, they’d even ship it to the store for free!
So I sat down to order the bed, and for whatever reason, the website wouldn’t let me get to the point where I actually entered in card information. I kept getting rerouted to a screen that said that the crib wasn’t currently in stock at our local store, which shouldn’t have mattered since we were trying to order it to be shipped to our local store.
I ended up calling customer service, where a rather abrupt woman informed me that “Ship to Store” really just meant that it was already there, and no, they wouldn’t ship a different one in, and it was available at the Corpus Christi (Texas) store, but no, they wouldn’t ship that one to Boise. The good news was, I could sign up to get an email when the crib became available, and “the sale should last long enough for it to come in.”
Several days passed with no email. I eventually went back to the website and saw that the 20% sale was over, and that none of the “ship to store” indicators had changed. Then — as I watched — the price changed from $110 back to $200!
Aggravated that we’d been thwarted in our attempt to purchase the baby bed, I walked away.
Then, on my surprise day off from work, I went into the room-that-will-be-a-nursery and wished that I could work on it, which turned into wishing we had our crib already. It occurred to me that the BRU crib looked very much like the one at Target, which had been about $130. We decided to brave the elements and drive to the nearest Target to look at the floor model again and maybe go ahead and buy it… but before we left, I looked it up on their website to confirm that they did, in fact, have it in stock.
Well, we went to Target, pulled the “get this out of the back” slip off the display, went up to Customer Service — and guess what? There were none in stock.
At this point, the customer service gal looked up the other two area Targets and said that each of them had one in stock. She recommended that we call ahead — did not, incidentally, offer to do this for us — and moved on to the next customer.
I spent the next twenty minutes sitting in the Target food court and pacing through the wristwatch display, on hold, while first one and then the other Target informed me that despite what the computer might say, they did not in fact have any of that particular item in stock. (“It’s probably just the floor model,” the second store told me, despite the fact that the floor model was a miniaturized display with only one side.) I asked if it would be possible to have the crib shipped, and was told yes, but that they couldn’t give me any idea as to how long it would take or how much it would cost.
We were close to a Shopko and had heard they were having a sale, so we stopped by but didn’t like their selection.
At this point we were not in the best of all possible moods.
Then I remembered that there was a crib that looked a lot like the one we’d picked out — at another store*, which was just another block or two down the road. We were getting pretty tired by this point, and extremely frustrated, but we decided to give it a shot. We walked in, found the crib (same price as it was at Target, and actually the exact same model only with a different name) and… tried for about 15 minutes to flag down an employee to help us. Finally I went up to two gossiping employees in the coat department and asked if anyone could look in the back room for a crib. Turned out that one of them was the baby department rep, so she (reluctantly) went and looked for us.
They didn’t have it either. Yep — that makes five different stores advertising a product that they couldn’t actually sell.
She was just about to waltz off to finish her gossipfest but I pulled her up short. “Could you order one in?”
“Oh sure, yeah, we could do that.”
“Great! How long would that take?”
(Are you ready for this?) “Usually about sixteen weeks.”
Sixteen weeks?!? That’s four months. In four months, I’ll already have a baby! What in the world?! I mean, I can’t imagine that most pregnant ladies start crib shopping until about the halfway point, maybe later. Surely they ought to be able to get one in more quickly than that!
And get this… upon telling us that it would take 16 weeks, the employee started to walk away again!
“Excuse me,” I said. “Could you please check with your store in Nampa to see if they have it in stock?”
“Oh, yeah, sure,” she said, and wandered over to a telephone. I hovered nearby as she took ten minutes to giggle and flirt with the employee on the other end (for what it’s worth, the gal “helping” us was probably 50-60 years old) and then finally got around to asking about our crib. This required getting up twice to check first the name, and then the item number, of the crib, because she hadn’t bothered to take that information with her when she went to the phone.
Next thing I know: “Okay, I’ll send them your way.” Click.
“Yep, they’ve got one,” she said, eyeing her friend over in the coat department. “Told them you’d come over and get it. They’ll hold it until closing.”
Okay, let’s review:
- she didn’t give the Nampa store our name, number, or any other identifying information
- she didn’t give us a name or any other information about how to claim our crib
- she just assumed that we were able to jump into our car right then, on a day when every school district in the entire area was shut down due to terrible road conditions, and drive 25 miles to the neighboring town before the store closed
- she also didn’t tell us when the store would close
Well… long story short… we ended up going to Nampa. The roads weren’t bad, but the store parking lot was a sheet of ice. We walked up to customer service only to find that a friend of ours was behind the counter, and she took care of us. They actually had two different cribs being held for two different nameless customers from the Boise store; fortunately, I remembered the model name so we could get the right one. Not only did they find it, bring it to us, and load it into the car for us… our friend pulled out a 20% coupon that was expiring that day and saved us $26!
So to wrap up a long and aggravating story: we have a crib! It cost only $100! It took only five thwarted attempts before we finally tracked it down! And it makes an excellent back-of-car weight for slick and snowy roads!
It has three different mattress heights, will transition into a toddler bed and a day bed, and looks like this (except a slightly lighter color):
* Not going to name the store because I don’t want to post what would essentially be a negative review online; this was an unusual situation and doesn’t really reflect the usual experience that I’ve had with this company.