Target / Thomas the Train

Posted on Wednesday, August 29th, 2007 at 2:16pm CDT by 6275cc98

Company: Target / Thomas the Train

Category: Other

Target, Warrenville, IL

I recently returned a "Thomas the Train Beginner Set" to Target. It was a gift my son received from a friend for his birthday in April. In June, when the story about Thomas the Trains containing lead paint hit the news, I withdrew the toy from my son and put it aside until my next trip to Target.

I did not look into whether this particular set was one that was known to have lead paint. As a parent, I would prefer that my children do not play with any toy made by a manufacturer that is known to have used lead paint in any of its products. It seems that we are hearing about new cases of lead paint in toys almost weekly, and I would just rather be safe than sorry.

I did not figure I would have any problem with the return. The toy was in its original packaging, and I had the gift receipt. Imagine my surprise, then, when I was told that they could only give me the clearance price for the item. I argued that I had a receipt and was told that the receipt was over 90 days old. I asked about the recall, and the rep. went to a bulletin board and looked it over, finding only the most recent Fisher Price toy recalls. I asked him if he was aware of the Thomas recalls, and he said no. So I had no choice to accept the $4.00. To add insult to injury, he requested my ID to make sure I was not a "chronic returner" to Target.

I used to think Target had superior products and customer service compared to other discount stores. Not anymore. I wrote a letter of complaint to Target's euphemistically named department of "Guest Relations." In return I received a letter that got many of the details wrong, referring to my case as a non-receipted return. The stringent return policy Target has adopted to discourage those who abuse returns is alienating the vast majority of their customers, who are honest. Moreover, I was disappointed to learn that Target does not sympathize with parents' concern over toxic toys. I will not be shopping there anymore.



Ann Arbor


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