Saturday, January 01, 2011

Hasbro Made me Angry.

Well, the Fur Real Kitty Debacle. It all started when Ardyn and Marek had money from Christmas. That is awesome because everything goes on sale after Christmas. Marek got a cool Elmo Plane that he is totally attached to. Ardyn wanted a pillow pet, which I refused to buy because the price is ridiculously overinflated. I continued around the store with her, Unicorn Pillow Pet tightly clenched in her fists, trying to find something that would be a better use of her money and that she would go for without a serious meltdown. We were in the Littlest Pet Shop Aisle and of course nothing there was trumping pillow pet. Then she saw the Fur Real Kitty, which she had been eyeing for MONTHS, and she said she wanted it and wanted to put the pillow pet back. Well, of course the Fur Real Kitty is twice the cost of a pillow pet, but it actually does so much that I didn't really feel badly about that. It was her money after all :) And she always complains about wanting a real cat....

It had been $49 (yikes!) and it was down to $44... which was great. We eventually decided to get "Lulu my Fur Real Kitty" and she was so excited. We bought the product replacement plan for $3 at Wal-Mart, which covers a replacement for 1 year after the manufacturer's warranty expires. We got her home, took her out, and Ardyn was thrilled. We never could get it to roll over? But she went to bed that night as the happiest kid. The cat slept right next to her (and meowed all night, might I add) and in the morning, it wouldn't work at all. She never dropped it, it never was injured or mistreated. She was very delicate with it (because it was a real cat!)

So the first thing we did was replace the batteries. We used brand new Rayovac C Batteries. We use Rayovac in everything at our house, we have a big battery storage station and we buy the big clear plastic packs at Menard's and keep it stocked. The cat didn't respond. I took the batteries out and put them back in. Nothing. I took them out and tested them. They were good. I tested the original batteries. Also good. I tried another set of C batteries and no matter what we did, Kitty did not respond at all. The problem we had was that no Wal-Mart store in our area carried the kitty. They had lowered the price to get rid of them, as they were a special Christmas Item and not something they were going to carry again. Ardyn was adamant that she wanted the all white kitty, and we checked Peru, Princeton, and Kewanee Wal-Mart and they were all sold out. Most were sold out of all kitties, not just white ones.

So, we called Hasbro. It had only lasted 12 hours, certainly it would be in their best interest to help us replace the toy (It did cost $44!) The woman on the phone was less than thrilled to be talking to me. She first asked me how old the child was that was playing with the toy. (uh-oh, was she trying to determine if Ardyn was just destructive?) and then she asked me the following question, which made my blood BOIL. "Did you replace the batteries with Duracell or Energizer?"

Seriously? Now it matters which brand of batteries I use? Because that affects the Kitty? I calmly told her that I replaced them with Rayovac Batteries, because that is the brand that we use in our home. Instantly her tone changed. "Well, you need to try Energizer or Duracell." As in she was writing off the problem and dismissing me because I needed to change brands of batteries before they would diagnose the problem. I asked if she was trying to tell me that her product wouldn't work with any other brand of battery? She said that they recommend Energizer or Duracell for their products, and that anything else should be replaced with one of those brands before the product is returned. Here's the Kicker. I said "If you are so adamant about Energizer or Duracell in your products, why did you sell the Kitty with knock-off generic batteries in it?" Yeah. Silence. Stuttering. Why in the world would you not stand behind your own product, 12 hours after it's purchase, based on the brand of batteries that I was using? Let alone when the batteries you gave me (which are still good) are knockoffs that I have never heard of. Maybe those knockoffs are made for Hasbro by Duracell or Energizer, I don't know, but still. This is the most ridiculous thing. She then went on to tell me that I need to put those batteries in before sending it back, because It can take 6-8 weeks for them to analyze the product and send a replacement if warranted. Okay. I could take it back to the store in 10 minutes and have my money back, and IF they had replacements, they would be able to exchange and replace the Cat. I told her No Thank You for her help and we looked for more options.

At the suggestion of a Wal-Mart employee (who was more helpful then the product manufacturer) we returned the product for a full refund (including the product replacement plan) at the store... and then ordered it from Wal-Mart online for just $35 with free site-to-store shipping. Of course the very NEXT day we saw the white one at Target for $29.99! Oh well. LOL. We are awaiting the arrival of our replacement kitty. With no help from Hasbro.

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