Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Ch-ch-ch-changes!

Turns out...
I can easily be swayed from this:
To this:
We were on the verge of planning that family vacation, booking hotels, planning restaurants, making lists of things to pack. When it occurred to me... that the money to be spent on the vacation this year could be used on something that would be an investment for our family. A back yard play set. My kids looooove being outdoors! My kids also love going to the park and I have to admit that while I wish I loved the park... I don't. I actually do all I can to avoid taking the kids. I have to have an eye on Teagan 85% of the time. I'm fine with her running off and playing independently. I don't hover. But there are times she calls for help with equipment- climbing or monkey bars. And I just like being able to know where she is. So if just she and I go, it's all good. Add Zach to the mix... trouble. The boy is a daredevil. He thinks he can do anything. He thinks he can climb, crawl, dive, slide, swing, run. He tries to walk off the edges of play equipment. He does everything he can to get away from me and stay right by his sister. Add in the parents who don't care what their kids are doing, the parents who hover and get in the way, the kids who are rude or bullying, the teenagers who take over pieces of equipment... It just ends up being less fun. So the idea of having our own playset in the backyard... letting the kids run and play and climb and slide and swing... in the safety and controlled environment of our fenced in back yard. Our own playset also means having friends over, having family over, having something to do in our own yard for years to come. And because family vacations are still really important, we are taking a trip to Cincinnati. A visit with my family one day, a day where the kids stay with Grandma and Jeff and I go out for a day of fun, and then 2 nights in a hotel (with a gorgeous pool) and a day at the zoo and a day at the museum center. So we are back to our original plan- nothing big this year, back to Sesame Place next year. Zach will certainly get more out of it next year than this year. We already talked with Teagan about it- she is way excited about getting a playset. And going to visit Grandma and go to the zoo and museum. *** Back on the subject of that playset... it has been very frustrating to find what we want! I generally have a "3 strikes" policy with retail stores. Treat me badly 3 times, I'm done shopping there. Sometimes it doesn't even take 3 strikes. Toys R Us has hit the 2nd strike and I'm very close to being done. In my vast searching and learning about wooden playsets, I've found a builder that I like. Big Backyard. That picture up there is the Ashford and we LOVE it. Big Backyard advertises on their website that you can find the Ashford at TRU. TRU has it on their website- but the shipping is $500. Ouch! Then I see a coupon on the TRU website- 20% off, in store only, all wooden playsets. Whooppee!!!! Last night, after work, I head to TRU to check it out. I called first- I asked about the Ashford and was told it was no longer carried in stores. But I thought I'd go see what else they had. With a 20% off coupon in hand, I might upgrade and be happy enough, right? I walk in the store. I pass a handful of associates who never greet me or ask if I need help. I finally make eye contact with one and ask about the wooden playsets. She directs me to the other side of the store. I head over and see the wall of pictures of the playsets. You are supposed to take a little tag to the register and then pick up the boxes. But all the slips are gone for all the playsets. Huh? I find another associate and ask for assistance. I'm informed that "most people" bought their playsets in February so they are out of stock on everything and the warehouse is out of stock on everything and nothing can be ordered by the store anyway because Corporate does all ordering. So... Corporate issued a coupon for product that stores don't have and can't get?? I'm sure I'll be posting an update soon- a follow up to my next steps. First, I'm calling a different TRU to see if they have any playsets in stock. There are only 3 TRU stores in the Indy area. If I strike out across the board, I'll contact TRU to complain about this coupon and about the lack of stock in store and warehouse and the lack of helpfulness on the part of the employee. I also plan to contact the manufacturer of the playsets to inquire if they sell elsewhere and also to discourage them from selling through TRU. So frustrating. So, so frustrating.

15 comments:

Andrew Scott Turner said...

Coool!

(the idea of the play set, I mean, not your frustration)

Speaking of frustrating...I hate going to places that treat you poorly because you don't actually have any expertise. Say, auto shops or home improvement places.

I'm at a disadvantage there because I don't know what a distributor cap is or what the size make and model of my lawn mower is.

It's like you need to be part of a club to communicate, and if you aren't...then watch out, because they will dick you around. You can tell by the smirks on their faces.

Eternal Lizdom said...

I soooo hear you. But you would really think that a TOY STORE wouldn't have that kind of attitude! I don't know of many who go out for any kind of sepcial training or certification in Barbies or Legos.

But that could be fun to pursue...

Mary Ellen said...

We bought a wooden playset a million years ago through a lumber retailer that is no longer in business. What a memorable two days putting it together, let me tell you - but it was great fun for many years (until the kids outgrew it).

Keep at it - sometimes you can get miracles to happen by being persistent!

Andrew Scott Turner said...

Mary Ellen just gave me an idea for a future blog.

I too put together a wooden play set, complete with a pirate ship perch, awnings, two slides of differing lengths, a fast food restaurant, swings, a zip line, gondola, and a sand box.

Spoiler: the post will have the F word in it

Often

Sonja said...

I am not sure if this helps, but I really like this company.

http://www.rainbowplay.com/

Joanna Jenkins said...

My neighbor has a playset that looks like the one above in the picture. The kids L O V E it and are out there morning. noon and night have a great time.

I stopped by from Casa Hice to say hello. She was right, you have a GREAT blog! i'll be back soon.

Alix said...

Hey Lizziepoo... swing by Casa Hice darlin. I have something for you!

Nancy said...

So when is the play date?! There is a place on 37 that sells playsets. I will try to catch the name of it tomorrow on my way to work. Also, on Pendleton Pike, Watson's (it isn't called that any more) has play sets. Just a couple of ideas for you.

Have fun!

Nancy said...

So when is the play date?! There is a place on 37 that sells playsets. I will try to catch the name of it tomorrow on my way to work. Also, on Pendleton Pike, Watson's (it isn't called that any more) has play sets. Just a couple of ideas for you.

Have fun!

C. Beth said...

Yaaaay! I love having ours in our back yard now! It's Big Backyard brand, BTW, and seems to be nice and sturdy (at least so far!)

Amy said...

Good call! You'll be thanking yourself over and over for years to come.

Eternal Lizdom said...

Nancy- the place on 37 is Recreation Unlimited and they sell Rainbow sets and they are insanely expensive. ThousandS of dollars.

Eternal Lizdom said...

And the playdate is as soon as we have it picked out, purchased, and put together!!

Lynn Freeman said...

If you get that I'm coming to play on it. And I'm serious LOL

And if you want the world's worst customer service in every single store and restaurant you go into, move to Canada. I resent spending my money in places that don't act like they want it and aren't willing to work for it.

Jim and Garret said...

I can't wait for your TRU justice update. I hate the service WE consumers get. Hello? The economy sucks, don't you want our business. Look at Sam's and Costco for play sets. I wished I had one while growing up.