News of the financial problems at Toys ‘R’ Us had been in my local news long before it became big national news, because we have a store in my area that people were concerned about closing, back when the chain was simply going to shut some stores in an effort to stay in business, before deciding to go out of business altogether as it this week it was declared that it will.

Much like a certain failed U.S. Presidential candidate, Toys ‘R’ Us is blaming its catastrophic failure in every direction except where the blame squarely lies – on itself. It wasn’t killed by Amazon, it wasn’t killed by Target or Walmart, and it wasn’t killed by babies or a lack thereof. Toys ‘R’ Us killed itself, not only by failing to adapt to a changing marketplace but also, and more importantly, by failing to provide adequate customer service which would have garnered it some customer loyalty.

Shopping at a brick and mortar Toys ‘R’ Us store is a miserable and stressful experience. At my local store the place was always in disarray and there was never anyone to help. The checkout lines were always long and the employees were often very clearly unhappy to be there. Nobody wants to shop someplace aggravating if they can avoid it, and lots of people are willing to pay a little bit more someplace else to avoid a hassle. Not to mention that the prices at the Toys ‘R’ Us were really not competitive at all so, for all the frustration that shopping there entails, you weren’t even getting a good deal.

Shopping online at Toys ‘R’ Us, in my experience, was also an exercise in frustration – the search function on their site stinks, there is a long wait to get your item shipped for a fee, and you can’t opt to have your purchase shipped to the store for pickup – something almost every kind of chain store does these days. There is no “app for that” with Toys ‘R’ Us, for people who like that sort of thing, which seems weird to me since there is an app for pretty much everything you can think of so it doesn’t seem like it would have been impossible for them to do even with their money problems.

The reason why Toys ‘R’ Us failed is because they failed the people who could have saved them; they failed their customers, often failing them so egregiously that they turned off many people from ever shopping at Toys ‘R’ Us ever again. Repeat customers can be the lifeblood of a business, but Toys ‘R’ Us had little interest in customer retention over the years or they would have changed their horrid corporate culture long before it became a policy of retail suicide.

For a sampling of the real reasons why Toys ‘R’ Us is a failed business, have a look at some consumer complaints:

Beware of Toys R Us online, I ordered & paid for $105 worth of Cra-Z-Art SoundMoovs arm bands/electronics at Christmas, instead I received a $5 Thomas the train, huh?? After calling they corrected the order and sent me the armbands. Then the emails began, reminding me that I needed to return the armbands? Why would I return something I purchased?? After calling AGAIN, they said I needed to return the Toy Train, via US Post office!!? Pain in the rear, but okay, it’s done right? SURPRISE, they have now charged me AGAIN another $105.00 for the same items I already paid for. They said, so sorry but it will be 10 days before my $105 is refunded. By the way, some of us don’t have an extra $105 dollars laying around to support others mistakes. A customer for 10 years, I’ve spent thousands over that time in their store. Their apology gift to me? $10 off coupon for my next order… Sad, but there won’t be a next order. AMAZON it is…

Don’t ever buy online at Toys R Us! Ever!!! It’s been a month since I purchased 2 games for my son for Christmas and one of them was never shipped! I ordered the games on Thanksgiving. I called to track it and automated system told me it was shipped. I check the tracking number and item was never shipped. It just had a tracking number. I called again to asked for my refund and was promised it would take 48 hours to process for the credit. I called Dec 7, then again Dec 10, Then Dec 12th, then Dec 17, and then Dec 20 and Dec 27 and again today. It’s the 28th of December and I’m still dealing with their lying asses over one month later. Each customer service rep said that they would fix my issue and it doesn’t get fixed. I never received an email that the order was canceled or an email about my credit either. How many more times I would have to call to get my money back for a game that was never shipped?

What a terrible experience!! We were told by really immature store manager that they didn’t match prices when it says it in 8 foot tall letters on front window!!! REALLY immature, acting snarky, rolling eyes and shaking heads, we have grandkids that like this store. Just a shame the company cannot hire friendlier people than this especially since this is a “FAMILY STORE.”

There is MORE, and it indicates a pattern of an utter lack of concern for the customer; and you cannot survive as a retail business if your standard policies serve mainly to step on and piss off your customers. Toys ‘R’ Us died entirely of self inflicted wounds. Let the demise of Toys ‘R’ Us serve as a cautionary tale about how not to have a strong and loyal customer base.

*******

MJ Stevenson, AKA Zilla, is best known on the web as Zilla at MareZilla.com. She lives in a woodland shack near a creek, in one of those rural parts of New York State that nobody knows or cares about, with her family and a large pack of guardian companion animals. 

Cannot vouch for the modernity of the map. I’ll put a new one up if this one is outdated.

by baldilocks

Sitting in for Fausta.

I’ve been putting off commentary on this.

White South African farmers will be removed from their land after a landslide vote in parliament.

The country’s constitution is now likely to be amended to allow for the confiscation of white-owned land without compensation, following a motion brought by radical Marxist opposition leader Julius Malema.

It passed by 241 votes for to 83 against after a vote on Tuesday, and the policy was a key factor in new president Cyril Ramaphosa’s platform after he took over from Jacob Zuma in February.

Mr Malema said the time for ‘reconciliation is over’. ‘Now is the time for justice,’ News24 reported.

As a teenager, I read James Michener’s The Covenant. It’s Michener’s usual fare, a historical novel, this one based on South Africa and the history which led to the country’s existence. Just a few minutes ago, I downloaded an audiobook version from the LA Public Library.

Since I have the luxury of time to refresh my reading on this country, I’ll save any in-depth commentary on this specific situation for another post. But I don’t have to do a refresher course on human nature.

I’ve seen the non-South African opinion sides forming among my friend and, yes, with some notable exceptions, those opinions are formed along the color line. Both white and black South Africans have legitimate grievances. Here’s the thing, once all grievances are addressed, even unto death, where does it end? Spoiler: it doesn’t end.

Regarding a potential tribal war here in the US, I said this six years ago.

The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob reserves vengeance to Himself, and instructs Jewish and Christian believers to forego it. But even if one does not believe in Him, it’s easy to see the chaos which is nearly always brought about by the unending cycle of human vengeance. You murder/enslave/oppress mine, then I take vengeance and murder/enslave/oppress yours. Then you take vengeance and murder/enslave/oppress more of mine. Then I …

Funny how every single proponent of vengeance manages to forget this over and over.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

Hit Da Tech Guy Blog’s Tip Jar for his new not-GoDaddy host!

Or hit Juliette’s!

I spoke to Leo from Massachusetts at CPAC 2018

There are Massachusetts conservatives, honest.


DaTechGuy at CPAC 2018 The story (blogged) so far:

Friday March 16th

Voices of CPAC 2018 Leo from MA

Thursday March 15th

Voices of CPAC 2018 Yvonne from Illinois

Wednesday March 14

Voices of CPAC 2018 Kurt Schlichter

Tuesday March 13th

Voices of CPAC 2018 Tony (Don’t call him Anthony) Katz

Monday March 12th

Voices of CPAC 2018 Elizabeth of the Mt. Holyoke College Republicans (Yes you read that right)

Sunday March 11th

Voices of CPAC 2018 Grizzly Joe

Voices of CPAC 2018 Rachel from Virginia

Saturday March 10th

Voices of CPAC 2018 Connor Wolf of Inside Sources

Friday March 9th

Voices of CPAC 2018 Chase from the Houston Young Republicans

Thursday March 8th

Voices at CPAC 2018 Chris from NY Longtime Prolife activist

Wednesday March 7th

Voices at CPAC 2018 Michael from Liberty University

Tuesday March 6th

Voices at CPAC 2018 Sarah Rumpf

Monday March 5th

Voices from CPAC 2018 Doreen from Michigan
Voices of CPAC 2018 Susan from New Mexico

Sunday March 4th
Voices of CPAC 2018 Myra Adams

Friday March 2nd

Voices of CPAC 2018 John Hawkins and Sierra Marlee

CPAC 2018: Two Men who made a Difference For Me

Wednesday Feb 20

Voices at CPAC 2018 Dylan and Watson

Voices at CPAC 2018 Kira Innis (Two Angles)

Monday Feb 26th

Voices of CPAC 2018 Greg Penglis of WEBY 1330 Radio

Sunday Feb 25th

CPAC 2018 Dutch Kitchen Cannoli Sicilian from Brooklyn Approved

Saturday Feb 24th

CPAC 2018 / Don’t give a VUK Meet the Voter the Media Narrative says Does Exist

Friday Feb 23rd

Voices at CPAC 2018 Senator Ted Cruz Answers Two Question for DaTechGuy

Thurs Feb 22nd

We Interrupt CPAC 2018 for CNN and their Gun Control Galaxy Quest Moment
Voices of CPAC 2018: Ron from PA

Wed Feb. 21st

Voices at CPAC 2018 Vicki from Minnesota

Voices at (or near) #cpac2018 Lea from National Association of Developmental Educators We talk Students and Math

DaTechGuy at CPAC 2018 The Calm Before the Storm and What I’ll be Asking

If you don’t want to wait or my blog posts to see my interviews my youtube channel is here.

Full CPAC 2017 list (for those who feel nostalgic) is here

A reminder I have copies of my Book Hail Mary the perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer available at CPAC with me, price $7 and I will happily sign them for you.

Or you can just order it on Amazon


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Finally might I suggest my book Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer makes an excellent Gift.

This is one piece of advice that is completely conditional for several reasons:

1. Many people are getting married later so it is very possible that their parents are no longer alive.

2. In this era many people have divorced parents separated by distance or come from a single parent household and never knew one of them.

Nevertheless if you are in a position to get the advice of a parent by all means take it.

Your parents whether successful or not in marriage themselves not only bring years of life experience to the table but are a source of unconditional love and support.  There are going to be times when you need to vent in a marriage and such venting is best with a person with more life experience than you.

Thanks to current technology you are in a position to speak to parents “face to face” on a daily basis in a way that couples in the past can not. Of course if they live close enough to be directly engaged with your family on a regular basis it is even better.

Parents are the best choice, they can see things from outside of a circle of friends, furthermore they are less likely to have a side agenda that they are trying to promote.

Your parents want your life to work, let them help you.

A final thought, if for whatever reason parents are unavailable or inappropriate for such advice, an older Uncle or Aunt can serve this function.

The 30 Tips to Say Married 30 years so far

Tip 1:  Choose Wisely
Tip 2: A long Engagement
Tip 3: Get Married in Church
Tip 4: Don’t write your own vows.
Tip 5: Set limits early
Tip 6: Live Modestly
Tip 7: Embrace Your Mother-In-Law


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Finally might I suggest my book Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer makes an excellent Gift.

modified from wiki commons

Just as I was finishing my post last week on the fake DCU phishing scheme and how to recognize it. I noticed a 2nd such email in my box, it was similar but had one variation that I thought was worth pointing out

Of the 5 clues I mentioned in my first post three are still there. We see the misspelling of “alert” (clue 2) remains which should stop someone paying attention.   We note a time limit on a response (clue 3) which suggest trying to push you into acting rash and we also see the lack of links in the bottom section plus a different country code in the login link (clue 5) this time gq indicating equatorial Guinea not all that far from the central african republic where the last email was based from.

Still there are two variations worth noting here that should be pointed out. take a look at the link again particularly the end of it in bold compared to the front in red: akjdfg.gq/redieresartgdfsdcu

A person not paying attention might notice the DCU at the end of the link and the redir (as in redirect) and mistakenly think this was an actual DCU email, This suggest a slightly smarter Phisherman than the last time however it’s still a dodge.    Remember the domain is always in the front before the hash.  If that section doesn’t say dcu.org or whatever your bank or financial institution has in the front, or has a different country code, you know it’s phony.

There is one other clue in this email that didn’t arise in the last one that I want to point out:

Clue 6:  The bank can’t take my money, can it?

Unlike the last email which suggested a false transaction for you to stop this email comes with a specific threat.  If you don’t click their link and put in your password and account numbers you will lose the money in your account.   This is simply a scare tactic.  Not only does a bank not have the right to seize your funds in such a way but if you leave an account inactive or forget about it there are laws compelling either the banks or various states to hold it for you to claim later.

Again this is a tactic used to fool folks who do not know how these things work.  Make sure you do so you won’t fall for these schemes.