Watch your shopping cart totals!

This isn’t the first time I’ve been critical of American Girl and their lackluster website/computer system.  However, this post is here to A)protect the consumer and B)make you aware of their computer system flaws/faults.

On Saturday, September 3, 2016, I decided I was going to order Melody’s Keyboard, my husband and I had discussed it and it was going to be my birthday present.  I noticed in the sale merchandise that they had Grace Thomas’ earring set for $6 and I thought it would be nice to pick it up for Evil Twin.  I added it to my cart.  Suddenly my cart went from $48 to $62!  Since when does 48 plus 6 equal 62?

I sent them an e-mail.  I’ll admit that I wasn’t nice.  But I’m sick and tired of their website issues.  Several hours went by and I got no response, so I went to Twitter.  I wanted to make others aware of this problem if it wasn’t fixed.  I posted a screen shot so they could see exactly what the problem was.  Their response was that they were “working on it” and if I wanted to place an order, I could call the 800 number.

What makes you think at this point, I want to order anything?  To me, this is an epic fail, and their customer service reps are using the same computer system.  I know that from a previous issue I ran into.  I also thought of something else that bugged me.  So I tweeted back.  The conversation went even further south at this point:

paris-earrings-2

 

I got no response at all to that last line. Interestingly enough, several hours later I got a response to my e-mail and apparently they had put 2 and 2 together and realized it was the same person. But still no mention of automatically crediting customers who may have been overcharged. Not acceptable.

What made this even worse is this problem persisted over the entire Labor Day weekend and into Tuesday. Finally sometime Tuesday they disabled the “add to cart” button and by Wednesday morning they had removed the item completely from the website. But it was available with this problem for 3 days (maybe more). I realize it was a holiday weekend, but if you are going to have a 24/7 presence, there needs to be someone on call 24/7 for technical issues just as this. Which makes me think that they not only aren’t hiring top notch people, but they aren’t willing to spend the money to keep their website working properly. Let me just say that this isn’t the first time I’ve caught something like this, just the first time I’ve brought it public.

I’ll be curious to see if the earrings ever reappear. I’d also like to know if anyone who may have purchased them automatically gets a refund or has to call first. Perhaps it will be right up there with “how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop”? We’ll never know.

I just don’t know what to think anymore. 😦

Meet Emily????

In July I shared my awesome find of Lanie with all of you.  I had never read her books before that, but when I read the first one, I absolutely fell in love with her even more than I already had.  Of all of the GOTY stories, hers is the most relatable for me.  I wasn’t a dancer, skater, never traveled out of the country beyond Canada as a kid.  But I loved the outdoors.  My mother joked that in the summertime, my feet hit the floor as soon as the sun was up and I was out the door.  She knew she’d see me when suppertime rolled around.  I even used to drag all of my Barbie stuff out to the front porch to play instead of hanging out in the house to do it.  Riding bikes, playing with Matchbox and Hotwheels cars in the dirt, whatever–as long as it was outside, I was there.  I even played in the rain with one of my friends, we would wander around barefoot, looking for mud puddles.

One part in particular in the first book really hit home.  The part about Lanie’s little sister Emily and the monarch butterfly in her classroom.  I’ve always been fascinated by them and I still have fond memories of a book I had as a child that documented the whole process from worm to butterfly in fantastic photographs and story.  That got me to thinking, and that thought led to another and another…

I had absolutely no intentions of buying any of the Wellie Wishers dolls when they came out. I thought that Emerson might work well as Cassandra’s little sister, but it never went beyond a thought. But hey, Willa or Camille as Emily, wouldn’t that be cute? I tossed it around a bit, scoured the illustrations to see if I could figure out which one would work better. Finally, I just decided to go with the doll I thought was the cutest of the two. So who won???

Meet Emily:
Emily 1

As you can see, I wasted no time in taking her hair out of the pigtails. I don’t think she was in my house 5 minutes before that happened. I wasn’t a fan. I’d also seen some fantastic photos that Americangirlfan had taken of her Willa doll with her hair down and that’s what I’m working on. She does have a nice wig though.  I haven’t had a lot of time to play with it yet, plus her hair needs to relax a bit from being up. All in good time. I think her curls makes her more believable as Lanie’s sister. Plus those eyes, oh those eyes!!!! I think it’s her best feature, they are just gorgeous.

Here she is stripped down:
Emily 2

As you can see, she is all plastic and much more slender than an AG doll. And at this point is where my rant starts. She’s not worth $60. She’s a Barbie on steroids with better hair, that’s all. And the design work on her joints sucks. I’ve seen tons of complaints in the online reviews about this, with a lot of people returning the dolls. Not good. Emily has one side that moves smoothly and the other side is very stiff. I can move it, but it takes work. I can’t see a 5 year old child doing it though.  I’m keeping her, but if she was for a kid, she’d be heading back to Wisconsin.

emily 3

Here’s a comparison of feet, you can see how much larger the AG one is. (I also realized that Lanie needs a pedicure, she appears to have some dried baking soda on one of her toes!) Skin color is noticeably different.

Her clothes are cute and of good quality, but nothing off the charts. The little underwear though, wow, I can’t imagine sewing anything that tiny. I can remember when my mom made Barbie underwear and it driving her nuts. I hope the factory workers making these got hazard pay!
emily 4

Overall, I think she has an absolutely adorable face, her clothes are cute and I totally get the attraction for a little girl. But I think AG screwed up big time on the lack of quality. Let’s just say that Emerson won’t be joining the crew anytime soon, I think I will wait and see if they either A) fix the issues with the joints or B) drop the price. Rumor has it that Hearts4Hearts is coming back, so that might be a better option. I’ve also noticed some not so favorable reviews about some of the accessories sets, several are disasters. Back to the drawing board AG.  I give her a C-.

Here she is with Lanie, I think they are so cute together! To sisters!
emily 5

 

Doll Sized Finds–August goodies!

I haven’t had a whole lot of time to go to thrift stores lately, I’ve been busy with all sorts of other things.  I did manage to get out to the three stores in my area one day though and I came across some pretty cool items.  Bear with me though, I do remember what I paid for them, but not where they came from.  Yes, it’s been that kind of month!

When I saw this little container, I thought it would be a perfect canister for the doll kitchen or the bakery.  It is supposed to be a jelly pot (I think) but it is very tiny.  It’s missing the little spoon, but that is fine, I’ll put the opening where it goes to the back so it can’t be seen.  I can see this being a nice place to put flour or cookies!  It was 50 cents, has a few minor nicks in it that I need to touch up.

dsf aug 16 1

Then I came across these tiny little cups! These are just slightly bigger than the mugs included with the camper, so these are for those days when you need a bigger than normal cup of coffee. At 10 cents each I couldn’t pass them up!
dsf aug 16 2

I loved this little bowl, I’m assuming it was meant to be a tea light holder, but I thought it would make a cute serving bowl for the doll kitchen. Another fruit bowl perhaps? Heaven knows I have enough doll fruit to fill 2! It was only 69 cents and looked as though it had never been used.
dsf aug 16 3

Something that always amazes me is the number of Happy Meal Toys I see at thrift stores, still in packages. I worked for McDonald’s many years ago and even then, the toys were huge collectibles. I often wonder why all of a sudden they end up there, who knows?! On this day I came across these:
dsf aug 16 4

And out of the packages:
dsf aug 16 5

Build A Bear toys from 2012! I think they are super cute and I couldn’t pass them up at 49 cents each. No hamburger and fries to eat either. 😉

Last, but certainly not least is something I came across one day while we were out to eat. The place we ate at has a store attached and while we were waiting for a table, I spotted this:
dsf aug 16 6

Anyone else remember these? I had two of them and someone always seemed to be playing with them at our house, adults and kids alike. When I saw this mini version, I just had to have it. I didn’t think $2 was too much either for something like this. It’s hard too!!

That’s all I found in the month of August. It might be a while before I do another Doll Sized Finds, September and October are going to be tremendously busy, I looked at my calendar and we have something going on every week for 6 weeks in a row! I’ll survive but it certainly will eat into my thrift store shopping time as well as everything else. And if you don’t see me posting as much, don’t panic, that’s why.  I did try and petition for a 48 hour day, but it was rejected. 😉  Until next time!