Mar 17, 2009

Bed, Bath & Bewildered

This is basically an open Futue Te Ipsum to the folks at Bed, Bath & Beyond. I am getting married to my wonderful fiancé in June. While I am only interested in being married to the love of my life, gifts have become an integral part of weddings in modern society. Accordingly, I have set up gift registries for my guests. While I have a few items at the Target Club Wedd registry, I have the majority at my Bed, Bath & Beyond registry.

A few months ago, Faith, Carly, Aubrey and I went to set up my gift registries. I am not much of a home décor enthusiast and decided to avail of their sagely wedding wisdoms. We made a day of it and ended up knitting at the Indulgences Café. However, before we could treat ourselves to a sit 'n' knit, we had to get the tedious registering out of the way. Our first stop was Bed, Bath & Beyond. We were taken all around the store on an extensive tour by a very helpful store associate, with whom we chatted for about an hour. The key point is that nothing was omitted from his exhaustive description of the registry program. Almost nothing. The conversation also included many references to the fact that I am from Ireland, as are many of the invitees of my wedding.

I was thus a little irked when I received an email from one of my Irish guests saying they had attempted to purchase a gift from my BB&B registry but were unable to do so. They were precluded from doing so because are not US residents. Why, in this economic climate especially, would a company reject a consumer's attempt to give them profit? I doubt anyone is worried that BB&B could be used for international money laundering schemes, nor could any of their products be adapted for nefarious purposes.

I was scratching my head for rhymes and/or reasons, until it occurred to me that this may be a jurisdiction issue. If there were any rejected payments, BB&B would be unable set the bottom-feeding, sub-human, scum that is the private debt-collector on my guests in Ireland. If this is the reason, I find it aggravating, and quite frankly insulting, if it is the case that BB&B prioritize their right (legal, not moral) to assess usurious fines above good customer service. I am also furious that half of my guest list being unable shop from my gift registry was never so much as mentioned to me at the time I was creating my registry!

I have contacted BB&B for clarification, and I am awaiting a response. If this is a genuine error, or if they emend their policy, I will happily, and expeditiously, delete this post.

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