Toys 'R Us Earn 'King of Spam' Title
By Patrick Mondout
November 11, 2006
Thinking about buying toys online for the upcoming holidays? A word of
advice: Unless you want to end up on a zillion spam lists, avoid Toys
'R Us. They are the official Spam Kings of the online toy
retailing world, so far as I can see. And I have proof.
I have never actually had a transaction with them. A few years ago I
bought a Christmas gift from Amazon.com and it was "fulfilled"
through Toys 'R Us. Recently the agreement between the respectable
Amazon.com (who in just over a decade has never, ever, given out the email
address that I used with them) and the Spam Kings Toys 'R Us ended.
Toys 'R Us decided to spam all the customers from Amazon who made the
mistake of buying "through" them. But it didn't stop there. They
kept sending such spam even after being told to stop by both me (via email
and multiple times over the phone) and by the legal counsel at Amazon.com!
They had an "unsubscribe" link in their spam, and since I was
naive enough at the time to believe Toys 'R Us was a legitimate business
rather than the hit and run Spam Kings that they have become, I clicked on
it. Yes, as someone who was using Gopher before Netscape existed, I
should've known better. But again, I thought I was dealing with a
legitimate company that was running a business with integrity. Boy was I
the mindless executive at Toys 'R Us who decided to spam the wrong
person. Long after Wal-Mart has put you out of business, this page
will still be here. Well done!
This started a month's long battle. It was not with Toys 'R Us directly
(they would not reply to emails nor return voicemails left for top
executives and media representatives), but through the legal counsel of
Amazon.com, which felt compelled to help since it was their former partner
that was breaking the law. Once I proved to Amazon.com what their former
partner had done, they were livid. Amazon.com's legal team contacted Toys
'R Us's legal team and demanded that they stop spamming me. Rather
surprisingly, the emails kept coming. When I forwarded the new emails to
Amazon's legal department, David Zapolsky, the VP & Associate General
Counsel of Litigation & Regulatory at Amazon.com, wrote that their
former partner's actions were "indeed disturbing" and "are
entirely inconsistent with ToysRUs.comís legal obligations."
Toys 'R Us executives are fortunate that I am not one of the lawsuit
happy types that fill our courts with such matters. Unfortunately for
them, I have quite a large following and they doubtless will pay for their
illegitimate business practices that clearly violate their own privacy
Incidentally, I immediately began receiving spam from the usual
suspects ("hot" stock tips, male enhancement, free ipods, etc.)
as soon as I replied to Toys 'R Us asking them to stop. And it is these
spams that I still receive to this day. All thanks to the Spam Kings,
Toys 'R Us.
The account in question never received a single spam in all the time
I used it until the Spam Kings at Toys 'R Us came along. I am
now going to have to change that email address, but not before letting the
250,000 of you that visit each month know that you cannot trust Toys 'R Us
with your personal information. Should the lowlifes at Toys 'R Us wish to
respond, they already have my email address, but they should keep in mind
that I have all the relevant emails as well as the unsolicited but de
facto legal opinions of the Amazon.com legal department as well as
established law on my side; the truth is a defense to libel
If I blogged ever time I was wronged by a company this site would be
filled with such rantings. With all the work I have yet to do on this site
(and others), I really hate to use time in this manner. It is only when a
company really crosses the line (like Yahoo!)
that I respond here. Indeed, this is only the second time in the long
history of my websites (that are as old as Google) that I have taken the
time to publicly shame them. If they had just spammed me the one time
(like ViewSonic or The Discovery Channel), you wouldn't be reading this.
If they had stopped after being told to by Amazon's legal department, you
wouldn't be reading this. If they hadn't shared my email address with
countless other spammers, you wouldn't be reading this. But they did all
of this and now you know all you need to about the Spam Kings at
Don't be fooled by the cute logo and all the wonderful toys this
company keeps in stock. They are spammers first and foremost and are
clearly unwilling to follow the basic rules of online sales that
legitimate companies have no trouble at all following. To this day, I have
not received so much as a simple "sorry" for their fraudulent
use of my personal information. Have you concluded that the Spam Kings
at Toys 'R Us cannot be trusted with your data either?
While I cannot say for certain that BabiesRUs.com, imaginarium.com, and
personalizedbyrus.com are as sleazy as their parent company, consider
Amazon.com itself is to be commended for going out of their way to try
to help. They did absolutely everything they could and far more than I
thought they would. They too were misled by this renegade outfit but have
also managed to put them in their rear-view mirror. And they remain the
Internet retailer, a partner of Super70s.com, and an excellent place
to buy toys.
As always, thanks for visiting!
Toys 'R Us logo used
without their permission just as my email account was used by them without
Spam can image is property of Hormel Foods and its appearance here is via
the fair-use clause of the copyright law protecting parody and satire.