Toys R Us may have bitten off more than it can chew.
Since the beginning of the holiday shopping season, the toy store has unveiled one incentive after another this year, from price matching to layaways to earlier openings than ever on Thanksgiving, to lure in customers. But it seems the retailer may have pushed a little too hard, and has found it hard to keep up with demand.
The retailer's Facebook page is teeming with dozens of customer service complaints after the Black Friday shopping weekend. Many shoppers claimed that they had placed orders to take advantage of some of Toys R Us' hottest deals, only to find out later that they were canceled because there weren't enough items in stock.
"I ordered a train table for my son on Saturday for a price of $39.99. The item was in stock for me to place the order but received an email last night that my order was canceled because the item is (not) available," Tara Dohn posted. "Had this item not showed in stock for shipping, I would have just gone to the store on Saturday when the sale price was still effective. Now 3 days later, when the sale is over, I'm told I'm out of luck."
Many other shoppers echoed Dohn's sentiment, disappointed that they missed out on Black Friday deals because the retailer couldn't keep up with the traffic.
A spokeswoman for the retailer admitted that the holiday rush caught up with the stores.
"This week is one of the busiest for online shopping across the industry -- and Toysrus.com is no exception," said Toys R Us's Jennifer Albano. "The number of questions to our call center increases proportionately with the increased business."
Toys R Us didn't say if it would offer anything to make up for disappointed customers.
The customer service snafu comes as Toys R Us has been pushing hard to drive customers into its stores and onto its website for their holiday shopping. Stores opened at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving, making it the earliest retailer, along with Wal-Mart, to offer its doorbuster deals to customers.
It even offered to match online prices from competing stores like Wal-Mart and Amazon, and free layaway plans as early as September for customers who want to reserve a toy online or in stores and pay it off by Christmas time.
It also dabbled in the digital world by launching a kid-friendly tablet and a movie and TV show streaming service geared toward children.