Mar 16, 2007

Fake, out!



Dear American Girl Place,

You promise that “lessons of love, friendship, courage, compassion, and tolerance are at the heart of every American Girl story." Please read on, to find out how right you are!

Thank you so much! I was really struggling out here in impoverished brownstone Brooklyn, trying to figure out how to explain to my six-year old daughter about the
importance of labels, and of the superiority of expensive things.

Etta had heard from pals at (public) school that American Girl Dolls were just fabulous, but when we looked at the website and saw the prices, we warned her that if she really really wanted one for Christmas, she wouldn’t be able to get too many fun doll accessories and other stuff. Plus, she has a 3 year old sister, and it would have been really hard to find a way to sit on top of Piper for the next three years to keep her from touching the impeccable and thoughtfully priced American Girl Doll.

Silly Etta, she chose to spend her own money (a mere $29.99!) a few weeks before Christmas last year, on an 18-inch doll at Target. The doll’s name is Gracie, and she came with a ballet outfit and several clever accessories.

You’d think the doll would be extra special for her because she earned every penny she paid for it, and you know what? You’d be right! It was special! She loved it. And she got another one for Christmas (named Robin) and her three year old sister got her very own Target doll too. Named Vicki, I think (but who can keep track of these random names, those dolls didn’t even come with books!). We weren’t so worried about the damage Piper would inflict on her cheap doll. We actually thought her doll was kind of cute (again, silly us!).

Poor thing, Etta thought she was lucky to have all of these great dolls--and she had loads of fun dressing them, carting them around, treating them like special little baby dolls. How on earth were we going to explain to her that her dolls weren’t REAL dolls and didn’t deserve her love and affection?

What were we going to do?!

American Girl Place to the rescue!

When her friend Julie invited her to go to the American Girl Place to have her doll’s hair styled, Etta was thrilled. “Come spend a day you’ll never forget!” the website promised. And boy did you deliver.

Frommers Guide to New York says “don’t forget to bring [your] favorite doll so it can get a makeover at the store’s own doll salon.” I know it’s craaaaazy that a Target fake (that cost only $29.99 of Etta’s real saved money!) would be her favorite doll but it was.

At least it used to be.

Back when she thought it was real.

She’ll never forget the feeling of waiting in line at the salon. The anticipation, the special feelings welling up in her body. She’d spent extra time in the morning dressing Gracie for the outing. Etta dressed extra-pretty too. Well, sort of thrift-store pretty. Hand-me-down pretty. Not expensive pretty. But she went off with her head held high. Feeling pretty and important and deserving. Courageous little girl.

When she got to the front of the line she was shown a menu of hairstyles to choose from for her doll. Her friend’s mom was surprised that the price had gone up from $10 a doll to $20, but Julie had earned this reward (and, as luck would have it, Etta really needed to learn a lesson), so it would be worth it.

“This isn’t a real doll!” the stylist exclaimed. (Thank your stylist!--we never would have had the heart to explain it that way!). And to prove that a fake doll isn’t worth the plastic she’s molded out of, she refused to do the doll’s hair.

I’m not sure exactly what’s in it for your company, because you still stood to make $20 off of my daughter for doing the fake doll’s hair. I have two thoughts on that. Either her $20 wasn’t worth the same as someone else’s $20 (in which case I’ve learned something new too!) OR it was worth the $20 to you to be able to be the one to break the news to, I mean, to *enlighten* my little girl. You do promise to teach little girls, don’t you?

And she cried and cried and cried, and your stylist held her ground. That was a good lesson for her too. That feelings don’t have a place in "the heart of Manhattan’s prestigious shopping neighborhood" (another quote from your website).

And did you realize how loyal to you all the other mommies in line were? You’d have been proud of them.

One chided Etta for not knowing she couldn’t bring a fake doll to the store. Tsk tsk. She’s in first grade now and can read by herself (taught herself, in fact). She probably should have done the research. There’s another great lesson for her. (Thanks mom in line!)

One mom muttered to another that Etta probably couldn't afford a real one. Great hunch! She's six!

One mom just smiled and said "Well, American Girl Dolls aren’t for everyone, you know.” A sentence cleverly crafted to make Etta feel like someone cared about her but also to be aware that she really didn’t belong there in your fancy store with the other, richer, better girls. How compassionate!

So, another little girl had a life-changing experience at The American Girl Place!

Hooray for you!

To think, she might have gotten through first grade with her self-confidence intact!

As a former personal shopper at FAO Schwarz (the big one on 5th Avenue!), I know that rules can always be bent, and on-the-spot judgement calls are allowed. In some places, they actually have a ‘customer is always right,’ mentality. Ridiculous!

You’re no fool, American Girl Place! You’re in this to educate little girls. And educate Etta you did. She knows she’s inferior now. Knows her dolls are worthless. Knows her feelings don’t matter. Knows that fake dolls (even fake dolls willing to shell out $20 for an up-do!) won’t be tolerated.

You say that at American Girl, a girl "chooses the friend that’s just right for her--with a story true to the character or one she creates all her own.” I can’t wait to see how Etta adjusts her own self-image to match what she’s learned about her worthless doll!

As promised, her experience at your store gave her "memories she’ll cherish forever." You cared enough to realize that there’s a limit to what I can teach her at home and you rushed in and offered up some good old-fashioned and completely unforgettable public humiliation!

Good job!

Forever grateful,
Etta’s mom.

1,049 comments:

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Maranie said...

All I am doing is joining the choir. My daughter turns 4 next month, and to think that she would ever experience something like this...security would have had to remove me, because I would have taught all those Manhattanite children a few new words that day. I almost cried reading this too. I appreciate the offer from the Emily Rose company but think that a public apology from American Girls - plus a free hairstyle - is in order for this travesty. No little girl should ever go through what your daugther did. You have taught your daughter well, the value of a dollar, the compassion in sharing so her little sister would get something nice that Christmas too, that "your favorite" of something is the best, period. To have those other women try to destroy that in a matter of minutes shows how truly dark their hearts must be, and how awful they are to obviously be raising more little girls to be just like them, rather than to be raising a daughter like Etta.

BTW, if you don't mind, I am linking this to my blog as well. I have a few readers that will also find this appalling and need to know. And a few are mothers too.

FatcatPaulanne said...

I hope you are taking legal action! This is horrible!

My daughter has a doll from Walmart and a doll from Target, named Jasmine and Diana and she loves them both very much. She knows they're not American Girl, brand name, but she doesn't care.

Anonymous said...

I was just thinking that perhaps AG will take legal action against this mother for libel.

And yes, I was thinking how nice it is for all these other sellers of fake AG crap to show up and promote their sites. Well done.

Smells like fish.

Anonymous said...

For those who say that The AG company should sustain responsibility for the stylists actions are wrong. The company no where on their site states that the doll has to be an AG. Refusing to not allow the child to have her dolls hair done is bad costumer service. Yes every store has their flaws, and one bad seed can spoil the bunch. But to treat a CHILD the way she was treated, was wrong in itself. When people complain of service from wal-mart and every other company you go to, it's due to costumer service. Again how is this different then what the AG store did? They hired the woman. Therefore they made the judgment she was good enough to work there and she made the choice to take the job. No excuse.
As far as those who think that because you dont own an AG doll your worthless. My children do not own one and I could never see spending that amount of money on something my children will out grow. I can think of bigger and better things that I can give my children for that amount of money.
And no it's not because we CAN'T afford it, it's cause no toy is worth that kind of money.
How you can sit here and say that a 6 year old was wrong. And how she should have stood up for herself. Get real people she is 6. And I doubt at the age of 6 you would have been doing that. I highly doubt that your children do that. There is no reason that little girl should have been refused service let alone treated that way. They would not have treated an adult as such. So why a child?
Just goes to show how much attention a person tries to derive by having to put down a child. And having to post to a board about how a child, A CHILD, is so wrong in what she did.
If AG did want other dolls that was not their own, to be brought in, they should have expressed that on their site. I myself would have let my daughter bring in her NON AG doll for a make over. And I WOULD have expected it to be done regardless. There are no stipulations on their site. There isn't a such as assuming they would not take it. That does not work in retail settings and is how Business's get sued.
Etta, I am sorry this has happened to you. Don't give up on your little one Etta. She still needs your love and care. I am sure that there are other hairstylist out there who would be love to give her a new look. When you find that someone please let us know.

Anonymous said...

And that first line should read:

For those who say that The AG company SHOULDN'T sustain responsibility for the stylists actions are wrong.

Anonymous said...

I just sent this to American Girl from their website.

Dear American Girl,
I am incredibly upset. My daughter has a bitty baby that I bought for her at your NYC store. I was looking forward to your Atlanta store opening this year so I could take my daughter and purchase more of your products.
However, you have lost my business (and the hundreds of dollars I would have spent throughout my 2 year old's childhood) because of the incident with the little girl who wanted her "fake" doll's hair styled. What type of organization would humiliate a small child because her doll wasn't "real"? I understand store policies but couldn't you have made an exception? She had the money for the hairstyle.
I grew up with knock offs as my family was not well-to-do and when I read her story, it brought back all of the shame I felt with my "fake" toys, jeans, etc. It's nice to know that "American Girl values" are only for affluent girls and their snooty mothers.
I am now one of those affluent folks you obviously market to. Not only will I never buy anything from you, I plan to tell all my affluent friends about your disgusting attitude. By boycotting your store and products, I will teach my child a more valuable lession than your dolls every could.
I do hope the national media picks up on this incident so your company values can be apparant to all.

Anonymous said...

If this really did happen I think the stylist is a sad excuse for a human being.
BUT calling every mom/kid that owns an American Girl doll a snob and assuming they have no class, money-centric shallow people is completely out of line.
And no. My kids don't have AG dolls but we do the Battat ones that are sold at Target.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm amazed at how easily swayed the public opinion is over a 3rd hand account of what happened. None of us were there, yet many of you are ready to swallow this questionable story hook, line, and sinker and boycott a company that has been praised for exceptional customer service. It has all the elements of an urban legend - a severe lack of identifying specifics (no dates, no names, and vague references to particulars) an outrageous action by the antagonist (AG & "the other moms") with a heartwrenching story. All it is missing is the admonishment that I need to forward it to 10 people or I will have bad luck for 7 years.

I expect that the stylist said something to the effect of the doll wasn't a real American Girl doll, and that she was unable to do the doll's hair. Hindsight would have had the stylist to say it in a nicer way, like so many of you have stated. Perhaps it was a long day and she wasn't thinking. It isn't inexcusable, but it is disheartening. The mother of the other girl should have contacted a manager and addressed the issue on the spot - which is why I find this story suspect. Am I supposed to believe that such a ruckus with a 6-year-old bawling her eyes out while "evil" other mothers ripped her up one side and down the other wouldn't grab the attention of any other AG employees? Are you saying that the other AG employees wouldn't want to know why a (potential) customer was crying and wouldn't try to make it right? I've been in the AG store in Chicago and I couldn't take three steps without an AG employee asking if I needed assistance with anything. So yes, I find this story suspect.

Oh - and I do hope that BMW calls tomorrow to offer me a new BMW with all the bells and whistles. A local BMW dealership was offering a special on "oil changes", but when I tried to take my Pontiac in for an oil change, they refused, saying that they only service real BMWs with real BMW parts. For shame on them!! Please, someone start a letter-writing campaign to force BMW give me a new BMW for their poor customer service!

firstimpressionist said...

Just a few years ago, when my niece was about 7, she desperately wanted an AG doll with accessories.

We're a practical family and after adding up the tab, decided that we would all work together to make a comparable "hand-made" substitute.

My mom hand-stitched the bedding, a few dresses and made a cute gingham picnic basket to house the other items we chose.

The result was a wonderful doll that my niece still treasures; not because it cost $400.00, but because it was made with love by her grandmother.

Heather said...

I'm actually a REAL hairstylist! Little Etta's doll is "fake"? I'd say that the stylist is a fake. I'd do Etta's and the dolls hair $20 if she were in my salon. My daughter is only 1 1/2 yrs., but you can be sure she will not be receiving any American Girls merchandise. Etta, there is nothing wrong with your doll; she's perfect!

Anonymous said...

I think that if it does state to "bring in your favorite doll" that is definitely considered fraud.

Unless the website specifically says "bring in your American Girl doll" they have no right to refuse business. And I am sure there is a better way to explain that to a 6 year old.

Anonymous said...

Melodrama,(poor 6 year old saving her own money), aside - who sets up their kid like this? Who doesn't know that manufacturers of a quality product don't like cheap knock-offs? Well, the original poster I guess and the several hundred in the lynch mob who posted. Yeah, I'd send my kid with a fake gucci to the Gucci store to have the zipper shined. Uh huh.

Anonymous said...

That's right. When I was at the AG store in NYC, some kid was having a meltdown and there were five staff members around her doing a tapdance to cheer her up. AND my daughter had brought her own non-AG doll along with her, and the staff was talking to the doll like it was another kid. Great experience all around.

Now I have to send along this blog link to ten other people so I don't have 7 years bad luck. LOL!

Anonymous said...

Oh that such ashame to hear about what happened to Etta. She deserve so much more than that - it seems like a little sweetheart. Did you friend talk to a manager there? Maybe the stylist she spoke to was uneducated and responded incorrectly because she was ignornant to the American Girl policy. I do not think you should bash a company for one mistake. Give them another chance. Call the store and speak to a manager. And there are children dying in other countries? Let's try to be more understanding....

Anonymous said...

People -

Can you please read the other posts before repeating either (a) the fancy car maintenance analogy (b) the rolex analogy, or (c) the gucci bag analogy?

Those points have been made. They've been made at least once on reddit, digg, and the consumerist and they have been made *several* times on this board.

Can't you be original?

If you want to defend AG that's fine, but at least try to have a thought or share a comment that isn't exactly the same as what another AG defender posted.

Seriously, can't you think for yoursel- ...oh.
Right, forgot.
; )

Anonymous said...

What a crock! What they did to your sweet little girl in unfair, and unhuman. You have to have alot of things wrong upstairs to treat a 6 year old like that. Hugs Etta, your doll is a million times better than their snobby dolls!

Anonymous said...

According to this Craig's List job ad, they do require doll hairstylists to be able to provide "excellent customer service." No mention of "to certain brands of dolls only."

http://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/ret/287234849.html

Anonymous said...

"Can't you be original?"

It's like calling Puff's to deliver more Kleenex.

It's like a Baptist going into a Catholic Church and asking fer communion and a reach-around from the priest because they put $20 in the collection basket.

It's like buyin' a bra at Wal-Mart and thinkin' you should get a recording contract like Gretchen Wilson.

It's like orderin' a White Castle burger and then walking in to Applebees and asking to use their fancy ketchup.

It's like buyin a Craftsman garden tractor and taking it to the Kubota dealer after you run over a possum.

Anonymous said...

Nobody is defedning American girl, but some of you need to invest more time in other things instead being so hateful. This is really sad...

Anonymous said...

What is going on here? Are you mothers teaching your daughters anything else but hatred. Get over it and move on...

Elizabeth said...

I'm so sorry that happened. Unfortunately getting a ton of American Girl dolls at this point will just underline that the doll your daughter loves is not "real" enough since people were so horrible.

My daughter has some AG dolls, and some "off" brand dolls. If I had been in line, I so would have freaked out on everyone for you, as would my daughter.

I agree with Amanda that the culture that has grown up around the AG dolls is very materialistic. As the dolls are sold now, it encourages the materialism. When we were at the store in Chicago the staff was wonderful. They also seemed shocked when my daughter was nice to them, that I said was nice to them, and that my Mom never complained once about being there. the other customers, on the other hand, had their noses up in the air. My daughter tried to talk to the other girls and none of them would respond. My daughter would exclaim over something being pretty . The other kids would only say 'Buy that for me!" It was like shopping with 100 Verucca Salts.

Etta, I am so sorry that people were mean to you and your doll. I think you might just love the story of The Velveteen Rabbit. It'll explain just how real your doll is and how wonderful a girl you are for loving her so much.

Anonymous said...

To the folks calling Etta's mom out for "setting her up," um, excuse me...her kid was invited to a birthday party by her friend, a party that some other parent arranged.


Oh, and Jennifer, you're a total douchebag.

Anonymous said...

Since when does Puff's deliver...?

Anonymous said...

"Not a real doll."
Well good god, lady. You aren't a real hair dresser!

Anonymous said...

This is terrible. I'm shocked beyong words.

Anonymous said...

it is an awful story...BUT...it is the mother's fault for bringing her to the American Girl store with a Target doll. Period.

Runa said...

This is just horrible. If Etta was my daughter I would have slapped all the mothers who were so rude to her. That's just so bloody cruel.

I was planning on buying an american girl doll for my niece for her 4th birthday, but I'll pass her down a fake doll instead, one made in Budapest, Hungary. I guess the fact that it's an authentic European doll makes it worthless.

Anonymous said...

I have 3 daughters who are now in their twenties. My middle one fell in love with Kirsten from the first moment she saw her in the catalog. She agreed to ask for less presents from "SANTA" in order to get Kirsten for Christmas, and gave up a birthday party to later get Felicity, who had red hair just like her. My other two daughters did the same to get their dolls. They treasured their dolls and didn't complain about the sacrifices it took to get them, nor about the fact that we could never afford the accessories. The dolls are now carefully packed away and will be passed on to their daughters. I have been in the New York store and have always been amazed at the courtesy and concern shown to the little girls who go there- and let me tell you most of them are far from rich.And lastly, as a born and bred New Yorker,I can tell you that anyone who is living in a brownstone in Brooklyn, is certainly not impoverished, and probably has a lot more money than most of the families who sacrificed to buy their daughters a cherished possession.

Anonymous said...

"Since when does Puff's deliver...?"

Only to New Yorkers.

"Oh, and Jennifer, you're a total douchebag."

You kiss your babies with that mouth? Or just Ann Coulter?

Anonymous said...

Obviously the company has every right to only service its own dolls, although doing so is pretty silly from a marketing standpoint as it risks needlessly alienating potential customers. However, the main issue here is not the stylist politely declining to style the doll's hair, but rather the stylist instead mocking a 6 year old and a group of elitist mothers joining in on the mockery. The commenters who have weighed in to malign Etta's mother have clearly aligned themselves with the snobbery of the mothers in line at AG. They should be ashamed of themselves. A boycott of the company based on one stylist's behavior is perhaps a bit much, but if the company refuses to disavow that behavior than it has become complicit with that employee and deserves to lose lots of business.

Paul said...

forget etta and her mom, how is the doll doing now that she has been outed as a fake. that's gotta hurt.

oh the humanity

Anonymous said...

Just want to point out that Etta's Mom did not send her in to the situation with the non-AG doll thinking it would be okay anyway. The promotional material put out by AG said to "BRING YOUR FAVORITE DOLL". It made it sound like any doll would be welcome. It did not state "Bring your favorite AG doll".

Anonymous said...

It's interesting that this post is entitled "Fake, out!". Or, perhaps, "Fakeout".

I'm amazed that so many people seem to be accepting this story uncritically. Me, for one, I think that nobody in the service industry makes enough money to piss off customers in this way, and that if they tried, their manager would be all over them offering coupons and other appeasements, just to prevent this sort of mob from forming and boycotting all their products.

I also think that the behaviour of Etta's Friend's Mother is pretty reprehensible - from this account, she did absolutely nothing to defend her daughter's friend! Didn't even call a manager to complain and pick up a coupon! Etta needs better friends before she needs a better doll.

I have no idea what really happened at the AG store. I'm sure it wasn't a wonderful day out, but I'm equally sure that it wasn't as bad as the blogger would have us believe.

-Connie

Anonymous said...

Etta should read "the Velveteen Rabbit" and hear that what makes her dolly real is not who made her but that she is loved.

Anonymous said...

Your story was very touching. I can't believe you and your daughter had to experience something so unbelievably distasteful and snooty! That employee should be fired! What ride does she have to crush a child's heart like that? She's nothing more than repulsive! Your daughter has more character in her little pinky than that person!

When I was in 3rd grade I remember I wanted a Samantha & Molly doll. I read their books and wanted a doll but it was just too expensive. My parents had the money but they didn't think it was practical to spend so much on a doll and all the accessories. Instead they bought me a nice bike which was great. I guess it's still expensive now as it was back then!

Did you receive a response from the company?

Anonymous said...

Wow. Just wow. For a company like this to blatantly ridicule a small child is... just wow.

Even if AG has a policy against working with other manufacturer's dolls, the stylist could have been nice about it, at the very least. If they actually wanted to earn more money, they would have put the doll's hair in a braid or something simple that wouldn't damage the doll. It's just good business sense. When a consumer buys someone else's product... you do whatever you can to make sure they buy YOURS next time.

GM knocked $500 off of the price of my new car, because I drive a Dodge and they want me to drive their cars instead. I'll buy a GM car next time, because GM has made it clear that they realize that I have choices and they really want my business.

A small independant jeweler replated my engagement ring, free of charge, because they want me to buy their jewelery and use their repair service. I need a stone replaced and I'll be taking it to them, because it's obvious that they want my business. When I want an anniversary band, I'll go there again.

Rather than ridiculing a child, the company would have done better to style the doll's hair and make that little girl really believe that American Girl dolls and the American Girl Place are special. I bet she'd save up her money and buy one of those next time. Or she'll want her birthday party there.

If the stylist was having a bad day or hates her job, that's her problem. It doesn't give her the right to pick on a 6 year old. She's a grown up and needs to handle it like an adult.
And if the story was embellished, if a child left the American Girl Place in tears, believing that her doll was inferior... thta's just sick, disgusting and wrong.

Anonymous said...

Prove to me beyond the shadow of a doubt that this happened, counselor.

Can't do it?

"Baaaa...baaaaa...baaaaaaa."

a ma 2 one said...

I believe that this mother took some poetic license in telling a good story.

However, one comment did point out that AG website does not state it only styles AG dolls. It is misleading the company does not state or post signs at the salon that they do not comb or style other doll makers hair.

Don't get me started on the ridiculous sum of $20.00 to comb a dolls hair. If I still had a young daughter, I'm sure I too would be swindled into wasting 20. bucks.
My daughter had a slew of these dolls made when they first came on the market (generous grandparents). She loved to cut the hair, sew clothes for them, put makeup on them and styled them all by herself. If any kid has not tried it, it is so much fun to cut your own dolls hair ;-)> We even visited Colonial Williamsburg and went on the AG tour (a great day for all of us).

If it is the truth the way this mother handled and spoke to her daughter I'm unimpressed and think she is not very clever dealing with her child's emotions and the situation. Children take cues from their parents; it sounds like the mother was heartbroken and did not sooth her child but inflamed the emotional situation with her indignation.

I don't buy the part of the story where other parents jeered at her and her daughter.
As parents, we have all been in multiple situations where our kids are deeply disappointed. Typically, most parents around you are sympathetic and give a reassuring look because they could be the one soothing the hurt, and sad or angry crying child.

Anonymous said...

That's what's sad--even if it was true (which I don't believe for a miute) everyone's pouncing on the stor and the other moms' behavior, and not the atrocious parent.

anniemagus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anniemagus said...

I'm a working-class mother with three children, and I'm a big fan of American Girl. This is a heartbreaking story, but I wonder how accurate it is. It makes sense that they only style the hair of American Girl dolls. If they damage their own product, it's an easy fix. It doesn't surprise me that the stylist would have to say no...but I can't imagine the stylist saying "This isn't a REAL doll!" As for the other mothers on line, I find it hard to believe that they would ridicule a crying 6-year-old. I've been to American Girl Place in NYC quite a few times, and most of the customers are tourists, not elitist Manhattanites. Every employee I've dealt with has been top notch. Most of the time we don't bring our dolls with us and we don't buy anything, but we're still treated very well. Anyway, even if the story is completely accurate, I see no need to boycott American Girl because of one bad employee and a few snobby women.

mannabsn said...

Does this "not a real doll" remind anyone else but me of the book, The Velveteen Rabbit? :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your story. They will never get a penny of mine.

Anonymous said...

For those of you who can not conceive of other mothers in line exhibting such behavior, I've seen it. The snobbery, the bitchiness, all of it, even when kids were around. Whether or not this story is true is not my issue; my issue is that discounting the story on the basis of an idea that the other mothers couldn't possibly have been that cruel is just horribly misguided.

bluebird said...

If it's on the internet, it MUST be true...

Anonymous said...

I am sorry to hear that this happened. Adults can be so mean sometimes. I find that they can actually be meaner than kids sometimes.

I have to say, I was surprised to read that AG has a salon for their dolls. I suppose that is capitalism for you. Anyway for the rich to get richer and poor to get poorer.

I do hope that Etta has bounced back from this experience. I am sure that she will though.

Anonymous said...

Disgusting.

I have written American Girl.

Give hugs to Etta.

John Smith said...

I just can't believe that "Etta's" mother did not contact the store? She seems to be emotional and wanting some sort retribution. That would have been my first move.

How would she feel if an anonymous person did this to her, screaming online about something she did? It wouldn't be fair like she's being to American Girl! She, like AG, cannot face her accuser. Had she contacted the store and then did not get satisfaction from that interaction, I could understand her fury and agree that AG does not care for its customers.

As a person who runs his own business with about 25 employees, I would have appreciated the chance to talk to this customer, come to a resolution and then use it as a tool to learn how to better service my customers.

This public "pantsing" of a company who did not even get the chance to amend things, is unfair and frankly, I am now embarrassed for the woman and sad for "Etta" who apparently is not learning the life lesson that to be fair is to give someone the chance to apologize.

Anonymous said...

Etta's mom:

You have it all wrong.

I have been to all three stores and been thoroughly delighted. I am looking forward to the Dallas store opening since it much closer. If there was ever a HINT of disappointment, there was an employee ready to make it all better. The key was communicating with the staff.

I spend thousands of dollars buying dolls every year for charity and will not stop. I just hope you have the sense to contact the company to allow it to make it up to your daughter and put an end to all this nonsense.

Rod Knee King said...

People! People! Can't we all just get along?

Anonymous said...

Bluebird...lol

Yes it's written here in black and white...why WOULDN'T it be true???

Anonymous said...

I don't discount the story because I can't believe people can be mean...I discount it because of the way the author writes the so-called mom telling the story. It's a joke and not even an entertaining one.

Anonymous said...

We have AG dolls and the books. Both are great! I think this story is an urban legend. I feel bad that this blogger has decided to hurt a company that positively impacts little girls.

Johanna~ said...

American Girl should feel ashamed of all of this! I have seen more problems with customer satisfaction come out of the New York store. It is sad when someone does that to a little girl. I have never heard of a "policy" from American Girl about not doing a "fake" dolls head of hair. Would it look different in a rooted hair style doll? Sure but it isn't about the doll. It was suppose to be about your daughter!

Perhaps their stylist was to stupid to know how to style a dolls head of hair and decided to make you feel like crap. Sure the style will look a little different but the hair is pretty much all the same. I have seen dolls being styled there that weren't "real" american girl dolls. She should have quietly said something to mom. Not snarked the poor girl.

Rest assured that not AG collectors are like the women you met in line that day. On our site and forum we have "fakes" of all kinds. All good quality brands and "cheap". We talk about hair styles for many of them. We all look for "fake" outfits. many are better quality then the ones that American Girl makes themselves.

I am so sorry for the experience you had there. I think you should write a big fat letter to the Mattel guy over AG Stores. Let him know what his stores are doing!

Keep playing and enjoying your doll Etta! There are bigger girls out there that enjoy the dolls too. To be strong, kind, and brave is what being an American girl is all about!

http://agplaythings.com

Talon said...

My daughter too really wanted an american girl doll. But the price, and the fact that she doesn't take all that great care of her stuff made her father and I say, no, not really now chibi.

We found a lovely doll at Michaels Crafts for 16.99, a Springfield doll, like American girl dolls, and Ripley promptly named her Sally Anne.

This has just cemented my decision to never buy American Girl. I won't do it. Ripley is thrilled with Sally Anne, and wonder of wonders, lots of places sell 18 inch doll outfits. Etta dear...don't let those mean people turn you away from Gracie. She is way more real than those people who hurt your feelings so horribly.

The Pet said...

I just looked up the price of an American Girl doll and promptly fell over.

I feel awful for Etta.

Give her a hug for me.

mandy said...

How absolutely ridiculous and horrendous that an adult would pull something like that. I hope consumers do something to companies like this one - make them take notice with your actions by not giving them your money or time.

Those dolls are insanely expensive and I applaud your daughter for making the right choice for herself. My daughter is somewhat the same and with my disabilities, finances are rough. She is harassed daily for not having the right things and I feel for her as I feel for your child.

Fuck this elitist bullshit that society worships right now. It's time to change.

Mom of a 4 year old girl said...

:( What a heart breaking experience for your little girl. How can someone be so cruel to a young child?

And to commenters who are downplaying this little girl's experience--this is a 6 year old child we are talking about. What if you had to watch her face while this cold woman broke her heart? So you think it's fine for someone to tell a little girl that her doll isn't a "real doll"?

This isn't about the culture at large and the global perspective--though these issues have their place and I do feel passionately about global justice.

This is about one little girl and a person's act of cruelty towards her. She will remember it forever. And there was no reason for it to happen.

Anonymous said...

I have no idea if you're still reading comments on here.

I wanted to tell you that your girl sounds like a wonderfully bright girl, and although the people replying are just a bunch of strangers on the internet, I think it's safe to say we're all appalled by the behaviour of the stylist, the other moms, etc.

I hope what happened doesn't discourage your girl for too long. She should be proud she bought something with her money. It's hers, really hers, and that's something the other girls can't say.

- Carol, from Livejournal

Anonymous said...

I took my daughter to the American Girl Place in Los Angeles and we had a wonderful experience. The store was well-staffed and every employee who walked by us asked my daughter how she was enjoying her visit and if we were finding everything okay. One staff member asked if we were celebratin a special occasion and when I told her it was my daughter's birthday, she put a birthday sticker on my daughter and from that point forth, every employee greeted my daughter with a "Happy Birthday". When we dined in the cafe, our waiter brought my daughter a small birthday cake even though we had not purchased the birthday package.

I hate to be so skeptical about this story, but I find it difficult to swallow. When you go to the doll salon, there are approximately 4-5 stylists working on dolls. I find it hard to believe that if this incident had occured as stated that one of the other stylists would not have brought it to the attention of one of the managers.

I completely understand why the AG company would have a policy against styling another brand of doll's hair. Styling the doll's hair is much more involved than just running a brush through it and sticking a bow on it. When you drop your doll off to be styled, there is a wait of approximately 20 minutes before the doll is put on the chair as they take the doll to the back to have the hair washed and prepped for style. The style itself is quite a process and the stylist used the time to teach us some important things about the doll (for example, you are not supposed to let the eyes of the doll to get wet because there are metal specks that can rust). The stylists are trained to work with one type of doll hair - AG doll hair. To expect them to be able to style any type of doll's hair is ridiculous. The styles they offer are very specific to an AG doll, I have to agree with the other people who asked the very obvious question - why didn't you ask before bringing a non-AG doll to the AG Place?

One of the reasons I was willing to pay $100 for a doll for my daughter was that AG is a company that stands behind their product. If I were to buy a $30 doll at Target, I would not expect it to last very long and when it were to become damaged I would have to replace it. When purchasing an American Girl doll, you are making an investment in a life-long treasure for your child. If anything were to happen to my daughter's doll, I could have it admitted in the AG Doll Hospital to be fixed. I saw a child bring an AG doll to the salon with hair that had most of its curls combed out and it looked like a huge rat's nest. I asked the stylist what she would be able to do for that doll and she told me that it would not resemble its out of the box appearance, but she would get it looking pretty close to it. Quite a deal for $20 if you ask me.

In a time when the toy aisles are lined with skantily dressed Bratz dolls, I am proud to support a product that encourages a girl to be a girl, not to try to act or dress older than she is. I am not ready to throw out all of the American Girl products in my house just because I heard one side of a story.

It sounds as though if this story is true, the AG company is willing to right this wrong if given a chance. Teach Etta another lesson, the important lesson of forgiveness.

Nettie said...

I know I'm not on LJ- but you are a troll.

anniemagus said...

Yes, moms can be horribly bitchy and mean. I've experienced it too. However, if this little girl was standing there crying, and the mom (or the friend's mom) was simply standing there trying to comfort her, I highly doubt that the other moms would verbally abuse her. However, if the little girl was standing there crying, and the adult was throwing a fit (yelling and cursing at the stylist), then the other moms probably did say those things...but it was probably directed at the adult, not at the little girl. I find it interesting that this story does not tell us what the ADULT was doing during all of this. I'm not blindly defending the stylist. A stylist, even if she is not permitted to style the hair of other brands, should not be rude to a customer. But people should not judge American Girl, or their customers, on the basis of this story.

Candy Slice said...

I agree with anniemagus - where was mom when her daughter was being humiliated so horribly??? Was she standing there taking notes for this blog? Or was she not even there witnessing a thing? Who was with this child allowing this to happen - if it did indeed happen?

Anonymous said...

The world is a sad sad place with so many people who don't deserve a place in it, yet little Etta and Mom are both probably better people than the founder of AG itself, where did morals go? Down with the corporations...

Anonymous said...

This mom is writing for effect..I am not impressed...No one would expect someone from Macy's to take back an item clearly from Target..why punish American Girl for having a similar policy regardling their dolls? One would have to be from space to expect a retail store to do otherwise..and mom should have done her homework before sending her child to be disappointed..I know I would have..My daughter has been disappointed many times when others have more..or..can do more than she has..or does..such is life...

Anonymous said...

No clue if anyone is still reading, but just a few points for the record:

1. I checked out the AG site this morning - no place does it state that a doll has to be an AG brand doll to participate in any activities at its stores. It may be "common sense" to some of you that no other dolls are allowed, but as a place of quasi-public accomodation that offers parties and other events that are going to cater to attendees other than specific customers, the stores/cafes/etc. should realize that not every girl invited to a birthday party, for example, will have an AG doll, and be accomodating of other brands accordingly.

2. In light of the above, AG has an obligation to specifically state that certain things, such as the doll salon, are for AG brand dolls only, and should do so on its website and it should be clearly posted in the salon.

Anonymous said...

A lot of similar comments..
To agree with an earlier post, this is simply a matter of advertising. First of all, AG was not specific in it's details as to what it considered being your 'favorite doll'. As such, they opened themselves up for this type of situation.
I'm sure they meant your 'favorite AG doll' but considering how litigious our society is, they should have paid more attention to this minute detail. Anyway, not being specific means they should've serviced ALL dolls. There was an earlier comment about not bringing your plain old car to an exclusive sports car event but same rules apply. Do you deny all the non-owners of your product because you feel your event is exclusively only for owners of your product? If so, make sure you specify 'your favorite name brand product.
On the other hand, perhaps a large company is offering an event for owners of it's product, plus a little perk/enticement for non-owners. Potential customers is the key concept here. Offer something for non-owners so they can see what the benefits are of having an 'actual' company product. Once there, show them the perks and what they will eventually gain from buying their product.
We shouldn't base our opinions of products based on the people that attend the outings. There will always be people from the other side of the tracks at these and you shouldn't attend unless you are mature enough to accept and realize this. Unless you're able to deal with snobby people that have money to burn, people that can't afford one buy one but decided to buy one for their kid rather than spend it on groceries or medicine for another one of their kids, or the folks that believe splurging every once in a while, well then you should just stay at home.
There were errors made. The company for not making it clear the intended audience this event related to, and the parents for not calling first to clear this up before taking their kids to the event.
I know, I know, 'but the ad said to bring your favorite...'. Please folks, I think this was implied and I would've called to find out first whether or not I could bring my 10yr old car to the Italian sports car wash.
Rather than embarrass myself (or others), I think I'd first find out if this was an event for owners, owners & potential owners, or owners & anyone else that wants to show up.
Just a little common sense here...

Anonymous said...

From an above comment: "Don't be one of the drones that buy into this nonsense."

I'm not a drone and it isn't nonsense. The books DO teach girls-they teach about friendships and about history and many things. I have 6 AG dolls and I plan on getting more. I love these dolls. And it isn't American Girl that's to blame; if anything it's Mattel in general. They've been waning off of the educational aspect, not telling much about how big the books are. But AG is still a very good company.

And AG doesn't have to style a non-AG doll's hair. The Target doll is not a "fake" doll-it's a "real" doll, but the Target doll is not an AUTHENTIC AG doll. AGP styles only authentic dolls. I would never bring one of my Magic Attic Club dolls to AGP and expect them to style her hair-she's not an AG but she's still a "real" doll. And the stylists might also be only trained with AG's type hair; the Target dolls have different type of hair. It's also almost like making an exchange; you can't exchange something you bought at JC Penny to Macy's. You have to exchange it at JC Penny.

And why didn't the mother (or guardian of the girl at the time) ask to speak with the manager of the store? Also, I don't believe the company should be blamed for what the random parents in line said. They are just customers and could've said those rude comments anywhere. And the girl shouldn't feel inferior. You said she's smart-tell her this quote (and explain it if you have to) "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." ~Ellinor Roosevelt

I'm sorry for what the little girl went through but I don't agree with this article or most of the comments here; I love AG (and after some years of not collecting, I got back into collecting them) and I'm proud of that!

Anonymous said...

I would like to interview Etta's mom on a nationally syndicated radio show. Please contact me at sunclytie@yahoo.com. Thanks!

Lynne said...

My daughter used to love American Girl dolls, and wanted a third for her upcoming 9th birthday. I showed her this post and asked her what she thought of it, and she thought it was horrible. A few hours later, I went into her room and found that she'd gathered all of her AG dolls, books and accessories, and put them in a box. She doesn't want them anymore. We're taking the whole thing to a local shelter for homeless families, and she and I have both written letters to be sent to American Girl explaining why she's getting rid of her dolls and we will never buy another. I hope little Etta is feeling better, and that you can undo the damage that was done by those horrid people.

Anonymous said...

Etta knows she's inferior now? Are you kidding me? If this is how the mom is twisting things, then shame on her.

I am with John Smith on this - it appears that the mom made no attempt to get the name of the stylist and report her or find some type of resolution, which is what most moms would do if they were trying to set things straight. I really have a hard time believing this is actually for real.

If it is, then the mom made as many mistakes as AG for not doing her part to correct things. Spewing venom and soliciting pity is, well, pathetic. Makes for a heart-rendering fiction story for those who believe everything they read on the web, though.

Dr. Anne Elizabeth Moore said...

hey,

i loved this story. what better way to realize mattel doesn't actually care about the feelings of real little girls?

i used to run a blog devoted to this exact topic, in fact, which you can read here:
http://pocketfullofwishes.blogspot.com

or check out the easier-to-read version here:
http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/2006/operation_pocket_full_of_wishes/

or just download the cards and take them out to your local neighborhood AGP to protest:
http://www.anneelizabethmoore.com/projects.htm

Anonymous said...

If your daughter feels inferior, the seeds of inferiority were planted by YOU. Let me guess - you're in the "everyone's holding us back waah waah" group.

I wrote to AG to support them and to tell them not to give into your whining with free product or even a public acknowledgement. I believe you set your daughter up for failure by not verifying whether her doll could be accomodated. I DON'T believe half of this story. You weren't even there... how could you know what transpired? Where was the girl's guardian? Taking notes for the internet?

Take responsibility for your own actions and failure as a parent. It's not society's responsible to make your daughter feel valuable and worthwhile - it's YOURS. Don't tell her she's "thrift store pretty." Tell her she's beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Why is it when people see/read something in print, they automatically assume that it 100 percent honest and true?? I doubt this was as terrible as it was made out to be, and creative license is being taken by the mother to gain sympathy, if it really ever happened at all -- and judging from all the responses, she has succeeded. Honestly, we've taken our daughter to American Girl Place numerous times, and anyone who has actually been there KNOWS they are there to make everyone happy, especially the kids. American Girl Place is, above all else, a business created to sell it's core product -- American Girl dolls, and I don't feel that refusing to service another companies product was the wrong thing to do. I'm so tired of the feeling of entitlement that everyone walks around with these days. For crying out loud, get over it!

Anonymous said...

As a father of a newborn baby girl, I can't help but be absolutely disgusted by what I have read here. Not only has the original story made me sad, but the responses trying to justify the "stylists" handling of the situation is equaly abhorent.

Anonymous said...

From your latest post and others, it's getting more and more obvious that you're very conscious about what other's have and, even moreso, that you define yourself through brand name and material trappings, even in your passive/agressive attempts to discount and poke fun at them.

Ease up on yourself and repeat after me: It's just a stroller. It's just a diaper bag. It's just a photograph. It's just doll. It's just a city. It's just people.

It's okay to have a Maclaren stroller. It's okay to not have a Maclaren stroller.

I'm starting to get the feeling that this post has less to do with your daughter, and more to do with your own idenitity. You really, really didn't have to send your daughter in to AG Place to have her doll christened as being "real".

What all those other woman "said"...that was all you, wasn't it? This whole piece is about your own bad feelings about wanting the brand name, but feeling too "hip" and "progressive" to confess to wanting it. The whole "holier than thou because I live in Brooklyn" attitude is because you're afraid that if you really did live in the suburbs you seem to disdain so much, that you would become the thing that surrounds you and only fit the size of your container.

Again...it's all good. It's okay if your daughter has an AG doll, and it's okay if she doesn't. Like dreams, I think that most writing is all about the writer, not about the topic actually being written about.

Feel the Zen. Let it go. Stop being a snob judging yourself so harshly.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like the girl was on an outing with a friend and the mom wasn't there. If it is true, it is really awful. I am not surprised by the other mothers comments. I think some people live in a real vacuum where they can't imagine some one not having the $$ for an AG doll. My sister's daughter is going through 1st Holy Communion and some of the wealthier moms were absolutely inconsiderate of asking for huge cash donations for the party afterward. They completely did not believe some of the families didn't have $30 to contribute towards it. It makes me ill if this is true and how out of touch and materialistic we have all become.

Matt said...

Hi,

My name is Matt and I am a journalist who is interested in speaking with you regarding the American Doll post you made. If you wouldn't mind emailing me at an account I set up, that would be great. The email address is oothm1@gmail.com. Please email me with an email address or phone # where I can reach you. Thank you so much.

-Matt

Anonymous said...

If you whine and complain enough, maybe AG will give Etta a "real" doll. Oh, wait! You probably already thought of that, huh?

BTW, I think that people should have to take an exam before breeding... just to cover simple things like manners... and - oh yea... spelling.

Anonymous said...

I realize some people can't believe this story, just as some people don't believe racism exists any more. Just because it isn't happening to you doesn't mean it isn't happening.

When I was about 7, I wanted a Cabbage Patch Kid in the worst way. There was a group of girls at school who had them, and they brought them every day to school and had a "Cabbage Patch Club." They told me that if I got one of those stupid dolls, I could join. My divorced, hard-working mother could not afford oen, so she bought one of those doll kits where you get the head and make the body yourself.
When I brought it to school, the other girls hid their "real" dolls and said there was no more Cabbage Patch Club, and that I was a baby for bringing a doll to school.

SO it does happen. It's been happening forever. My experience was 25 years ago, and it still makes me cry to think of it.

I'm sorry Etta. We live in a terrible world.

Anonymous said...

I'm so tired of the feeling of entitlement that everyone walks around with these days. For crying out loud, get over it!

I cut and pasted this from another poster..as they are words well worth repeating..People in our society today.. have this sense of entitlement ..that we have not experienced in past generations..where Americans developed a true work ethic...Meaning..if I want something ..I have to work hard to get it..This is not only true with this subject...but with everything else..Most of us who can afford American Girl dolls did not whine and cry until we were able to afford them..nor..were we born with money..and we do not have money to burn..but..we worked our a**es off in school until we graduated with a degree so that we could afford to give our families some of the things we might not have had when we were young..Or..we didn't go to college..but we still work hard to make the extra money to help our families live a more comfortable life..Turning our system into one where everyone has everything equally..and nothing more..is something we fought to keep from happening to our country..(Communism) which basically means if Susie can't afford a car..regardless of the reason..you can't have one either..

Anonymous said...

AG certainly has the right to only style the hair of AG dolls. However, their website should then read 'Bring your favorite AG doll.' Specifics are important in advertising. One would think Mattel would have that information.

In addition, regardless of the company policy, the stylists attitude is completely unacceptable. She should be reprimanded at the very least, and forced to make a public apology.

The other mothers in line just make me sad. What are they teaching their children?

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry your daughter had a bad experience at American Girl Place. While I was there with my daughters recently (Los Angeles) there were many little girls with non AG dolls and they were permitted to get their hair done.
My only thought is that it wasn't possible to do her dolls hair properly and they didn't want to waste her money. If the dolls hair wasn't the type that could be styled right, would you have wanted to pay $20 for that?
American Girl is a good company, I refuse to sit quietly while they are bashed.

Genevieve said...

The truth is, this woman and her daughter have spent an amount equivalent to that of an American Girl doll. However, they chose to get more of a lesser quality item (two dolls, lots of clothes, etc) rather than one single high-quality item. That was a choice they chose to make and it wasn't an issue of being poor--like the author tries to make it sound--because they could have afforded a new AG doll if they had chosen to forgo the accessories. I'm not criticizing the decision, but the consequences of that choice was that the girl could not have her doll serviced at the American Girl store.

This, to me, would seem to be common sense. Anyone who has held an American Girl doll and an Our Generation doll in their hands can observe that the hair is totally different - American Girls have wigs and their hair is made of a different plastic. Our Generation dolls have rooted hair. The stylist might have handled the situation differently but I don't think the policy or store is to be blamed in this situation. Would you expect the doll hair salon to style the hair of a Bratz doll or antique porcelain doll? No. In reality, the only thing the Our Gesneration dolls have in common with American Girl dolls is their size.

If the mother had an issue with the way the stylist handled the problem, which I can understand and sympathize with, she should take it up with the store directly. As for the mothers' behaviors: I will remind everyone that we're hearing an account of their so-called remarks third hand (first the daughter had to relate to mother, who then related it to us) and also remind people that if what they said is true, one or two nasty people in line should not reflect on the company. How many times in our lives have we all encountered rude people in line--if we all let it affect where we shop, we wouldn't be able to go anywhere. Rude people, like rude employees, are, unfortunately, a fact of life that all of us, including children, must learn to deal with. This mother should be using this as an opportunity to teach her daughter how to deal with difficult situations rather than expecting the American Girl Company to step in and save the day.

Rada said...

This is awful and heartbreaking! And for those people who said not to whine about the American Girl dolls if you can't afford them... I can certainly afford the American Girl doll, but why??? I would rather teach my child that we can help a whole lot of homeless people or animals with the extra money. I buy the premium brands of clothing, but on sale. I work hard for the money I make and I am not about to waste it so foolishly on a brand that is so snotty that it cannot possibly teach my child anything useful in life.

Michael in Houston said...

I have no children of my own, however, I feel for you and your daughter. What happened is surely a sign of what's happening in this country... I guess you could call it the decline of civilization. For someone to not only be that rude to a young child, but for other mothers to be so snobby, is totally uncalled for. I grew up in NY, and this shocks even me. As rude as New Yorkers are known to be, this is a new level of low. What a shame. I feel that a number of folks need to hang their heads in shame... and you and Etta aren't among them. Y'all have earned the right to hold your heads high. I hope Etta gets over this episode, and continues to be the fine young lady she sounds like.

Elizabeth said...

You know, with all of these people saying that its fine that they refused to do your daughters dolls hair, I wonder...did they look at the web site? There is no mention that this salon is for AG dolls only, and its rather presumptious to presume that every little girls "favorite" doll is going to be one of theirs.

And while I can understand the disbelief that a 6 year old would remember such cruel comments from "women who have and love their own children" the other little girls mother was THERE, for one, and for another, all mothers are not created equally and some are down right bitches-go to play ground and just listen some of the women gossip.

The point is that there should be some statement on their website AND at the store before you even get to the ignorant stylist that non AG dolls will not be styled due to possible damage (simply stupid however, as its just dolls hair, its not as if they are going to be butchering it, right?) and the "stylist" should have more sense than to tell a 6 year old that her doll isnt REAL just because it doesnt have AG stamped on its butt cheek.

My daughter is 2, and she will not be owning any doll that costs more than her yearly wardrobe, thats for sure. In fact, her favorite doll was made with my own blood, sweat and tears and looks like a troll, but its more "real" than any 400 dollar plastic molded doll that can be cranked out on an assembly line for 10 bucks a pop.

Anonymous said...

Many people are saying that they hope AG sends you a truckload of products...I do too, so you can send them back!

Anonymous said...

I'm with the others here who are calling troll on this mother. There is no corroborating evidence given to pinpoint exactly when the "event" took place, nor is there a supporting statement given by the other mother who supposedly witnessed the event. And yet, there are quotes from what the "horrid, mean" mothers said to the crying girl? Come on, like a 6 year old is going to be able to take sufficient notes as to capture what they supposedly were saying word for word. Way to go, EB. You just proved that on the internet, there's a sucker born every second.

Anonymous said...

"When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself."
~Wayne Dyer

Anonymous said...

I'm 24 years old. When i was about six, a neighbor brought the American Girl catalog to my house to show my mother, mistakingly thinking that one of the dolls shared a name with my little sister. (Close, but no cigar) The moment i opened the pages, i as mesmerized. I fell head over heels in love with Kirsten, and begged to have her. I grew up in a suburban middle class town. We were by no means poor, but didn't have "throw away" money at all. That christmas, Santa brought me Kirsten. I can still to this day remember opening the box and seeing her lying there. It was, quite possibly, the best christmas i ever had. American Girl was my childhood. Reading the books, playing with my dolls, I learned about history, friendship, and courage. I suprised even my history buff mother when we visited Colonial Williamsburg and i said "Look, mom! That's a bird bottle!" How did I know this? Felicity Saves The Day. Now I'm all grown up, and I still cherish my dolls. Bashing AG as a company does no one any good. I feel this story, while parts of which may be true, has been embellished and exaggerated. I've been to AGPNY. I've seen employees smiling, sitting on the floor and playing with the children REGARDLESS of whether the child has a "real" doll or a "fake" doll. I've visited the salon and seen the stylists (which, is by NO MEANS an easy job) showing the little girls how to take care of their dolls, and doing amazing things with some pretty beat up dolls! American Girl celebrates GIRLS. Rich, poor, black, white, GIRLS. Yes, it may be expensive. But my dolls are 18 years old now. And they are still in tiptop shape. One day I will proudly give them to my daughter, and share with her all the amazing memories I had with them growing up. AG has every right to not style the Target dolls hair. It is, in fact, not an AG doll. An no, I will not use another BMW/Chevy metaphor, but you get the point. Bottom line. If you feel you had a bad experience, SPEAK UP. to AG. not to a blog. AG can make ammends, a blog cant talk back. American Girl is an amazing company, I'm 100% certain they would do their best to better any situation, all you have to do is call.

Anonymous said...

I have absolutely no sympathy for mom..She should have told her child that taking that doll to American Girl to be fixed up..is equal to bringing your own sandwich into The 4 Seasons and expecting them to serve it on one of their dishes....It is not the fault of American Girl..
Mom should have suggested to daughter to spend the money she had on an AG item to go with her doll.. they fit all 18 inch dolls.....Shame on mom..

Anonymous said...

this story is horrible without a doubt. but i think there are some things to consider.

first and foremost- etta sounds like an amazing little girl. any six year old who is willing to save up for anything and realize its value because of the work that went into getting it is clearly on the right path. i would like to think that one experience with one incredibly rude and insensitive individual wouldn't shake her. however kids are impressionable. and thats why i would hope that "one of those horrible moms" would take this opportunity to teach etta that the problem does not lie with her but with the obnoxious person who unfortunately confronted her.

as for the mothers in line, they are horrible moms. not you. you seem to have your head and heart in the right place. 10 points to you for not causing a scene. i personally would have decked them.

american girl, when in the right context, is an amazing company. when it is used to spoil kids it becomes about who has the latest giant piece of furniture or who got the girl of the year. but when the whole concept is approached in the right way, it is truly about being yourself and being proud of it. the historical stories are about brave, outgoing girls who stand up for themselves. it sounds to me like these are qualities that you hope to instill in your daughter. i hope that this one isolated and truly unfortunate experience doesn't change that.

and i hope that you call the store and ask for an apology. exploiting the situation to let american girl "get what they have coming" will make you no better than those horrible people in line.

and etta- good job saving up for your doll. i hope she means the world to you.

Anonymous said...

Thats awful.I have a American Girl doll and I went to AG in Chicago.The people there are really rude.
Suzannah.13

Anonymous said...

Why would you set your daughter up for this?

Would you expect Target or the customer service at Our Generation to service the American Girl Doll?

The other parents in line do not reflect the American Girl Company. I don't for a minute believe that what is in quotes was actually said. This is what...a third-hand account of what really happened? Lots of room for embellishing and truncated memories.

Did anyone speak to a manager for clarification? That stylist was just doing her job.

littlepig said...

At least these people are being humiliated in their turn by having their asshaberdashery revealed on the Internets.

Carrie said...

C'mon, to say you can't style the doll's hair because it's hair might fall out? This is a CHILD'S TOY they are made for rough handling. I have seen my daught brush her dolls hair! You don't have to put the doll's hair in hot curlers, do a braid or a couple of pony tails.
Way to go Etta! You are a bigger person then many people your age and older! Have your mommy teach you how to braid your own dolly's hair and you can help your little sister with her doll!

Mari Dechant said...

"Ladies" (loosest definition of th word!), call me when you get a Super Dollfie. Then you might -- MIGHT -- have something to be snooty about. Until then? Lay off little Etta. She loves her Gracie, just like your daughters love their AG dolls, and that's a special bond.

You, keeper of this blog, are anything but a horrible mum. Keep raising your daughters the way you have been. They'll thank you for the rest of their days. So, I think, will the world.

-- a girl who loves her teddy bear best

P.S. For a real dollie treasure, maybe for a tenth birthday or later:

http://branwyn.mirrordance.net/shop/belladonna.html

Such beauties, and Branwyn's a real darlin'. Plus, you've got to love anyone who does dolls of Austen characters.

Anonymous said...

Nothing puts the "American" in American Girl like pretentioun, commercialism, and tragedy.

iaintnobody said...

This story is sad but I don't buy it. There is something not quite right about it, an element of defensive guilt coming from the writer of it, like deep down she feels badly for setting herself up like that.

Also, I know they style non-American girl dolls at the American Girl Place here in LA as well.

Yes, they're expensive - but I'll tell you this much: they last. How many hundreds of dollars I have spent on cheap plastic crap that lasts maybe a month or two before being thrown away. At least these dolls are well made and valued enough to hand through generations. Because they cost so much children are taught the value of a dollar - as opposed to disposable toys we all buy because they're "cheaper." We are not rich; I am a single mom but I have saved more money on AG dolls and spent less than in my daughter's earlier years.

Also, it's such crap that if they buy these dolls they are somehow illiterate or shallow. Give me a break!

I am not Star Jones said...

the stylist (who is probably making so much money working in a doll hair salon) still could have had compassion for a six year old.

there's no excuse for an adult to pull that kind of bitchery on a little kid.

so what she can't afford an AG doll?
Most people in America can't!

rp said...

I will never shop at American Girl. What a terrible, terrible place. Thanks for letting us know about this.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to hear that your daughter had such a bad experience at that store. Shame on them for hurting her feelings that way! The brand may be expensive, but in practice, its clearly their values which are cheap and shabby.

I don't come from America, so wouldn't be in a position to ever buy those dolls, but I shall be linking to this story on my blog, so that my American friends can read it and make informed decisions if/when they're out shopping for dolls.

Kim said...

While I'm sure that American Girl as a whole isn't evil, I'm surprised by the outright dismissal of this women's story. Does that mean that these negative commentators have never had a bad customer experience at a store? Even one famed for it's good service? And as for how the little girl could possibly have taken all of this in and recounted it to her mom, I believe that it was stated at least a couple of times that she was with her friend and her friend's mom (i.e. a grownup who could easily have recounted all of this). It sounds like the ads for the AG styling could have been a lot clearer and the stylist (and moms present) could have handled it a bit better. Unfortunately, I have very little trouble believing this story as stuff like this happens too often.

Anonymous said...

I'm the father of a ten year old girl with two AG dolls, and one AG horse. I also know Etta and her family (from slambeer ;-)). I for one never liked going into that store on Fifth, and now I have the perfect reason never to go back!

Absolutely abominable behavior.

Anonymous said...

Here's a clue. Whever you have a problem at any store, say these magical words: Get the manager.

Don't stand there and cause a scene. Just say these three simple words: Get the manager.

You can get the problem sorted out and deal on the spot with the employee who was rude.

This could have happened at any store. I've received horrible customer service in Target. But, I've received mostly good. I've received gold star service at American Girl, but I don't doubt that there are clunker experiences.

As for the doll, yes the Target dolls are not made nearly as well as the American Girl dolls. Personally, I'd rather spend the extra money on one quality doll that will last generations instead of a bunch of cheaply made dolls that might not last the next two years. But we are such a disposable society, and it seems that Etta's mom is of this philosophy as she even states that it would be okay for the younger daughter to get her hands on the cheap doll and perhaps break or ruin it because, I assume, it is cheaper to replace. It's okay to break Gracie, because she's cheap and not as good as the AG dolls. Nice lesson there about who is worthy, lol.

The fact is that the cheaper doll will break more easily than the AG doll. Then what of poor Etta's feelings for her "real" doll? So her beloved friend will be trashed and a new friend purchased? Love at $29.99 doesn't go too far these days, does it?

But that really is the American way. Buy cheap, trash it when it breaks, buy some more. All hail Wal Mart and Target.

Anonymous said...

Ugh. That's sad.

Anonymous said...

I would love to have been a mom in that line. I want to be the one mom that takes up for Etta! I'm sorry her heart was broken and shame, shame, shame on those wicked people for hurting her so! I'm glad you made this website! I hope they lose thousands of dollars as a result!

Anonymous said...

How sad. The American Girl company needs to step up and fire the stylist who would not style the doll's hair.

I will not be buying anymore American girl items!!

As for those mothers in line-- shame, shame, shame. Though Etta's mother held it together I would have "politely" put you in your place.

LH said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melis said...

Wow. I can't believe people actually have the nerve to say the things they are saying here. Amazed.

Etta,
How smart of you to save your own money and use it wisely, frugally, to get what you wanted! You're already learning life lessons that MANY adults posting here have yet to learn! I hope you and Gracie are feeling better after having been treated so poorly by those nasty grownups. We're not all like that! Give Gracie a hug from me! And tell your mommy she's a great mommy because she loves you so much!

Nighengale said...

" I find this whole story a little hard to swallow. I think the "townspeople" are forming the mob to storm the castle a little quick. I's not even too sure "Etta" is real. So far it seems abit far fetched. And the fact that so many people are able to get son inscenced about an isolated incidence (if in fact this occured) It would be nice to see this outrage @ the underfunding of public schools, that we don't have determinate sentancing, that pedaphiles and murders are allowed rights their victems will never have.

March 23, 2007 9:39 PM "

Just because someone has outrage for this does not mean they don't have any for any of the things you've mentioned. The world's woes in regards to our education system and pedophilia are beyond the scope of this article, and indeed, I would imagine that many of those who are expressing an objection to the mangling of a young girl's innocence are indeed outraged by pedophilia and the like as well.

You can't win all the battles in one day, crusader.

Anonymous said...

The letter I just sent to AG:

I'm a mom of two girls, ages 7 and 4, and I will not be buying ANY of your products if I can help it from now on.

My first gripe with your company is that your dolls are grossly overpriced. $100 for a DOLL? Do you know what it feels like to have to tell your kids that, no, you can't buy them the simple little doll that they want so badly, because the retailers chose to make it ridiculously expensive?

I'm very grateful that my 7 year old daughter is smart. She wanted to save her money for one of your dolls. I told her she could if she wanted to, but let her know the price... and then listed out all the things she'd be missing out on if she saved $100 and spent it on one thing. I noted that she could save up for a doll just like the AG dolls, just from a different store, only pay $30, and get it much quicker. She got the point very easily and, very wisely, chose to buy the Target doll instead.

I really don't get it. I love the philosophies behind your company. I love the messages in the movies. But by pricing everything else exorbitantly, you are sending the message to my daughters that those philosophies only apply to rich little girls.

And on top of that, I just read a story on Consumerist that I'm pretty sure is coming back to bite your company in the rear. A little girl from a normal, non-millionaire home came to American Girl Place to get her doll's hair styled at a special event. She, like many of us, could only afford the Target doll, and loved it. The "hairstylist" told the little 6 year old girl that her doll wasn't "real", and refused to touch the doll's hair. The child was heartbroken. The "stylist" held her ground.

The child was ready to pay $20 to receive that service, and your store's employee refused. If it was the case that this service was not available for non-AG dolls, this information should have been posted publicly for everyone to see at the entrance, and even posted on the web. It is your company's right to refuse service to dolls that you did not make. But by handling it the way you did, you broke a child's heart, reaffirmed that your dolls are only for the "upper echelon", and introduced the child to classism. Congrats. I sincerely hope that whatever stylist did this was fired, along with the management that condoned her actions.

American Girl Place is opening up in my hometown of Atlanta. Not only will I not be patronizing your company, but I will avoid the mall that it is opening in, so that my daughter won't be introduced to the same lessons by insensitive staff.

Anonymous said...

The people who are speaking up in support of AG in this thread are stupid cunts, seriously.

Go Etta!

AG supporters, it is my supreme hope that I run into you on the street someday, so that I can put my fist thru the back of your god damn heads.

Anonymous said...

My 7 yo daughter is smart, too. She started her own home and neighborhood business and bought herself two American Girl dolls and gave $200 to charity. She also doesn't waste her money on crap from Target.

She's also way smarter than half the adults posting on this site who believe this story hook, line and sinker.

She also doesn't cry and stamp her feet like a spoiled brat when she's told no.

Anonymous said...

"The people who are speaking up in support of AG in this thread are stupid cunts, seriously."

When you open your mouth to speak, it smells like ass. Take care of that.

Anonymous said...

I forwarded a copy of this blog directly to American Girl Customer Service. They sent a prompt reply. Here it is:

"Dear Ms. XXX,

Thank you for e-mailing us about your concerns. We appreciate the
opportunity to address issues directly with our customers.

First, please know that it is the No. 1 priority of our staff to ensure
that every child who walks through our doors feels special and welcome.
If we learn of any behavior to the contrary, we strive to remedy the
situation as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, in the case you are referring to, we were never contacted
directly by this customer, so we have been unable to attempt to rectify
the situation or gather more details to investigate the incident further
on our end.

It is important to note that many girls visit American Girl Place with
various dolls in tow, and we are happy to have them share in any of our
experiences, such as our Cafe, Theater, and Photo Studio, which do not
involve an actual service for the doll. Please understand that we are
only equipped to replace, repair, or style dolls that we manufacture.
Our Doll Hair Salon and Doll Hospital are tailored to the specific
materials used in our doll lines, and?because we can?t be sure of the
materials used in other products?we do not want to risk damaging a
child?s favorite toy by using an incorrect procedure.

Providing high-quality service is the hallmark of American Girl, and our
sales associates are trained to always provide positive, respectful, and
professional service to our guests. When problems do arise, they are
empowered to take responsibility and do whatever they can to make it
right. On the rare occasion that this does not occur, we strongly
encourage our customers to contact us directly so we can correct the
situation immediately.

Again, thank you for the opportunity to address this issue with you. We
hope this information has been helpful.

Sincerely,

AG Customer Service"

Anonymous said...

"AG supporters, it is my supreme hope that I run into you on the street someday, so that I can put my fist thru the back of your god damn heads."

Oh look. People who buy AG products are all spoiled, Manhattan snobs.

People who don't buy AG products are vulgar, redneck snobs.

What a surprise.

Yawn.

Anonymous said...

What a eye opening story for all of us! You should tell your story to the New York Times, Dateline, 60 Minutes and the like! What a great newsworthy event worth national coverage. Your daughter's experience enlightened many of us. I hope many moms ship the AG dolls back to AG with a note that says "shove it". No matter how much money I have in life...I still find joy in thrift store and garage sale shopping....kudos to you for speaking out!

Angoraknitter said...

I've been making hand knit top dresses for almost a year. A couple weeks ago someone asked me to make a matching dress for her daughter's AG doll. I was kind of pleturbed, but gave a quote non-the-less, and she decided it was too costly. My dresses are for real girls...but tell Etta that I want to make Gracie a special outfit for free. Contact info can be linked from my blog. My daughters are just begining to approach the age of the targeted market for AG...and you've convinced me to look elsewhere. I for sure don't want to support AG now. What a horrible experience you had, I am so sorry. That was terrible.

Anonymous said...

Odd that no formal complaint is mentioned. Upon contacting American Girl about this issue, I received this response:

Thank you for e-mailing us about your concerns. We appreciate the
opportunity to address issues directly with our customers.

First, please know that it is the No. 1 priority of our staff to ensure that every child who walks through our doors feels special and welcome. If we learn of any behavior to the contrary, we strive to remedy the situation as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, in the case you are referring to, we were never contacted directly by this customer, so we have been unable to attempt to rectify the situation or gather more details to investigate the incident further on our end.

It is important to note that many girls visit American Girl Place with various dolls in tow, and we are happy to have them share in any of our experiences, such as our Cafe, Theater, and Photo Studio, which do not involve an actual service for the doll. Please understand that we are only equipped to replace, repair, or style dolls that we manufacture.
Our Doll Hair Salon and Doll Hospital are tailored to the specific materials used in our doll lines, and, because we can't be sure of the materials used in other products, we do not want to risk damaging a child's favorite toy by using an incorrect procedure.

Providing high-quality service is the hallmark of American Girl, and our sales associates are trained to always provide positive, respectful, and professional service to our guests. When problems do arise, they are
empowered to take responsibility and do whatever they can to make it
right. On the rare occasion that this does not occur, we strongly
encourage our customers to contact us directly so we can correct the
situation immediately.

Again, thank you for the opportunity to address this issue with you. We hope this information has been helpful.

Anonymous said...

If you shit in your hand, and I tell you Bigfoot did it, would you believe that, too?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, don't believe this story. I think the blogger got what she wanted--attention.

Anonymous said...

It's funny how AG shills are popping up in all these blogs trying to diffuse this.

It's not working, shills.

Ann said...

I'm no fan of the AG dolls, but I do hope that, as well as posting this entry, you've actually contacted the shop and told them of this situation. They can't make amends -- assuming they wish to -- if they don't know what's happened.

Anonymous said...

The original poster sounds like a whiner that must always get what she wants. It is hard to believe there is any truth to this story at all. She just wants free products for her sympathetic writing skills. I find it funny how many people are talking about getting rid of their AG products or not buying AG dolls because of this bogus story.

If there was any truth to this story, the original poster would have already clarified some issues in her bogus story or at least try to defend herself.

Anonymous said...

"What a great newsworthy event worth national coverage."

Oh brother.

Let me guess. You also follow the Anna Nicole Smith story.

One priviledged little girl getting the shaft by an equally priviledged salesperson is not worth national coverage.

Please. This is why other countries hate us, and rightfully so.

Here is news worth national coverage.

http://ourdescent.wordpress.com/2007/02/23/the-government-is-putting-babies-in-jail/

When I see 300+ comments on this topic, I'll believe that Americans give a shit. Until then, no, I don't believe that the mommy brigade is concerned about education or health care for children. All I see is a bunch of shoppers. Jesus wept.

Anonymous said...

Hi Etta,
My name is Kailen. I am 8 and I think Graice rocks! Forget abt American Girl dolls! I wanted an AG doll for a looooooooooooooong time and I was saving for one with my own money! Now I never want to buy one! They were rude and don't deserve my money! Sending you a big hug! Go give Gracie a hug! She needs one too!

Anonymous said...

Hi,

My name is Juliette and I am 6. I was at Target and one of the salespeople there told me I should dress in more girly clothes so that I could look pretty like a real girl. I like to wear jeans and truck tshirts. I don't feel like a real girl anymore and I cry every day.

Please don't ever buy any dolls or anything else from Target ever again. And if any of you have a Target doll, please send it back to Target and tell them you don't like it anymore and that you will never shop there anymore because they don't deserve your money.

Anonymous said...

If this story is true...have you(the author who fails to give us any more information) done anything about it? Contacted AG? ANYTHING? I find no reason to toss AG out the window, no reason to boycott, no reason to say anything negative about AG....if they are not alerted to what one of their employees says/does...why should they be held responsable for not doing anything about what they do not know????
Come on people...this is stupid.

Anonymous said...

Assuming this incident took place in a manner CLOSE to what you describe, you're a huge twat.

- You don't take brad Y into Z's store if Z's store only sells brad Z.

- You couldn't be assed to teach your daughter (or yourself) how to save up for something nice

- You made this into an issue of class.

It isn't. It's about you having no manners and being more interested in blogging about this imaginary slight of yours than actually taking care of your children!

Shame on you.

brandy said...

I've noticed that the rude people always tend to be anonymous (I'm speaking only to the comment directly above mine). The only person in this situation who didn't have manners were the other moms and the stylist.

Melissa said...

It's the American Girl doll store so isn't it obvious that it is meant for American Girl dolls? Sorry but you invited the heartache.

Belinda said...

2 lessons were learned here

1.To the mother- People that care about silly brand names act just that. Something you probably already knew. However, contacting the company _first_ probably would have been better than posting it here. You are doing more damage by overreacting than actually working on the problem.

2. AG should do a better job with advertisements. Whatever thier company policy is, they should be able to explain why without rudeness. As a person who knows a lot about the do's and don'ts of synthetic hair, I can say that there's a good possibility that they couldn't actually curl the hair the same way as an AG doll, but that there are other ways they could have 'styled' it as the case were. My guess is that they are only liable for possible damage done to AG dolls, but either way, that should have been explained to the other mother (who was there with the little girl) or on thier website/advertisements.

Anonymous said...

"What a eye opening story for all of us! You should tell your story to the New York Times, Dateline, 60 Minutes and the like! What a great newsworthy event worth national coverage."

Right - if the doting mother actually contacted a news source, they'd talk to the store and discover her story is bullshit.

On a brighter note, they may offer a job as Chief Editor of Hyperbolic Bullshit.

Anonymous said...

If the website doesn't say and the store doesn't clearly post that they won't style any other brand doll's hair, and indeed if it only says "Your favorite doll" which implies brands other than AG (because honestly, a very small percentage of the population has AG dolls) then the mother does in fact have a right to be cranky.

Sure, this could have been blown out of proportion. Sure, the company has the right to say that they won't touch another brand doll because they might hurt it. But I work in customer service, day in and day out. I've had to enforce some rules I didn't even agree with before.

It boils down to this: a company can't say anything they can't back up. The mother had no obligation to call ahead, because the rule was not laid out and "your favorite doll" again, implies that brand doesn't matter.

Simply amending the site to say "your favorite American Girl doll" or even "your favorite Pleasant Company doll" would completly fix the error and never have this happen again.

As for the mothers in line, I'm sure the six-year-old was supervised by SOMEBODY who probably reported the snide remarks.

Understanding is a three edged sword. No matter where the truth lies, in the middle of this is bad customer service and the response is always and forever: REPORT THE PERSON TO THEIR MANAGER. If you don't think their manager will take action, feel free to ask for a district or regional manager and climb the chain. But a single formal complaint is 9 times out of 10 good enough for a change to be made.

As for the other mother's not trying to comfort a screaming six year old...in my years of retail I almost always see everyone turn and try to play least-in-sight whenever a kid starts screaming.

Rachel said...

You know - AG dolls were neat when there were like, three of them. Now they're just creepy. But I certainly wouldn't expect an "American Girl Place Hair Salon" to be able or willing to style the hair of a non-AG (aka "fake") doll. All doll hair is stuck on differently. And they can cover their asses for their own product.

Plus.. it's at the American Girl Doll Fantasy Palace or whatever the heck they're calling it these days. Why anyone would think they'd be able to work on non-AG dolls is beyond me. Sure it doesn't say "NO NON-AG DOLLS BECAUSE OMG THOSE DOLLS SUCK LOL" .. but it shouldn't have to. It's a brand botique. That's how they work. Its kind of like that old saying - if you have to ask, you can't afford it ? It's crappy but it's true. Sort of like in this case - if you have to ask, you're not in the club.

But still - asking would have been prudent.

Do I think that little tyke cried her eyes out? Sure, she wanted to get her dolls hair done and she couldn't and that sucked. So her mom should take her someplace else to get it done. Should she bitch about the AG policy? No, that's dumb. Because it's the policy.

was the stylist rude about it? probably not. does it matter? no - if the customer was upset they were upset. but you don't get free stuff for being upset. you just don't go anymore. end of story.

do i think the moms were OMG SO MEAN! nah. but it makes for a fun story. worked here - we all took the time to make comments and validate this lady's life. go us! we make the internet a better place.


ps - did i mention the AG dolls/store was creepy? it's like a cult in there. but if that's what you're in to - neat for you. :)

Anonymous said...

I took the story to heart, posted here, and contacted American Girl. I will paste their letter to me below.

I would hope that you would understand, and I can affirm this as a business owner, that at times there are people that do not treat customers in the manner they are instructed and in accordance with a company's policy. When a business owner or management is made aware of this that person is counseled or gone. That's how you stay in business!

American Girls response to me indicates that you never brought this to their attention for action? Is that true? I will say that it's very easy to jump all over a company and especially one that's already seen as snobbish or elitist. I will say that here in Chicago I have never and an issue with my daughter and everyone has always been helpful. But I, like a lot of people here, just went with our gut reaction and the pain of your daughter.

After giving it some more thought I can also understand their reluctance to perform any service on a non_AG doll. Just as this employee was wrong and hurt your little girl, so would a process that stripped the paint from her dolls eyes etc., imagine yourself as the owner and dealing with potential issues like that every day. So on balance I'm fine with the fact they only do AG dolls. It's their store and if that's their business model that's fine! It just should have been handled better and I would hope, better explained and positioned before you arrived or waited. Perhaps they will look into doing that and save everyone the hassle.

I would urge you, if you haven't already, to contact them and give them an opportunity at the corporate level to make this right and hopefully rid their organization of those that would do this to a little girl.

As I said, they're free to place reasonable restrictions around what they offer, like iTunes only works with an iPod, BUT when it comes to kids and their feelings, it needs to be done with MUCH greater sensitivity and from the email really I think that's AG corporate's intent.

Good luck!

------ Forwarded Message
From: Campaigns service@americangirl.com
Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2007 15:46:17 -0500 (CDT)
To: jeffXXXXXXXXXX.com
Subject: Re: Comments about American Girl or Our Site

Dear Mr. XXXXXX,

Thank you for e-mailing us with your comments. We appreciate the
opportunity to address issues directly with our customers.

First, please know that it is the No. 1 priority of our staff to ensure that every child who walks through our doors feels special and welcome. If we learn of any behavior to the contrary, we strive to remedy the situation as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, in the case you are referring to, we were never contacted directly by this customer, so we have been unable to attempt to rectify the situation or gather more details to investigate the incident further on our end.

It is important to note that many girls visit American Girl Place with various dolls in tow, and we are happy to have them share in any of our experiences, such as our Cafe, Theater, and Photo Studio, which do not involve an actual service for the doll.

Please understand that we are only equipped to replace, repair, or style dolls that we manufacture. Our Doll Hair Salon and Doll Hospital are tailored to the specific materials used in our doll lines, and, because we can't be sure of the materials used in other products we do not want to risk damaging a child's favorite toy by using an incorrect procedure.

Providing high-quality service is the hallmark of American Girl, and our sales associates are trained to always provide positive, respectful, and professional service to our guests. When problems do arise, they are empowered to take responsibility and do whatever they can to make it
right. On the rare occasion that this does not occur, we strongly encourage our customers to contact us directly so we can correct the situation immediately.

Again, thank you for the opportunity to address this issue with you. We hope this information has been helpful.

Sincerely,

AG Customer Service


Original Message Follows:
------------------------
Comments about American Girl or Our SiteHave you people seen this?

http://oneofthosehorriblemoms.blogspot.com/2007/03/fake-out.html

As a Chicago resident with a 4 year old daughter who has visited your
store multiple times to the tune of more than $700 you can be sure that
unless I see this set right we won't be back.

Jeff XXXXXX
Highland Park, IL


------ End of Forwarded Message

Mom101 said...

Followed the link from daddytypes and this story is sickening.

But only have as sickening as some of the trollish anonymous comments on here.

Human nature at its best.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone else think that it's odd that American Girl dolls come in big boxes that are labeled "Made in China"? I certainly didn't think that was the right message to send when I saw all the overspending Moms with their sculptured breasts and plastic surgery lives buying these silly things in LA.

These are the same women that are dressing their young children up as prostitots (VERY young prostitutes).
This whole things seems to go along with what I have seen of American Girl, and I hope that this was not what they desire.

Anonymous said...

mew

._.

Anonymous said...

This is being blown way out of proportion. This little girl's not-American-Girl doll was refused service at the American Girl Doll Hair Salon. That is completely understandable. The blog writer complains because the stylist wasn't willing to bend the rules. The stylist probably wasn't willing to risk her job by breaking the rules. A customer who wants a rule bent should speak to someone who actually has the power to do so...a manager!

I've been to AG Place in NYC. There is a doorman outside and a concierge right at the entrance. But did they tell Etta, "You can't come in! That's not a real doll!" NO. Etta and her doll can go to AG Place, eat in the Cafe, see a show in the Theater, take pictures at the Studio, buy accessories for her doll, etc. The only thing she cannot do is have the doll's hair styled. Put it in perspective, people.

It is interesting to me that this story tells us exactly what the stylist said, and exactly what the other moms said, and we are told that Etta just cried and cried, but we don't know what Etta's adult companions did and said.

Here's what probably happened:
--Stylist tells the girl/mother/guardian that she cannot style the doll's hair because it is not a real American Girl doll.
--Etta gets upset and starts crying.
--Mother/guardian argues with stylist.
--Mother/guardian causes such a scene that the other mothers in line become annoyed and make nasty comments to her and about her.

If the stylist really was rude to Etta and her companions, then she deserves to be disciplined or fired. But the company is not terrible because of one employee. Furthermore, American Girl doll owners should not be judged so harshly. My daughters have American Girl dolls because I choose to save up my money and buy quality items with wholesome historical backgrounds. I'm not rich by any means...my hard-earned money is better spent on American Girl than on BRATZ!!!

Anonymous said...

To above post.....marketing to children is a practice that bares a lot of responsibly of a company. While I don't agree that all parents who have purchased these dolls are bad or wrong, I feel many think it "buys" them and their families into an exclusive club....the "haves".

I wrote to the AG Company about this matter and receive a response. It was polite and expected, explaining their reasons for policies, and assuring that the staff is trained to be professional and kind. I believe it...but I can't understand why, if many visitors bring their own dolls to their store/place they can't find some way of giving them a hairstyle. I'll sure not all doll hair is created equal to AG's, but I don't think it's beyond reasonable to do something. Figure it out....your a big, company.

To the author of this blog... the company said that they had not been contacted regarding this issue. I sent them a link to you blog and assume they have been here and read your post and perhaps the comments. Hopefully it will help create a more humane policy.

Liz said...

just hurt my heart, as my friend would say. while i don't fault american girl doll owners for having the money to purchase such dolls, i do fault these particular moms for being so flipping nasty!

and i do think the website needs to be a little clearer. it's vague and ambiguous as it stands. i would've protested to the better business bureau.

Anonymous said...

To the previous poster who stated that the mother is upset because the hairstylist would not do the hair, and it is being blown out of proportion, read again. The mother is upset because the hairstylist told her daughter that her doll was a fake. That is where the hairstylist crossed the line.

She could have just as easily told Etta that her doll was extra special and because of that she did not wish to risk ruining her dolls hair, but as a courtesy allow Etta to choose a complimentary bow to place in her hair. Instead, the stylist chose to belittle Etta's doll, in turn, humiliating and shaming Etta.

It really doesn't get much wronger then that, so shame on those who are sticking up for what happened.

AG needs to stop denying and start accepting responsibility for the people that they hire and issuing apologies instead. Its really that simple.

Lutetia said...

this story is downright depressing, but what i find most comical is the few people 'debating' whether or not the stylist was right in denying little Etta service when the fact of the matter is that the Target doll was probably made in the same Ecuadorian sweat-shop as the AG one.

whoa, run-on of the century.

If you can, sue. Not so much for the money but for the principle. Nothing makes a large company get right faster than someone skimming off the profits.

Anonymous said...

Funny how the blog writer is coming on here to delete comments, but not to update us on the situation and how AG has responded to her complaint. Maybe because she hasn't made a complaint because this never happened!

Anonymous said...

From one brand of doll to another it will never change. I don't love my reasonable priced Dollzone any less because he isn't a Volks that cost 5 times as much. I attended a Super Dollfie party armed with my much "cheaper" 1/6 Volks dolls and although they couldn't visit the doctor or take part in any ceremonies they still brought smiles to people's faces. It's all about what the dolls mean to you.

Hug your doll extra tight and know it means the world to you. When I was young it was all about Cabbage Patch Kids and all they seemed to do was teach girls how to exclude people.

Find your doll that's perfect for you and they will love you forever.

Susan said...

I may have been over stepping my boundries here, but when my 26 year old daughter emailed me this, I was horrified at the treatment of this little child. I have American Girl dolls and cannot believe the treatment of this poor child. I emailed a copy of the blog to American Girl and told them how I felt, they of course apologized profusely. They also said that they could not take on the liability of doing the hair of another manufactures doll. This I can understand, but there was no excuse for the way in which it was handled or the @%$&$#&%$# mothers and their snide remarks. Don't get me wrong, I feel that American Girl has a lot to make up for. There is no excuse for this, the employee should be fired!!
I make clothes for all my dolls, and Etta's Mom, if your reading this and would like some dresses or play clothes that are "fake" but extremely well made for Etta, I will send her some. Just let me know and please tell Etta that not all adults are mean and that even though we never met her, she is an Angel in our eyes!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Does the American Girl website specify that the doll hospital is for American Girl dolls only? If it doesn't, I'm gonna take one of my daughter's Barbies in. It's arm fell off. Then if they refuse to fix it, I'll post a blog about it.

Anonymous said...

It used to be that if you needed money, find a reason to sue a company for some of their money. Now you can post bogus blogs about a reputable company to try to get free products that you can't afford to buy on your own.

Anonymous said...

I'm calling bullshit on this.Fake out is right.

Anonymous said...

that stylist had no right to be a jerk like that! *growls*.
second of all, those parents should have known better-screw them all and the horses they rode in on!
so you can't afford those american girl dolls-big deal. i couldn't, and still can't. it doesn't hurt my feelings a darn bit. not after this incident.
i will be posting this on my blog too!

and one final thing: Etta, your dolls ROCK! don't listen to some narrow minded conformist adult, cuz they don't know what they're talking 'bout!

Anonymous said...

An anonymous poster wrote:
"To the previous poster who stated that the mother is upset because the hairstylist would not do the hair, and it is being blown out of proportion, read again. The mother is upset because the hairstylist told her daughter that her doll was a fake. That is where the hairstylist crossed the line."

Maybe YOU should read the blog again:
"Etta had heard from pals at (public) school that American Girl Dolls were just fabulous, but when we looked at the website and saw the prices, we warned her that if she really really wanted one for Christmas, she wouldn’t be able to get too many fun doll accessories and other stuff. Plus, she has a 3 year old sister, and it would have been really hard to find a way to sit on top of Piper for the next three years to keep her from touching the impeccable and thoughtfully priced American Girl Doll. Silly Etta, she chose to spend her own money (a mere $29.99!) a few weeks before Christmas last year, on an 18-inch doll at Target."

The blog writer clearly states that, for various reasons, Etta chose to buy a cheaper Target doll rather than the expensive American Girl doll. The stylist, even if she did say "This isn't a real doll!", wasn't telling Etta anything that she didn't already know.

witch baby said...

I am infuriated for you and your daughter. As adults, we have to put up with the sickening elitism of people who think they're better than us because of what they own, but your daughter shouldn't have had to face that at the age of six.
Also, kudos to you for having your priorities straight. Another mother might have reached for the credit card and spent an absurd amount of money on the most expensive brand name doll. But childhood is about more than that. Life is about more than that, no matter what they want us to believe.

Swan said...

When I was a child, it was (the then new) Barbie that was causing the ruckus. I desperately wanted one, but they werre $5.00! A FORTUNE at the time (1962_ that our family could NOT afford! Well, my parents scrimped and saved and got me the coveted doll! I was ecstatic!

I have never forgotten that gift! Now, 45 years later, I buy Barbie lots om eBay and refurbish, comb, dress, repair, repaint them each one into a special, individual doll. Then, dressed, with shoes and a little plastic bag containing an extra dress, purse and shoes, and a note "from the doll" to her hew owner, I give the doll to the local fire department, battered women's shelter, charity or send them overseas to refugee camps for children displaced by wars or disasters... and RE-CREATE that wonderful moment when I unwrapped my own first Barbie!

You do NOT need a high priced toy to bring joy to a child!There are children who never HEARD of American Girl Dolls, or even Barbie... but they cherish the refurbished doll that came to them from an American girl... even if I haven't been a "girl" for over 40 years!!

Ao... for those who are angry at the full begun on this blog... take a bit of time, look over your own possessions and see if some far away child... or adult, for that matter, couldn't use some of your "stuff" more than you do...

Let us ALL take this opportunity to add some light to the world. Complaining only adds to the dark.

Swan

Julie said...

IF this is how it happened (and the blogger wasn't there) then the treatment of the little girl was despicable but unfortunately, it was preventable.

Let's face it, the girl was going to a specific doll store that sells a specific type of doll. A vague wording of "favorite doll" in Frommer's Travel Guide led the blogger to assume that any doll was acceptable. However, a quick email or phone call to the store would have in fact confirmed that they do not style other dolls.
Can you really and truly be upset at a store because they have a policy in place to protect your child's favorite doll from being destroyed?

Writing negative things and spreading rumors through the internet is not the way to solve the problem. Rallying up the troops to protest all AG stores because ONE person had ONE bad experience with an insensitive and immature stylist is completely crazy and irrational.

One responder stated that they would have spit or punched the other mothers in line. This hardly sets a good example for your children and would make you no better than those other parents. In fact, I think it would place you beneath them.

At least one person suggested she sue AG Place. On what grounds? To clog up our courts with a completely frivolous lawsuit?

Contacting the store manager that same day with concerns about how your daughter was treated would have been the appropriate solution.

Anyway, I have a bridge if anyone wants to buy it. Upon cleared payment, I'll throw in a free recipe for Neiman Marcus's $500 cookie.

Anonymous said...

I call bullshit. Why haven't you filed a real complaint? Why didn't you talk to the manager instead of being a wimp about it? Way to teach your kid to stand up to assholes. :P

Oh, and paying $20 for a doll hairstyling? Jesus, what a load of crap. I pay $13 to get MY hair washed and cut. You let your kid buy cheap Target crap, but you're willing to waste money on completely unnecessary junk like this? You should THANK the AG employee for not taking your twenty bucks.

I hope "Etta" grows up to realize that commercialism is all a giant load of shit, and that people who judge themselves and others by how much money they can throw around and waste on pointless garbage are just a bunch of retarded wankers pissing into the wind.

Anonymous said...

This story brought back memories of an old friend I had sadly forgotten about. I was sorry to hear about what happened to Etta but happy to be reminded of Jenny.

Jenny was "fake". She was a no-name brand doll bought at a chain store. She had straight brown hair and brown eyes instead of the fashionable blond curls and blue eyes of those days. One of her 2 outfits was pants.

I loved her. She was my best friend and my treasured companion. She wasn't the expensive Mamane Alexander dolls that were the AG of my day. She was, instead, a plain old everyday doll. And I loved her. I stopped coveting the possessions of wealthier friends because I learned the value of what I had. I had Jenny and she was precious. So I'm thankful tonight for Jenny and for Gracie and for every little girl out there who loves a doll that is "fake".

Anonymous said...

I keep checking back to see if Moms has any response or update, or anything at all to say.

Anonymous said...

She has nothing to update and nothing to say because this is an untrue story. I'm just trying to figure out what prompts her to come online and delete responses on occasion.

Anonymous said...

This post and the comments here just make me scratch my head. There's a whole lot of bitchery, snobbery and judgement going on and really, there's no way of knowing if any of this is true.

Honestly, if you have a problem at any store CALL THE MANAGER or company HQ right away. Why stir the pot by writing a very obviously embellished and exaggerated story on Blogger? Smacks of BS to me.

It's really ridiculous how people are coming down on AG like a ton of bricks because of the cost of their product. This is why other companies make dolls, too, because there's room for everyone in the market. Just because I've paid $100 for a baby doll for my daughter doesn't make me a snobby bitch or someone who condones bad service. Thrifty obviously doesn't neccessarily equal good, smart or nice just as big spenders aren't all mean-spirited elitist cows. It's a matter of priority and personal choices, that's all.

I don't think American Girl needs to give this person anything at all. I do think they should fire the stylist in question immediately providing they can verify her identity and that this did actually take place.

Kelly said...

Lord. People. Calm down.

Yes, if this happened as described, the salesperson was obscenely rude. But you know what? The entirety of the American Girl company is not responsible for the bad behavior of one of their employees in one of their stores. That woman is probably getting paid $7 an hour to style dolls' hair all day, and she got pissy. Inexcusable? Certainly. And if she's talking that way to kids she should be fired. But boycotting the entire company? Trying to stunt their national sales? If a Barnes and Noble clerk was nasty to you, would you swear off all Barnes and Nobles nationally forever? If a counter clerk at a Loews movie theater insulted you, would you never go to any Loews theater anywhere again? The company as a whole is not responsible for one clerk's behavior. That specific location is responsible to the extent that they should take the blame for having hired her, and should fire her. That's it. Chill, people.

Anonymous said...

In this blog, she mentions living in "impoverished brownstone Brooklyn". But in December, she blogged about enrolling Etta in summer camp at the Aquarium in Coney Island, and also in drama camp. She mentioned using stores that will bring your stuff out to you, if you call from your cell phone and tell them you can't get out because your baby is in the car. In another blog, she talks about going to a spa in New Jersey with her husband.

I live in one of the boroughs of New York City. I can't afford a brownstone in Brooklyn. I can't afford to send my kids to summer camp. I certainly don't live in an area where stores bring your stuff out to the car. And I sure as heck don't have money for a spa. But my girls do have AG dolls, because they really wanted them, so I saved up my money.

I think this whole image of poor, impoverished Etta wearing her thrift-store hand-me-downs and carrying her knockoff doll is just a way to gain sympathy. This blog is WAAAAY too melodramatic and embellished. If the incident did occur, I'm willing to bet that it didn't happen the way the blogger is telling it.

Anonymous said...

Why should the AMERICAN GIRL website have to specify "Bring your favorite AMERICAN GIRL doll to the hair salon"? It's kind of obvious. Etta's mom seems very concerned about the way Etta will be perceived ("thrift-store pretty", etc). She should have called the store's toll-free number to make sure it was OK to bring a different brand of doll. I'm not excusing the stylist's behavior, but don't vilify the brand because you sent your child into a potentially embarrassing situation and came into contact with one bad employee.

Anonymous said...

The smell of bullshit is strong with this one.

Anonymous said...

You people really need to start reading some of this woman's other blogs. So far this morning I've read about her cleaning lady, the VCR in her minivan, her trips to a spa (without the kids) and to Ireland (with the kids), summer camps, kitchen renovations on the Brooklyn brownstone she and her husband purchased, an expensive nit-picker. And we're supposed to believe that this kid is wearing thrift-shop clothes? Give me a break.

Mandy'sMom said...

It is really sad what some people will do to get free things. If that was not her intent and her daughter's feelings were her reall concern she would have demanded a manger or if she wasn't present (which makes this story even more ridiculous)at the very least phoned later to make a complaint. Hmm she can quot every word said by mean moms in line, but can't remeber an important detail like whom the salesperson was. I heard 3 year olds tell better lies than this. Shame on you --this is a slap in the face to all the children who really are poor and have to go without. I guess Etta will have to go without an AG , but hopefully her trips to camps and spas will make her feel better.

Anonymous said...

I will never buy an American Girl doll for my daughter or any of her friends after reading this. I am in shock! My heart goes out to your daughter. Hugs to her and you.

Anonymous said...

Looks like yet another person is underestimating the intelligence of people on the internet. I hope the American Girl company doesn't fall for this BS and send her a single thing. Trying to damage the reputation of a wonderful company is pretty low.

AnnaNicole said...

I think the above emailed response from AG says it all. Etta's story is unbelievable...as in, I doubt the events described took place. I think people need to wade through the emotional appeals and look at the events described. I would like to know what the parent did at the scene when this atrosity occured. If she was making unrealistic demands and bothering other customers, she should have been escorted out of the store.

Anonymous said...

"Does anyone else think that it's odd that American Girl dolls come in big boxes that are labeled "Made in China"?"

Awww...but the boxes and the "Made in China" labels are made in the good old US of A!

ikramer said...

My 30 yr old daughter sent me to this site. 26 years ago we had a similar situation. We were at a b-day party for a friend of hers. I crocheted a dress for the girl's Barbie doll. The mother, a professor of sociology of all things, took me aside and said she "understood" that I made this incredible, hand-crafted, haute couture dress for the doll of her only child and my daughter's best friend, because I could not afford the real thing!

Anonymous said...

So many comments to make. Ok, first of all to the "stylist" who said "this doll isn't real," You're a doll hair stylist! You're by definition not a real hair stylist!
As someone who grew up with all the fakes Darbies, Lettuce Patch Kids, rubber clogs. I now happily give my kids the fakes as often as possible. I occasionally weaken and buy the real deal, but I want them to understand they are worthy because of who they are not what they have. I think that got through to me. Bravo to you for helping your daughter understand the value of a dollar. I am sure when everyone calmed down, you were able to help her understand that her doll had not changed (and therefore her love for that doll shouldn't change) just because someone made an idiotic comment about it.
And lastly, to anyone who doesn't believe this story: of course, people often embellish when writing, but to accuse this person of making the whole thing up seems a bit paranoid. What stock do you have in the American Girl Co? You don't think a company that by pricing alone is exclusionary is capable of turning someone away because she wanted to bring her $29 doll to the $90-doll salon? Now who's naive?
Thank you for sharing your story, Horrible Mom. I'm a horrible mom, too.

Mr. Princeton said...

Actually, in the 21 years American Girl has existed, the price of the dolls has only risen $5.

And since the blog author was not even there to witness the event, let alone quote what was said by the stylist and customers, I don't give credit to this account either.

The company policy is the same as any other. That doesn't seem to be the real issue. This blogger wants traffic, and attacking a big corporation with a story laiden with emotional appeals is doing just that.

I tried to read this open-mindedly, but the sarcasm and blatant heresay made it impossible.

I side with the American Girl people on this one.

Hannah Frey said...

...all the stylist said was, "This isn't a real doll!" And you think she needs to be fired? She was doing her job. This is crazy out of proportion. American Girl Company won't do anything about this nonsense, they will mail out the standard letter and go on with their business. Especially since the incident wasn't reported, and despite Etta's horrible mom's ability to quote the stylist, she didn't get the lady's name.

I think Etta's mom should buy her daughter an American Doll. It will last longer and stand up to play far better than the other brands. Plus, it can share clothes with the Target dolls.

Lindsay Lee said...

I believe the store refused to do the dolls hair. I don't believe the stylist was rude, called the doll fake, or that other mothers made rude comments to the girl. I understand that the girl may have felt bad, and that her mother felt even worst that she didn't take the time to think that AMERICAN GIRL place may not do other doll's hair. The mother is mad at herself and is taking it out on american. Unlike many cheap doll's, american girl doll have decent hair that is proportionate to the size of thier head.

Anonymous said...

Obviously money doesn't buy class. If I had been a mother in that line-up I would have been berating the stylist, not adding to a little girls humiliation and upset. Shame on them. My daughters do not have American Girl Dolls, not because we can't afford them, but because they represent something I don't believe in - elitist consumerism aimed at children. I hope your daughter has many happy memories with her beautiful "fake" doll to make up for this horrible display by rich snobs.

Anonymous said...

"Obviously money doesn't buy class. If I had been a mother in that line-up I would have been berating the stylist, not adding to a little girls humiliation and upset."

Berating a stylist isn't classy either. If I berated anyone in front of my kids, that would absolutely add to my kids' upset. Humiliating another person because they humiliated someone else is not a good justification unless you are of a certain not classy class of people.

Anonymous said...

If this story is not fake, then it is completely embellished and full of bullshit.

I take the most offense to the portrayal of "poverty" by the blogger. Judging by your past posts, you know nothing about real struggle and poverty. This is your way to gain sympathy and attention and it's sickening.

Anonymous said...

If your story is true, which I will assume it is. Why do you not call American Girl directly?

Their customer service comments are : "... No. 1 priority of our staff to ensure that every child who walks through our doors feels special and welcome. If we learn of any behavior to the contrary, we strive to remedy the situation as soon as possible..."

Doing research on their dolls, I found that there customer service was top notch.
I am not saying that the stylist did not do this, I am just saying it reflects on the stylist, not neccesarily the company as a whole.

Anonymous said...

I do hope you contact American Girl. The stylist should have been slapped as should the other mothers standing in line. You're one smart cookie for figuring out the business end of all of this too.

Please let lovely Etta know that there's a whole bunch of real American Ladies who think she's top notch!

Anonymous said...

I dont think there will EVER be an American Girl doll in our home. I will forever remember this story and it will come to mind whenever I see one of those dolls. How heart breaking. I will pass this on to my mom's group and to all of the scrapbooking boards I am on.

Anonymous said...

I still can't believe people are believing this utter nonsense. C'mon, read the blogger's other postings. Pot and kettle? Have some common sense, you sheep.

Anonymous said...

I really think it's not just the store that set the little girl up for disappointment! Us as parents know how companies work, i would of never sent my daughter into that store with a fake doll knowing they wouldn't do the hair. As a few pointed out they don't know what the other dolls are made of if they can handle whatever they are doing to the dolls hair. I do believe the stylist could of handled it better but i also think the parent should of prevented this incident in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Just because of one employee a company is going to be down i think if the mother was so concerned about this issue she should of got ahold of the store manager and had the stylist fired if it was that big of a deal.

Laura Dern said...

I think the elitist snob here is Etta's mom. She's using class status indicaters to embellish this story and sway people's emotions. The story has garnered far too much attention as it is.

If people do not want to buy from this company, then fine. But to not buy the dolls because of this story is silly. From what I understand, these dolls are top notch, reasonably priced for the quality, and have amazing books that develop the dolls' character.

I actually think that encouraging a child to by a cheap plastic knock off that exists solely to be a Target price point is a worse crime of consumerism than anything at the store Etta went to.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Etta's Horrible Mom...ever heard the saying "No press is bad press?" Thanks for making people stop and take note of the company. More traffic to their site surely means more sales for them. The people at AG must be laughing about this all the way to the bank!

And I'm laughing too...that your "sort of thrift store pretty" daughter is given expensive vacations, gets to watch TV in the car, and enjoys life with a stay at home mom...and all this fuss is generated when poor courageous Etta can't get her way.

I'm going to go check out the dolls' website now. Thanks for letting me know about it Etta!

Anonymous said...

If I had been a mother in line, I would have asked that Etta be removed from the store. She obviously must have thrown a tantrum and made a scene. If tantrumming kids can get their families thrown off airplanes, they should get thrown out of stores too. I can't stand other kids' fussing and whinig when I'm out with my family.

Anonymous said...

hey ettas mom. you live in a brownstone in brooklyn. you have a car. you take trips to europe, send poor little etta to summer camp, and you dont work. what were you doing while etta was getting her "heart broken?" probably at mommy and me. quit your bitching. its people like you that piss the hard working people off. go get a massage, im sure your husband will buy it for you, youll feel better. and shut up.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, I could comment if the blog contained any FACTS...its too bogged down with sarcasm and melodrama. The fact? The girl's doll, from company X could not be serviced at company Y. Big surprise. Because everything described in this blog? It's fiction. ETTA'S MOM WAS NOT THERE. There is no way she could know what was said or how the moms and stylist looked when they said it. And painting Etta as this poor, thrift store waif gets old fast. Anyone who came in with a knockoff and 20 bucks would be refused the service. I'm aghast that Etta's mom would turn this into a class issue, especially when she knowingly bought her kids three Target dolls instead of investing in the 'real' thing. I'm particularly surprised at the people who read this and swear off American Girl, because you know they can really control what there customers say to other customers in line. Not the company's fault. An individual's opinion is an individual's opinion. If someone said something rude to me in line at Old Navy, I wouldn't boycott the store. That's ridiculous. Next time Etta has to choose between quality and crap, I hope for all our sakes she chooses the quality item so her mom won't feel the need to bitch and moan on her blog about it. What's in store for next week? "The Horror of Mastercuts: They refused to wax Etta's upperlip."

Anonymous said...

Would you go to a party at Build A Bear and expect them to stuff a condom? Fuck no. Poor courageous child my ass.

Anonymous said...

HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAA LAST THREE COMMENTERS, you are my HEROES!!!!!!


Down with Etta's Obnoxious Mom!!

Anonymous said...

I have been to AGPNY many times. My Daughters love the dolls as do I. We have a great time playing with them.

My family is not wealthy, we just choose to spend our money on items that hold up. I use a personal shopper there - I don't need to buy anything to have that service she gets me anything I need and will even ship it. She doesn't care if I buy 1 thing 10 things or nothing.

THey turned the store upside down looking for a toy my little girl lost -Not an AG toy mind you, but a McDonalds Happy meal toy. They Looked for TWO hours.

I think the mom made up the story about the other customers - Or if they did say something it was after little ETTA had a screaming melt down of Spoiled Affluence - Probably the first time in her life she didn't get her way.

MOM you worked for FAO as a Personal Shopper - How did you get handled when you pissed off a customer - Person goes to manager right - WELLLL why didn't you

Sad so many are willing to jump on the band wagon and have said they would get rid of their daughters dolls

Hey send them this way - I could use them

Anonymous said...

How 'bout I take a McDonald's cup to Burger King for a refill? If they refuse, I'll write a blog!

Anonymous said...

What's funny is there was a recent lawsuit between Our Generation and American Girl. The "Robin" doll OOTHM says her daughter has was the center of the suit, because the doll was designed to look like the American Girl "Molly" doll, and was named Molly as well, and was released at the same time the AG Molly movie was released. AG sued for copyright infringement, and won, thus the new OG moniker Robin.

I'm starting to think that maybe OOTHMs is somehow related to someone who lost money in the lawsuit. She describes an affluent lifestyle in many of her posts, but chooses to invest in multiple OG dolls, despite knowing her daughter really wants an AG doll. Then she sets up her daughter for this debacle, and recounts the story focusing on AG as a the big bad company who rejects the little guys. For that matter, this debacle most likely never occurred. And somehow the story is picked up by multiple bloggers and internet sources, all the while encouraging people to buy the OG over the AG.

In other words, OOTHM has an aganda with this blog. And it is not in Etta's interests, but her own.

Anonymous said...

And just look what she wrote here, in her post titled "Evolution", earlier this year. (Jan 22, 2007):

"Learning that I make mistakes, lie, mean well, and would manipulate any situation in their favor if I could."

...in reference to defending her kids. Well, yeah, I'd say she came through on that whole "manipulate any situation" thing.

Anonymous said...

I love American Girl, you can not make a big deal out of one thing that happen.

Anonymous said...

This blog is offensive-you have no clue about being poor-you don't even work and talk about trips to Europe, summer camps etc!! I go to college, work two jobs, and take care of three kids on my own. (single mom) We live in an apartment and we do struggle at times. There are times my kids do not get what they want or are disappointed, but you know what? Life goes on, and my kids realize that it's not the material things that make a person. As a mother, you have the power to instill this in your children and build their self esteem. Petty comments (I'm sure weren't even made!) made by others should not seep so deeply in your child. I find it hard to believe that you cannot love, hug, teach your child these basic things; rather than focusing on the material side of things and playing that you are something you are not. [poor] You just don't have a clue.

As for the dumb cattle (moms who so easily believe this bullshit and will/are boycotting AG), who go with the flow without using their mind and thinking-- shame on you.

Anonymous said...

This blog is offensive-you have no clue about being poor-you don't even work and talk about trips to Europe, summer camps etc!! I go to college, work two jobs, and take care of three kids on my own. (single mom) We live in an apartment and we do struggle at times. There are times my kids do not get what they want or are disappointed, but you know what? Life goes on, and my kids realize that it's not the material things that make a person. As a mother, you have the power to instill this in your children and build their self esteem. Petty comments (I'm sure weren't even made!) made by others should not seep so deeply in your child. I find it hard to believe that you cannot love, hug, teach your child these basic things; rather than focusing on the material side of things and playing that you are something you are not. [poor] You just don't have a clue.

As for the dumb cattle (moms who so easily believe this bullshit and will/are boycotting AG), who go with the flow without using their mind and thinking-- shame on you.

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