On a recent trip to BJ’s Wholesale Club, Kyla Brantly saw an ad for a holiday Barbie doll. Because her 4-year-old daughter was with her, she waited until she got home to look it up online.
Brantley didn’t like what she found.
The 28-inch Holiday Barbie is only available at BJ’s. Brantley said the blonde doll was on sale for $31.99 with free shipping. When she clicked on the African-American doll, it was selling for the full price of $34.99. Shipping was not included.
Adding insult to injury for Brantley was the doll’s description.
"It said Holiday Barbie Assorted, which was kind of puzzling. Like, what is assorted?" Brantley said.
The Latina version of the doll was also labeled assorted and was not on sale.
"It wasn't culturally sensitive. It felt like a punch," Brantley said.
She contacted BJ’s customer service about the discrepancy. Brantley said a representative responded with an apology for the inconvenience and offered her a $5 gift card. Brantley felt BJ’s was missing the point. The customer service rep later responded with an offer of a $25 gift card.
Brantley expressed her disappointment with BJ’s in a tweet and also contacted NBC Connecticut Responds.
A couple of days after our consumer team reached out to BJ’s, Brantley heard from someone else within the company, who thanked her for bringing the issue to their attention.
The employee told Brantley BJ’s would redo its website to check for verbiage that could be considered insensitive, like the word assorted.
"All three items are available in our clubs at the same sale price of $31.99. Due to an error, the items were mistakenly posted on our website and have been removed. We apologize for any confusion and take the feedback of our Members seriously," a BJ's spokesperson said in a statement to NBC Connecticut.
The sale ended October 31.
BJ’s sent Brantley the doll for free along with a $50 gift card.
Brantley said she is satisfied with the outcome and pleased her voice was heard.
"Unless somebody says something, they can't change it," she said.