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August 24, 2010

The Baby Gate Scam

As soon as Nathaniel started scooting around in the ominous pre-crawling phase, we knew we were going to need a baby gate. Being the oh so conscientious mother I am, I went online and shopped for baby gates. And then I had a heart attack when I looked at the price tags.

Safety is overrated, right?

Apparently the hubs didn't agree with me and after several discussions on the matter, we finally agreed to purchase a gate. Our plan so we didn't have to take out a second mortgage: we would buy it from Craigslist.

So I began scouring the postings, hoping to find one of those pricey gates for a steal and guess what? I did. I found a Kidco gate with hardware for a mere $25. Now for those of you who are as of yet unfamiliar with the great and mysterious land of baby gates, I'll give you a brief overview. Kidco is one of the best gate-makers in the industry. They make quality, metal gates that can be installed at the top of your stairway. Being that our stairway leads down to an evil and extremely unforgiving tile floor, a gate is essential. And thank you for asking, yes I do have personal experience with that floor thanks to some rather slippery socks that were subsequently burned after causing not one but TWO near-death experiences.

Back to the topic at hand.

Several weeks after purchasing the gate, the babe was crawling and had become a menace around the house. Pulling books off the shelves. Snacking on electrical cords. Diving off the end of mama and daddy's bed.

In and amongst preventing the babe from an inevitable trip to the emergency room, the hubs and I decided it was time to install the gate. Or perhaps more accurately, HE would install the gate. So Jonathan sat down and broke open the hardware kit. The hardware kit that was SUPPOSEDLY brand new. The kit that SUPPOSEDLY went with our gate.

Only to discover that this kit was manufactured for a different brand of baby gate. And to top it off, it didn't have all the pieces. You can imagine that I was somewhat less than pleased when we discovered this. I will also let you imagine the words that came out of my mouth at that time.

The only thought running through my mind was that we had been scammed on the gate. What kind of person scams someone on a baby gate?

Thus ensued the great gate debacle wherein we tried to get the correct hardware and where I spent a great deal of time emailing the sellers who claimed that it was "the company's fault" for sending the wrong hardware which might have been believable IF IT HAD BEEN THE RIGHT COMPANY.

You can't see it, but I'm rolling my eyes right now.

So after the hubs convinced me that the best course of action wasn't driving back to the seller's house and kicking in their front door with my mad Jackie Chan moves, I called the maker of our gate, Kidco.

This is the part of my post where you hear the angelic chorus. Because Kidco and their wonderful, patient team of customer service representatives saved my sanity and prevented a Diet Pepsi overdose. Purchasing replacement hardware? No problem. And getting an installation kit where we don't have to drill into our banister (ahem, Jonathan)? Easy.

The best part? We'll be getting it all later this week so the baby won't be playing Superman on our stairs anytime soon.

In the end, I learned that Craigslist isn't the best place to purchase important baby products. The sellers don't always live up to their end of the bargain. And although I managed to get our seller to agree to cover half the price of our hardware and shipping costs after a particularly forceful email, I was left with a bad taste in my mouth. And curiously, it tastes like sweet potatoes.

Disclaimer: Kidco did not ask me to write this post, nor was I in any way compensated by them for writing this. The opinions in this post are my own and I do highly recommend purchasing Kidco products because after four separate calls to their customer service line to answer all of my gate-related questions, I'm convinced that they have some of the best and most knowledgeable customer service reps in the industry!


  1. did have a time of is really good advice...and holy cow...a customer service dept that actually helps? a Miracle.....

  2. This is perfect timing, because I'm looking for a gate for the top of our stairs right now. We have a split level, so you have to go up stairs to get into the main level of the house. And it's a banister, which makes it way more confusing, because I don't want to drill into it either.

    I'm glad to see a recommendation - that will help me narrow it down, at least.

  3. That is crazy! So glad it work it and that it wasn't all for lost!

    I would have been spitting mad though

  4. We have Kidco gates and love them, too. {although we almost ended up divorced trying to install it! ;) }