As a result of legal pressure, the Walt Disney Company is now offering refunds to parents who bought “Baby Einstein” videos, reports The New York Times.
Disney bought the company after the videos became popular in the late 1990s and early days of this century. Indeed, Seth watched a review copy a couple of times while he was an infant.
The spinning shapes and colorful hand puppets didn’t seem to interest Seth that much. Instead, our son just liked the music. (Both of my kids are huge fans of The Little Einstein DVDs.)
Disney may be reacting to the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood’s threatened class-action lawsuit. The group has been demanding a full-price refund to anyone who bought the videos since 2004.
Clearly, Baby Einstein is not happy with Commercial-Free Childhood, as a letter from company General Manager, Susan McClain makes clear:
For the past several years, Baby Einstein has been under attack by propaganda groups taking extreme positions that try to dictate what parents should do, say and buy. Our philosophy has always been to focus on creating products that parents and babies love, and to not get sidetracked and pulled down into their street fight.
Unfortunately, with (Campaign Director) Susan Linn’s latest stunt, we cannot be silent any longer. Linn’s obvious dislike for Baby Einstein has now turned into a sensational, headline-grabbing publicity campaign that seeks to twist and spin a simple, customer satisfaction action into a false admission of guilt. This is clearly not the case.
We strongly believe that, unlike Linn, our consumers find value in our product, and rather than continue to fight with her, we decided it to leave it up to those consumers. That is why we extended a refund policy that was already in place. Although she would like to claim otherwise, there is nothing extraordinary about a company’s willingness to stand behind its product. To the contrary, it is the strongest possible show of confidence in it.
While the Times reports that Disney is offering $15.99 for up to four Baby Einstein DVDs per household – purchased between June 5, 2004 and Sept. 5, 2009 – links to the refund do not work as of this writing. I did find a link to an older refund offer here. Presumably the company has not had time yet to work out the refund details.