"How a $1.15 error cost one Target store over $8000 a year in sales?"
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA -- A difference without distinction! That's what you'll run into if you ever have a problem with Target's branded charge card. Several weeks ago I received a letter from Target. It stated that my Red Card account had been incorrectly credited approximately $50 due to some unexplained internal error. Fine, except on the next month's statement there was an interest charge of $1.15 for my "borrowing" that $50 while it was showing as a credit in my account. So now I have to take time out of my busy day to get this cleared up. Not only didn't I want to pay the interest charge, but with so much identity theft going on I wanted a true explanation as to what prompted Red Card to credit my account in the first place and then charge me a fee for it. Here's what I did and what I want to share about Target and the Red Card-
1: The Call Center is way off shore. By that I mean I couldn't cut through the CSR's accent and I don't believe she could understand me..not to mention the static and poor sound quality on the cheap VOIP lines.
2: After 3 disconnects and over 2 hours I got my $1.15 back. However I felt I was scolded for this being my fault. CSR said if I hadn't requested the original credit this would have never happened and Red Card was doing me a favor by letting me off the hook. Remember, I never requested the credit in the first place and had received a letter of apology from Target alerting me to their error and apologizing for the mistake. After my scolding, I became even more concerned about identity theft and requested an explanation and details surrounding that mysterious credit. I was told only one person in the universe could answer that question: Jay. I asked to be transferred to Jay and got his voice mail. I left my daytime number and my cell phone number, but Jay only called back my daytime number at 7pm and left me a voice mail and a return number to call him back. In his message he also scolded me for not leaving my home number so he could cross reference my account info before he called. When I returned the call to his direct line, guess what? Back to square one. I got another low level CSR who wanted to start at the beginning again before transferring me to Jay. Nonsense. I hung up.
3. I called my Target store to discuss with manager on duty. She said she would research and get back to me.
4. Three days later no response so I stopped by store. Manager said she had been off on scheduled break and left note for another manager.. so nothing had been done. She would get right on it.
5 Later Manager notifies me Target Red Card is a different company from Target Retail and there is nothing they can do to help me find out what happened. They cannot even request a person with authority at Red Card contact me. Not the same company??? Wait a minute. They're the same company to me. What are they doing to distinguish themselves as different entities. The Target cashiers are the ones who pushed the card on me every time I checked-out, they have their name & logo on the card, and the call center answers phone as Target. Surely Red Card adds a little something to Target's bottom line.
Not believing what I was hearing I crafted the following email and sent to admin@Target.com;customerservice@Target.com, webmaster@Target.com and a few other email addresses I guessed at.
*** "How can a $1.15 error cost one Target store over $8000 a year in sales?" ***
$8000 is approx how much my household spent at our local Target pharmacy last year. That doesn't include the tens of thousands we've spent on RX over the past several years. Nor does it include all the toys, bicycles, groceries, home goods, cleaning supplies, toiletries, etc we've purchased. Every bit of that business is about to depart forever... all because of a buck and some change. Your store manager says she is helpless to resolve my issue. Call me if you're interested in discussing retaining my business or even if you're just curious. Or you can simply wait until I share my experience on the internet.
END OF LETTER
I can't say I was too surprised but the Next Day I heard from Peggy. (email through this post if you want her #)I had to call her back so the number was good. She told me she was not in customer service but actually in the corporate office.
But Peggy only repeated what the manager had told me. Credit Card and Target are separate entities. If I wanted answers I was on my own. I requested that she have someone from Red Card call me since I did not want to start with a low level CSR again. Nope. Please call that same number (you've already spent hours getting the run around on). You would think even if Red Card was another company, Mr (Just google Target CEO) [snip] or his board might have some clout to push Red Card to contact me. But Peggy and CEO Bob decided to stand their ground without escalating my issue. So me, my cash and my insurance walked with our $8000 of business. So beware. Don't sign up for or use the Red Card. When this unknown Credit Card company makes an error on your statement, or if you suspect identity theft, you are on your own. You are at the mercy of some offshore CSR whose Americanized name will be Mary or Eric but will barely speak or understand English.
I guess $8000 wouldn't mean much to CEO who Forbes reported made $39.63 million last year. But ask the part-time pharm tech how many hours she'll be cut back due to the loss of revenue at her pharmacy. (She told me her hours were based on # of scripts filled. Our 10 RX per month would be tough to replace and she expected to be cut back) I wonder how many retailers would chomp at the bit to acquire an $8000/yr account. Not Target. They are having a record year. The board will be too busy deciding how many bonuses to pay themselves and how much more they can charge their employees for those official red shirts they're required to wear.