WOODRIDGE, ILLINOIS -- I had some errands to run in Woodridge so I decided to make a trip to the Target store there. I was looking at the Glade Plug Ins and there was a special purchase sale sign underneath all of the double packs. The sign read "Purchase this item and receive the glade oil warmer for free". I looked for five min for the free item and had no luck finding it. A target manager named Nate was walking past the aisle and I asked him for some assistance.
He spent about 5-7 min with me looking for the free product. He then asked another "team member" for a scan gun thingy and he handed me the item that was free. The sign also said "quantity limited". I asked him what the limit was and he didn't know. So I grabbed 3 of the double packs and 3 glade oil warmers (the ones nate showed me were free).
I then asked him "Are you sure. Cause I don't want to get up to the register and have the cashier tell me something different". He assured me. He scanned it and that was the free item. I then did a lil more shopping and went to the registers to pay for my stuff. Surprise, surprise. The cashier said the items were not ringing up free. She called over her supervisor and she walked back and said "no that's not the free item".
I said "the manager Nate told me it was". Then Nate was walking past the registers and I explained to him that the item he assured me and scanned and said was free wasn't. He said "Oh. I was wrong". I asked him since he was a manager if he can honor what he told me. He said "no".
He said he could get me the item that was free. It was the same thing but without the fan. The price difference between the two was $.97. He told me they could not take that loss. I held strong and kept saying "well you scanned this item and assured me it was free". I told him this has happened to me several times at Target and I asked "are you sure" and he continued to say "yes".
I ended up leaving my whole cart of stuff and Nate wrote down the guest relations # for me to call. He said there was nothing else they could do at the store level. I left the store and called the # and that lady told me "OK the issue would be looked at" and sorry for my experience. I asked her if someone was going to call me. She said "no" they handle it at a corporate level. I wouldn't let it go and she just kept repeating herself. She was like well what do you want. I told her I wanted to go back to the store and get the price honored. She told me "Oh. We can't do that".
So I guess I'm wondering if the store can't honor what their managers tell people and the guest relations people handle it on a store level where is the "Guest Service" they stride for. Believe me the total $3 would not make me go bankrupt nor Target. It was the point. I'm so sick of Target and their poor "guest service". It's turning into a Wal-mart.
LEVITTOWN, NEW YORK -- I bought Rock Band 2 from the Levittown, NY Target and went home to try it out. Now this game has a different system for syncing the instruments to the TV than the previous edition and I couldn't get more than 1 instrument to sync at a time. As this is Rock Band and not Rock SOLO, I wasn't happy. So I did some internet searching and discovered that certain TVs, mine being one of them had this problem with the game and wouldn't work.
I was pretty upset to have wasted the money for the first edition at this point because the setup is expensive for just one game. But what could I do? So I went back to Target 1 and a half hours after I purchased the 2nd edition and tried to return it. Now when I bought the game there was no policy either in writing or verbally told to me that said once opened video games could not be returned. My receipt had no such comment written on it saying this either. Yet they wouldn't accept the game.
Now from that point on till every subsequent response I have gotten from them they keep refusing to refund my money. That night I left the game with them at the return counter and while they admit they are in custody of the item, that no new copy will work on my TV setup, and that they did not inform me in writing or verbally of this policy, they simply refuse to refund my money. All of which is admitted on the BBB complaint I filed with them.
Currently my credit card company is handling the matter and I am told that because they have the item (admittedly) and the receipt (which I still have) says nothing about not being able to return the item in question I will be refunded by them.
The thing that strikes me most was how rude the people in the store were with me and how everyone on up their corporate ladder continues to placate me with words but no actions. My wife and I spent on average 2K there a year and will not go back. My extended family almost lived there and spent far more. All of us are now refusing to shop there. Target has shown such a lack of customer care that they have cost themselves thousands a year in revenue because they insist on standing their ground against this return.
And the kicker is, if my receipt had said I couldn't return the item, I wouldn't have even tried! Had the sale clerk said it would be final, I wouldn't have tried to return it. Their vagueness on this policy lasted until I actually showed up to return it. That is not an open policy of communication with ones customer base. And I am not shocked to see how many others on this and other websites have similar complaints. Nor am I shocked that like myself, so many others have been so aggravated that they spend their time to relate their issues with Target.
CICERO, NEW YORK -- I was in Target last week and me and my fiance were looking at audio CD's in the audio section to take on vacation with us. We saw a George Michael 2 disc set that looked really cool and we decided to buy it. Little did we know the Audio CD was sold out and someone had stocked the DVD version of the disc (which contains videos and won't play in our truck radio) in the audio section.
We found out that we had bought the wrong version of the disc after we got outside in the parking lot and I loaded the disc in the player and it wouldn't work. Since we never left the parking lot, we brought the DVD to the customer service desk and told the girl someone had wrongly stocked the DVD's with the audio CD's and we want our money back because it won't work in our car.
The girl said she was sorry but it was company policy to allow exchanges only for the SAME product if the package is open. I politely asked her, "What good will that do me if it won't work in my cd player in the truck?" I told her, "Someone had wrongly stocked the DVD in the audio section and I'm not paying for their improper stocking."
Little did she care and she then started quoting me half-truth laws about copyright and NY State and how they can get fined 100k for taking back opened audio packages. blah blah blah...
So after I realized she was an idiot, I asked for the manager who turned out to be just a electronics team leader who was completely rude and couldn't care less that this item was wrongly stocked in his dept. He even admitted that they were out of the audio CD and the only thing he had was the DVD which they stocked in the Audio CD section (which HE says they do sometimes).
I told him I wasn't leaving without my money and he laughed at me and said there was nothing he could do for me. So after I told him to go take a leap, I asked for the 800 number to customer service so I could complain.
I called, told them my situation and they asked me to hand my phone to the team leader. They explained to him that a store must take back a DVD, Audio CD or Software item if it doesn't play in our electronics equipment. He then continues to doubt the customer service lady on the phone (like I'm a liar or something) and hangs up on her and rudely gives us a refund.
First, I was in retail for over 15 years and I knew what they were quoting me about laws and copyright were wrong, but since I've been out of the loop a few years I didn't know if something had changed. I find it baffling how these managers are so ill-trained and so rude and willing to lose a customer for life over a $27 item.
I will never shop at Target again and neither will my family. I don't like Walmart but since they are right across the street, I will go there for now on. I have spent over 2,000 at Target in the last 6 months and they will never receive another penny from me.
P.S. My brother was also in the same store last week and he asked for help in furniture and it took over 1/2 hour for someone to help them. He will also NEVER shop there again and will make the switch to Walmart and other local stores.
P.S.S. After our incident, I started thinking back about all my trips to this store and not ONCE did an employee say HI to me when I walked by them. NOT ONCE! I find that quite disturbing and only heightened my anger towards a company and store that I spent a lot of money in and gave me a hard time returning a $27 DVD.
P.S.S.S. I also took note from walking around Target that whoever merchandises their stores is out of touch with what the people want. 25% of the endcaps in this Cicero, NY store were half empty or had open spaces on several of the shelves.
During the NFL playoffs before my incident, I went in to buy soda and snacks and I could not find one endcap with family snack food during the busiest sport time of the year. Either they are in trouble or management is out of it.
This is the actual list of communications I have had with Target.com and Target Corp. This is not a joke. Look at the history of this order and the number of calls I have made. First package ending in order number ** was missing. Ordered on Dec 8, Called twice to alert them that order was probably lost. They didn't seem to think so. See details below. This is probably my 6 or seventh call regarding this order and the replacement order. There were other conversations with representative but I didn't get all their names. Problem in your records.
I called and spoke with Fred and he cancelled order on about Dec 20 and resent what was available. So I did not get the complete order. I received it on Dec 23, order ending in **. On Dec 26 or 27 I had a package left at my door by USPS and it contained the original order that was placed on Dec 8. December 29th I called and was put in contact with the Jamaica call center (no supervisor available). The person I spoke with said the package would be picked up yesterday (Tues the 30 Dec) by FedEx. I stayed home all day and no one came.
Called on Dec 31 and asked to speak to a supervisor. I was on hold for over 25 min. waiting for a supervisor. No one came back on so I disconnected and called back. I then waited 10 more minutes on hold. I asked for a supervisor again and was finally connected to Amber **. She said the only thing she could do was offer me $20 to take the package to USPS and then for me to pay the 16-17 dollars shipping or I would be charged for this package. This was not acceptable to me. I asked for a manager and she indicated none were there and she had no phone number for the corporate office. I can only email.
She finally told me to change the order # from the original # to the replacement order number so UPS would pick the order up from me. I placed the original USPS label in the box with both numbers on it. I told her I would place a note in the box so the receiver would know that the order number was changed per her instructions. So here I am on Jan. 2, still waiting for the package to be picked up.
I told them I didn't want another email asking whether my problem has been solved. I want to talk with someone who has the authority to fix this problem. Not only did I use my valuable time sitting home and at least two hours on the phone (over several days) but then Amber ** told me I was given the incorrect info from the Jamaica call center. Am I frustrated you bet. I order from at least five other companies online and no one had the poor service or delivery that Target had. I would think with today's economy, their efforts to satisfying a customer would be foremost in their mind.
Called Target corporate 12/02/09, spoke with Kevin Target located in Minn. Transferred to his supervisor Merissa in Minn. She stated point blank that Target Corp. can be of no help to me. Not sure what to do from here. The best I can do is alert others to the poor service at Target.com and let them know that Corporate Target does not do anything to help.
TORRANCE, CALIFORNIA -- My daughter got an IPOD Shuffle for Christmas from a Secret Santa. She already had one so I wanted to EXCHANGE it for other items. Not knowing where it was purchased I first went to Best Buy and they told me they would be willing to give me an in-store credit but, from scanning it in their system, they could tell it wasn't from their store. I was on my way to the Apple store for something else so I thought I would try them. They told me that it wasn't purchased from Apple but that it was purchased from Target.
So I went to Target to exchange it. (I had been to Target twice earlier that day to purchase other stuff including a DVD player.) I went to the return counter and told them my story and that I just wanted an in-store credit as I already had items picked out. (I want to mention that this was a SEALED IPOD, never been opened.) They didn't even scan it to see if it was theirs. They just said that without a receipt they couldn't do anything for me.
I asked to speak to the manager. (There was another customer who also wanted return something and they told her that they could only do it up to $39 as a courtesy. She said that although her item was more she would take the $39. They still said NO.)
The Manager just told me the same. It said that it was the day after Christmas and all the other stores had some policy of return different for the holiday. He said they didn't and that I should go back to the giver and get a gift receipt. We, the other person with the return and I, said that that was not proper. He told us that social ethics have changed and to get a receipt and there was nothing he could do. THAT WAS POLICY. I then left but before I did I returned all the items I had purchased that day (including the DVD PLAYER) and informed them that I would not shop there again. He said, "OK."
I then called customer service and just know I got someone in India. They sounded so helpful even repeated my concern, "So you have an IPOD Shuffle that you got for Christmas that is still sealed and want to return it?" This sounded promising. She had an upbeat voice and seemed concerned. I said, "Yes, but I just want to be able to exchange it for other products." She said (very cheerfully I have to add), "I'm afraid without a receipt you can't return or exchange it."
I then asked to speak to her supervisor. She gave me to her and I told her the story. She repeated it back to me. Again had my hopes up only to have them shattered once again with the same song and dance. I asked to speak to her supervisor and she told me to call back during business hours and gave me a case number. On Monday I called back and gave my case number and they transferred me to a supervisor, no longer in India as the accent had changed.
She did the same thing, even went further to ask me the ICD number on the IPOD, and again sounding hopeful she shot me down. I asked for her supervisor and got KEN. Before I told him anything I asked did he have any power to help me, he said NO. But he did tell me that he was the last supervisor I could talk to. I told him that for this $80 item he was going to lose my business (I spend about 85% of my non-grocery shopping at Target) and that of at least 8 others of my family and friends. He said that was too bad and have a nice day.
So now what: I have a new IPOD that I can't return or exchange, an upset daughter. (She just wanted some DVD's.) Target has one very upset consumer who always thought that success of a store was built on the foundation that "the customer is always right" and by the time I reach a supervisor (much less 3!!!) that some action would be done. So I am asking all of you, the consumers, to speak up, before you have NO voice, and DO not shop at Target. Let us Target this Scrooge…
SARATOGA SPRINGS, NEW YORK -- I have noticed a serious problem at the Target chain of stores. I am a handicapped person and often use the mart carts at whatever store I am shopping at so as to not have to deal with things like slippery floors, items dropped on floors, other shoppers and their kids, and to spare my remaining leg from too much strain. I live in upstate New York and there are several Targets nearby.
I was shopping in the Glens Falls store last winter (when my artificial leg was being made and I had no leg to stand on) and when it came time to leave - after I had spent my money in their store, I was going back to my car and was followed and screamed at by a target security guard. He told me that I could not drive the mart cart to my car. I informed him that I was handicapped and needed to drive the cart back to my car just as it had been driven out to allow me to get into it earlier, when no one had paid any attention.
I was screamed at and followed to the door. My daughter who had gotten the cart for me was at the car and could hear the guy screaming. He stopped at the door and I went to the car and left. I wrote this off as a weird guy trying to be tough. Then this summer I again was at a Target, this time in Colonie, New York. Again my daughter got a cart and brought it to the car. Again we shopped and again as we were leaving (on a clear dry day) we were accosted by several target employees who were standing around the entrance smoking and told we could not take the cart to the car.
As I could not juggle our packages (in the cart basket) and my daughter was dealing with a diaper emergency I told them that we would return the cart as soon as I was done with it. We were at the car and they were still screaming at us, and one was pointing to her friends and laughing at me. I remembered that the receipt had the number for the store on it and I called.
I was told that the first person I spoke to was the store manager. She seemed sympathetic but then for some reason decided that she was not the store manager and passed me on. The person I now spoke to was totally un-caring about the treatment I had received and declined to do anything although I asked to her to have someone come to the parking lot. I had to go to a doctor's appointment and could not wait any longer and left.
This past week I needed to do some further shopping and went to the Saratoga Springs store. Again my daughter went into the store to get a cart. She was told that she could not have a cart. That she was not to take one to allow me to shop. She managed to convince the "store manager" that she really was going to get a handicapped person from the car and she was escorted by the cart boy to the handicapped area of the parking lot and allowed to let me use the cart.
When I went into the store my daughter told me about this bizarre behavior. She pointed out the cart boy to me and I asked him what the problem was. He could not tell me and I told him that anytime he wanted to try to walk on a fake leg he was welcome to borrow mine. A few minutes later my daughter pointed out to me the "store manager". I got her attention and asked her what the problem was. She was very insistent that we not discuss this out in the "public" area of the store - wanted to hide somewhere out of the eye and ear of the shoppers. I refused. She finally admitted that she was not the store manager and I demanded to see the actual manager.
Another woman showed up with a young man. I was told several different stories about why I could not use the cart. One story was that they were not allowed to have the carts go beyond the handicapped spaces - I do not know why this would be an issue but I have many times needed to park somewhere other than the handicapped spaces and still needed to use a cart.
Another story was that they will not let the cart out but they will come out and get the handicapped person and get them into the store and put them into the cart. I asked what their medical expertise was and if they were physical therapists. I was told that the first alleged "store manager" had at one time worked in a hospital. I told her that now she worked at target and her medical expertise was suspect at best. I declined to have them attempt to get me out of the cart.
I was then told by the young man - some sort of "security" - that the reason I could not use the cart was that "target does not own the parking lot". Huh??? I was getting a bit sick of these morons so I told my daughter - who had needed stuff from target - that I was going to leave. I was offered the "corporate guest relations" number which never arrived. I was then escorted out of the store by the security boy and the "store manager".
Needless to say this was more than a bit embarrassing. The cart was snatched from under me in the parking lot and the security person attempted to pick it up. As he weighed about 79 pounds he was unsuccessful at this and dropped the front end narrowly missing my car. He then picked up the front end and dragged it back across the parking lot - which it had successfully crossed with me on it mere moments before.
When I got home I called target corporate numbers and discovered that all target employees seem to have been educated at the same school. Very rude and I was told that they provide the carts as a service and they really don't care how you get into their store but you are not allowed to use the carts unless you are already in the store. I asked repeatedly how you were supposed to get into their store if you are handicapped. Presumably if you have some way to get into the store you would use that method to get around in the store. If you have no other way to get in and around, you would use their cart.
I asked point blank how this person would get from the car to the store and I was told my call was no longer of interest to her! I was then passed to a "supervisor" and the call was from the same script. I asked for his supervisor and I was told that "Allison" was her name but that she does not speak to the public. Hmmm - a customer service representative that refuses to speak to the customers??? And none of these people were at all interested in taking a name etc.
I will follow up on this on Monday as I have found some more corp numbers etc. but I would be interested in knowing if anyone else has had or knows of similar target problems. And to those crabby people who will comment that if I am handicapped I must provide at all times some means of self transport. I have a wheelchair, and a motorized scooter.
Neither of which I can get out of the car by myself and the two people I travel with - my husband and my adult daughter - both have serious shoulder injuries that preclude them at times from being able to drag or lift or push things especially with me in them. And unless my two year old granddaughter is stronger than she looks, I am stuck. I hope people understand that this is not about me but about the treatment a store sees fit to extend to it's allegedly valued customers.
ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO -- My husband and I increased our shopping at Target because we no longer wanted to give Wal-Mart our money. In the past 8 months we have easily spend at least $2,300 which is a lot for our family and we were happy to spend it at Target opposed to other stores. On May 9th, 2008 we purchased several items from Target. The main purchase was a Kodak EasyShare M893 IS Digital camera. This was a special purchase for me because it was my mother's day present. Off and on we have had some small problems with the camera but not huge ones. Then on the 3rd of August it stopped working.
I had the box and all the inclusions but did not have the receipt. I took the product back to Target to be informed that I didn't buy the product from their store. I explained to the associate that I did buy it from Target but at the location closer to my husband's office. They told me that it showed up as a silver camera (mine is orchid) and that it wasn't registering on my visa or on my blank check. I then remembered that my husband paid the bill for it and returned 2 days later with his visa card. Again I was told that it wasn't from there but they then decided it was but couldn't find a record of it being on his card.
They told me I could go to the location I bought it from and they would check their report from the day I purchased it and it would show up. I did as they told me and went to the location I purchased it from and had the same problem. They said it was from there but was not registering on the computer. I asked for a supervisor and a young man showed up and said he would look on the report for it.
He came back and said that he didn't find any indication it was sold then. I explained to him that I had the purchase on my bank statement and asked him if he wanted me to find out the exact amount and he said that if I did that they would be able to find it. I called my husband and he gave me in info so I wouldn't have to leave the store.
Then I called my bank to find out the exact date of purchase (5/9/08) and the date it showed on my statement (5/12/08). I returned to the customer service counter and was informed that the supervisor left (he told me he was going to do the research). She then asked for another supervisor and a young boy showed up. I again explained to him my situation and he said he would look up the info, but not before he stopped to chat it up with another young boy.
Then after several minutes he informed me that on the 12th there was not an amount equal to what I had stated. I asked him why he didn't look at the 9th like I requested and he said "You want me to look at the 9th too?" which I again told him what the date of purchase was and he left only to return in a few minutes to tell me there was not a purchase amount like mine and that they couldn't do anything. I then asked for his supervisor but of course she wasn't there and he told me she had the same policy.
Once home I called the Target hotline only to get a foreign person on the phone. I again explained my story only to be told that they were sorry for my disappointment but that she couldn't help me. When I asked her why my amount was on my bank statement but why not on their computer she again told me she was sorry about my disappointment. After several more comments like that I then asked for her supervisor. She then transferred me to another representative who again told me she was sorry for my disappointment but that policy is policy.
Frustrated I hung up and spent the rest of the night trying to decide if I will ever shop at Target again. It is also worth mentioning that my camera was just one in a long list of products I have purchased from Target only to have had to return or be disappointed with. I am not sure why this company would rather lose a customer that is likely to spend 7 to 10% of their yearly income at their store than to replace a $160.00 dollar camera? I am so DISAPPOINTED in their customer service that I think it will be a long while before I can return to their store.
HIGHTSTOWN, NEW JERSEY -- I have read many of the previous reviews and cannot believe that Target is still so pathetic. I bought two water bottles (from their 2008 spring seasonal line) with cash. I loved these water bottles cause they had a straw and an ice stick built in. I loved them so much I threw my receipt away on my way out of Target. I didn't even take a bag. I realized when I got home that one was missing a straw. I loved them so much, I didn't care. Would just switch straws. I used them each once and washed them and realized that the ring around inside of cap fell out and would not go back in making the water bottle leak. They were obviously defective.
I took them back to the Target in Hightstown, New Jersey and could not believe the rudeness. The man at the return desk was trying to get me to go and find new ones so he could get a tag. I was refusing, telling him I didn't know where they were and he just kept saying he didn't either. We found new bottles and he asked for my license. I refused cause I did not want him to use my two returns for the year with this defective return. He told me there is no other way to do it.
I asked for a manager. She wouldn't budge either. I told her that I couldn't believe Target would not stand behind their product and making me keep two defective products that mind you were $4.99 Each. I told them I would not leave and wanted to talk to someone else who would help me. She refused anyone else and stood her ground. As if she was proud of winning this battle with me.
I finally left after speaking to someone else on the phone and went home and called another Target in Burlington, New Jersy who agreed so nicely to take my bottles back. I then called the other Target back and spoke to the same manager and told her that it is a shame that she seemed to be so satisfied and happy with her victory as if it was a game that she was going to win. She in so many words told me I was right. What I got from her is that Target managers can do returns for us, but choose not to cause of policy that can be broken if they cared at all about their customers.
Target can have a policy, but there should be situations when policy should be broken. Definitely if the product was defective. And forget registries - that is ridiculous. I hope nobody ever registers at Target again. They shouldn't even have their policy affect registries. Should be entirely different. If you're ever in Burlington, New Jersey I know there is one good Target left out there with very good customer service. Everyone seems so pleasant and helpful. I will only be shopping there from now on. I hate Target's return policy. They suck!!! And their employees are rude!!!
FRESNO, CALIFORNIA -- I just have to state that over the years, I really liked Target and only on rare occasions have I had to return items. In August 2007, I had purchased a Huffy bike and a helmet for my son for his 8th birthday. Two weeks later I had to return the bike due to there being a loud noise that would occur when my son would ride his new bike. He rode the bike once. I had my receipt and attempted to return the bike to the Target located at 3173 E Shields Avenue, Fresno CA.
The store's assistant manager did not want to make the return and then I pointed out the defect and showed my receipt. The store manager was then called and I was told by him Mr. Tim ** that Target had the right to repair the bike at their cost. I was reluctant but at that point I didn't feel like I had any recourse and I just wanted a bike for my son to enjoy. I then asked when could I be back later on that day to pick up the bike. I was then told that the person that fixes the bikes would not be in until next week on Tuesday.
It was Friday and I was crushed as I had wanted to go bicycling with my son on the weekend. I then agreed, still rather dismayed at my inconvenience. I submitted my name and phone number (cell) in order for the store to call me when it was completed. That Tuesday came and went so I went to the store on that Wednesday, since I was in that area. I gave them my receipt and the fix it/service ticket. The store staff could not locate the bike!! I started to become very upset, then the bike was located.
The store manager then told me that the bike was still making the loud noise and he offered me store credit. I asked if there was another bike exactly like that one in the store. The store manager indicated that there was not. At that time I then stated that I had been patient and followed all of the "store policy" protocol and now I have wasted my time, efforts and my gas. I then insisted on a cash refund at that point. The store manager sighed and then refunded my money.
I was perplexed by this interaction for a refund that took a week to get and I was very upset because I had felt like I was victimized for having purchased a defective product. I had told myself that I would never be treated like that again by a retailer. I then went to Walmart and purchased a beautiful electric green Next Bike for my son who was very pleased. I had completely sworn off Target Stores for good and I kept this vow for over 8 months.
Now, when I would shop at Target, I would usually drop about $100-$200 per month at that store. So I felt like taking my business and consumer dollars elsewhere was for the best until. On 5-10-08, I attempted to return a Maybelline Mascara that I had purchased at Target on 5-6-08. It was opened and I always buy this particular mascara. However on this occasion, the mascara appeared to defective. It was very clumpy and unusable. The item was only a mere $6.29 and my total purchase was 68.15 (with taxes) for my other items. I paid in cash.
I was very dismayed at my experience as the return clerk stated that the package was open and therefore could not be returned. I explained that I was a very good customer and noticed that the formulation was somewhat different and that I could not use the mascara. I had my receipt to indicate that I had just purchased the questionable item. The clerk then informed me that Target cannot accept opened items. I asked if that was the case even if the product appeared defective. The clerk indicated that was "the company policy". I then asked to speak to a manager.
"Carlos" came to the register and repeated the same rhetoric. The manager then proceeded to show me on the back of the register receipt that states, "All returns & exchanges must new, unused, and have original packaging and accessories. SOME items cannot be returned if opened." I wondered why the return policy was so vague and I questioned them about the defective merchandise that they were obviously selling. After all was said and done, I was NOT granted my return for a meager $6.29.
I am very unhappy at my experiences with Target and I very repulsed at the fact that on these two return incidents I was felt like I had to defend my rights as a consumer. I actually felt criminalized and by all means, I am pretty squeaky clean. I am a public servant (social worker), mother of three children, graduate student, and by all means a very law-abiding citizen.
I am surprised about how poorly Target treats it's consumers. Is Target perhaps doing some racial profiling? I know that sounds extreme but their reactions to my minor returns seems preposterous and extreme. I really wish Target the best of luck, since as a consumer I am now afraid to shop at TARGET because that I may be held liable if a product which they sell for profit is defective then the burden is placed on me to live with it and not even feel as if I can return it. This is a poor practice and customer service has fallen to the waste side for this company.
WOODLAND HILLS, CALIFORNIA -- In approximately February of 2007 (it's taken me over a year to talk about this experience), I was shopping at Target as I normally did. I used to spend $700 per year at Target; it was my regular place for household supplies. This one day I noticed that I kept bumping into another customer -- a well-dressed young man that did not have a cart but was talking on a cell phone. I figured his significant other must be shopping in another aisle. I continued to see him, aisle after aisle, and noticed that there was no significant other. I just chalked it up to strange.
However, when I got to the cash register, there he was again, 10 feet in front of the cash register, talking on his cell phone in a voice loud enough for me and everyone else in line to hear. He was saying things like, "It's definitely her, the coat, the purse... She's at the cash register now." I couldn't believe what I was hearing, and stared at him as I paid. I looked back at the 5 women in line behind me, wondering if any of them looked like an obvious thief. No one did, and they were looking back at me!
And I was looking at the cashier, and she was looking at me -- I really wish I had simply confronted the guy at the time, but I wasn't certain he was talking about me -- and since in my 40 years of shopping, I've never had a similar experience, it just didn't fully register that I had been followed and humiliated as though I were a thief. (Of course, there was no accusation, since there was nothing to base it on besides a profile!)
Several months later, I saw a report on the television news that Target has "state of the art" surveillance and works closely with the police, FBI, etc. Not so state-of-the-art, people. I am average height, average weight, average hair color and style, average aged, black pea coat, jeans, black purse. Was that really the extent of the profile and the basis on which I was treated this way? And have they really communicated my profile to local and national law enforcement on this basis? Or are they telling law enforcement "she's here, come quickly, the one you're looking for -- the lady with the black coat and purse"?
Since that experience, I have been afraid to return to Target. I shop elsewhere, or send my significant other in my place. What if I am falsely accused or investigated, or what if my "profile" has been entered into some national law enforcement database, for no other reason than I shop at Target? I have a career in banking; the FBI already has my fingerprints. I worry that even a smear on my FBI record could make me unemployable.
My significant other encouraged me a year ago to return to the store with him, and go meet the manager and talk this out. I wasn't up for that, but I did agree to return with him and see if I would be followed again. It gave no comfort: the profile would be of a woman shopping alone.
I have returned to Target alone maybe twice. I used to love to browse there, but now I'm looking over my shoulder and asking myself if I look like a thief, and I'm wondering where the guy with the cell phone is. My guess is that he was a French management trainee (he had a European accent) trying to earn his security merit badge so he could complete his rotation. He was far too well-dressed and European to be a regular store security guard in Los Angeles.
Today (April 2008) I finally screwed up the courage to go into Target and ask to speak to the manager, to share my experience face to face. It was Saturday morning, and I was told that there is no top manager at all, the top security manager will be in Monday but has no regular hours, and there are 5 managers who could be called store managers, but none of them supervises Security. The store manager I met looked to be less than 30 -- I would be shocked if she was in charge of a multi-million dollar store.
Customer Service suggested I call "Guest Relations" at an 800 number. Really? Guest Relations? Like Disneyland? I think I need "CSI" or "Criminal Minds". I thought about sharing my story with the local newspaper, but realized that Target is probably a major advertiser for them, and they won't want to disturb that relationship. I would love to share my complaint with ten other people, but to be honest, this is such an unheard of experience among the people I know, that no one would believe it, or they'd ask if something about my clothing might have made it look like I was stealing. This only adds to the bad feeling.
Today, as I summarized for Customer Service why I wanted to see the store manager, my voice was shaking as though I were about to give a public speech. This thing still really upsets me. So here's the kicker: this week Target sent my (male) significant other a $25 gift card. I asked why, and he said, "because I used my credit card there". "Really? You used your credit card there? Wow, I must have done that 400 times over the past 20 years. I guess my gift card's going to be REALLY BIG when it gets here, especially since they need to thank me for referring you."
What can I conclude but -- either Target likes him a whole lot better than me, or maybe Target has lost so many of its core customers that it needs to purchase relationships with new ones. Watch your same store sales Target. When your top store manager is actually your security manager, and your employees know more about profiling customers than the features, benefits, or location of the merchandise – what are you saying about your store's “guests” and the principal activity of your business?