24 March 2013

My Target Experience

I know I've been pretty quiet on here for over a year.  I've been doing a lot of thinking about what I want this blog to look like, and in that time I've been SO quiet that I've also had SO much to say that it got to a point where I didn't know where to start.

Well, after yesterday, I figured I'd just dive right in.  Yesterday's experience was so awful, it needs to be discussed.  Earlier today, I emailed this to Target's Guest Relation department.  Of course, I signed my full name.



I just called and spoke to Guest Relations about the case 3-873994826 (incidentally, he gave me the wrong email address for contacting you, and I had to look it up online).

As I told the gentleman I spoke to, I have shopped at Target my entire adult life, but after yesterday's experience, I am not sure when I will be shopping at Target again, if ever.

I went to Target to buy a microwave, which turned into a major ordeal.  The microwave I bought was a Sharp Carousel.  It was over a price label which read "Sharp Microwave 99.99."  My friend and I loaded it into the cart, selected a few other items, and then checked out.  However, the total seemed too high, so I questioned it.  The microwave rang up as $159.99.  The cashier asked someone over, and a woman named Nic called back for someone in small electronics to do a price check on the microwave.  In a short amount of time, she confirmed that the price was $159.99.  We explained that the microwave we bought was over a price tag that read $99.99.  She said that she could have someone walk us back and if they confirmed it, they would honour that price.

Although my friend is visibly pregnant and I am disabled (I use a cane), and I didn't really want to walk all the way back, I agreed to walk back to the microwave aisle.  The woman who walked back with us agreed with us that the only "Sharp microwave" tag read $99.99 and she walked back with us to the front and told Nic the same thing.  Nic then told us that she is only authorised to give a customer $50.00 back, so she would have to escalate this to her manager.

Her manager (Oduda or Odadu) came over and said that she could not do anything for us; the price is $159.99 and that was final.  My friend and I were taken aback because this was a complete reversal of everything we had been told thus far.  My friend asked if we could at least show her what we were talking about.  So, once again, we then had to walk all the way back to the back of the store because of the store's inconsistency.  The manager told us at that point that the store can't be held responsible for a customer taking the microwave from where it belonged and putting it in the wrong place.  I totally understand this.  If a customer takes a product and recovers it improperly, I understand the store not being held responsible for that.  My friend then pointed out that there were NO tags in that aisle that read $159.99.

The manager said that microwaves aren't only in that aisle.  She said it could be on an endcap, it could be on a sale aisle, it could be anywhere.  So we asked her to show us where the microwave was SUPPOSED to be.  She said she would do that.  She looked it up on her handheld device, and then said, "Oh, actually we show that we have negative one in the store."  She then explained to us that meant that a customer had either purchased the microwaved online or at a different store and then returned it to this store.  She then repeated that she can't be held responsible for that customer putting the microwave back in the wrong place.  I pointed out that the customer returning the item wouldn't have put the item back -- an employee would have.  No customer who returns an item to a store puts it back on the aisle.  So the store still would be at fault for placing an item in the aisle above the wrong tag -- one that's $60 less than what it actually is.  This is simply a deceiving practice, and one that consumers shouldn't have to put up with.

The manager then tried to tell us that it was possible a customer selected the microwave and then wasn't sure if they wanted it until a couple of days later, leading my friend to ask, "So you're saying that a customer carried the microwave around for two or three days before they put it back right above this tag that says 'Sharp Microwave 99.99?"

As you can see, the entire exchange was completely frustrating, ludicrous, and fraught with untruths.  She finally said that the bottom line was that there was no way she could discount a product by $60.00.  I asked her what she COULD do, and she said she could give me a discount of 20%, which I accepted because I was in paid by that time.  However, I maintain that the $99.99 price should have honoured as that was the price that was given in the aisle.  It is simply impossible that an employee verified the price in the aisle as Nic told us.  An employee verified that that only "Sharp microwave" price tag in the aisle stated "99.99;" we were told that the price would be honoured once we were walked back with an employee and it was verified together (and it was), and this did not happen; and the manager told us stories that simply could not be true.

All in all, this experience was overwhelmingly the worst customer experience I have ever had in any Target.  It makes me wonder about the pricing integrity of Target and about Target's policies in dealing with customers as there was very little consistency (if any) between the two managers I spoke to.  Since yesterday, I have posted about this experience in various social media platforms, and I hope that I can will be able to post a positive follow-up story after discussing this with Guest Relations.