Monday, August 4, 2008

Why Target is the devil

This is for all the ladies I have met online that have been through what I have been through. Target has stolen from me. Lied to me, and insulted me. The people at the returns counter in the store could not even help me. They had to call New Delhi, India to be told how to use their computer system. The customer service rep at the returns desk did not even want to talk to me she made me get on the phone with the man from India who spoke to me in broken English and changed his reason for not giving me back my money repeatedly.

I have asked my friends from message boards to share their stories too. They are going to share the letters they wrote and their stories of what they went through. Hopefully this blog will help other people choose not to register at Target for weddings and babies and save themselves the money, time, and energy since Target does not care to help me I feel the need to help others.

Dear Target,

I only registered with you for 5 things for my baby shower. I learned on message boards why I should not register with you. Well they were all right.

I returned my highchair to a target in Brandywine and they returned it at $24.98. They said that is what the person paid for it off the registry……well that was a lie. The person paid $99.99 for it. I went to their house and got the receipt after your returns people lied to me. So then I call your store closer to me in Aberdeen and they say they will help me with it and were super nice on the phone….the 2nd time, the first time they had hung up on me. Well I go there with the CUSTOMER RECIEPT THIS TIME NOT THE GIFT RECEIPT THE ONE WITH $99.99 and they make me stand at the returns while they call New Delhi, India. The person from India yelled at me, said I had to drive to a different store (Brandywine and asked them why they lied to me) he also said that I was lying and my Step Mom paid $24.98…..she didn't I had the receipt in my hand. The registry now reflects $24.98 because that is what the girl who returned it at the Brandywine store did she returned it at the clearance price. He kept contradicting himself. Lincoln was his fake India name he said they would not give me the difference, would not give me a last name, location, or ID number. When I asked for a manager he said he was the highest up, I really do not think this was the case. I talked to the store manager at Aberdeen, MD store she wanted to give me the right amount of money but could not figure out how to on the computer that is why she had called New Delhi. So then her mother came in and they went to the back of the store. When I got done on the phone with the man from India she wouldn't come back up to finish helping me. I stood there 20 more minutes and left. You have wasted my time and money. Your customer service is by far the worst I have ever experienced. I have worked in customer service and I have to say I would never treat a customer this way.

Your store took $75.01 from me. They lied to me, yelled at me, treated me like crap, and made me upset. Having a baby is a very expensive time. That amount of money is a lot of money to a new mom. I wish my family would have never shopped at your store. I used to love your store. I am now going to tell everyone I meet, everyone on the baby forums, anyone that will listen not to use your registry service. I cannot believe your own store manager could not issue a gift card for the $75.01 when she wanted too. What kind of customer service is that? She wants to fix the error and she can't? I hope your store feels good about taking a high chair back from an expectant mom and stealing her $75.01 dollars. I will never shop at your store again and I will tell everyone I meet not to use your registry service.

I wrote you letters, called you, and went to two of your stores. I am tried to give you a chance to fix this. But since you did not take them I decided to share my story.

Consumer in MD


Anonymous said...

I just found your link through a BOTB.
Anyhow, a trick I learned doing my wedding resgitry was to go online and manage my registry and add any items that I received that were not on my registry. You are then able to mark the item fulfilled or not. They then will allow you to take back items that were listed as purchased on your registry.
They may not work this way anymore, but they did a year and a half ago. It is at least worth a shot.

Robyn said...

Found your blog via BOTB and I was wondering if you have considered emailing the Consumerist about your situation. They love stories like yours!

Target is the Devil said...

I wil email them for sure!

Anonymous said...

Wow, I just read that blog. No returns over $20...WTH?! Target is the devil LOL.

I personally will probably only register at BRU and just put a ton of stuff on there from all price ranges. For our wedding we only registered at BBB and we still got Gift Cards for other stores, which still came in handy and we were grateful for. If someone really doesn't want to go to BRU, they will find and alternative most generally.

Anonymous said...

Anyone can shop online at BRU and have it shipped... or if they don't want to pay for shipping then they can have it held at the nearest BRU to the mommy-to-be and she can pick it up. Or, there is always a BRU gift card.

There are ways around the travel problem. There is no way around Target's horrible return policy!

Anonymous said...

Do not, for the love of God, register at Target!!

Anonymous said...

I love Target but their return policy is atrocious and completely screws their customers.

Anonymous said...

I do not love their only customer service in India.

Anonymous said...

I also dislike Target. I missed your original Target rant but we received two crock pots (one from our registry at Target and one from a different store we did not register for) well the one that was not from Target was much much better so we decided to return the Target one.

We did indeed have a gift receipt but since the person who bought it for us purchased it with a credit card they could not give us credit for the crock pot with out the credit card number it was purchased on. WTF?! What is the point of a gift receipt then? I fought with the clerk and her manager for almost an hour. They kept just telling me to contact the person the gift was from and get their credit card number. I finally said screw it and kept it. I will use it later on or can always re-gift it.

Anonymous said...

I love Target, but I don't understand the logic of these policies. How can they possibly deny a return if you have a gift receipt? That makes no sense whatsoever. I thought she just had an isolated incident, but obviously it's not after hearing others stories. I'm glad my town is getting a Babies R Us. I think I will register there instead of Target when we get pregnant. That's just so ridiculous. I'm sure BRU has its own issues, but it can't be this bad!

Target is the Devil said...

Nope even with the new policy BRU has been wonderful! There are more stories all over the internet like this one. Target is insane the problem stems from the fact their customer service is not on this continent. My real registry was at BRU and they have been 100% wonderful to me.

Anonymous said...

Man, this so sucks! I definitely won't be registering at Target, even though I absolutely love their stuff.

Anonymous said...

I don't get it. Didn't you have the actual receipt showing that the highchair was bought for $99?

Why does it seem their response alludes to you not having the receipt?

Target is the Devil said...

I did have the receipt. The response doesn't make any sense and neither did the people on the phones response. The customer service people wanted to give me the 99.99 back and they had no way of doing it because the people in India would not override the computer to let them do it.

Karen Anne said...

I found you from Consumerist. Thanks for the warning, I have shopped at Target a few times, but will never shop there again.

Aaron said...

I have shopped at target for almost a decade and have never once had a problem returning anything. Sometimes I didn't even have a receipt, just a credit card. Your situation sucks but this isn't true for all targets, at least not the ones I frequent in the Cincinnati area.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry to hear about your experience at Target. I have shopped a lot in Target since last 5 years. And I also had items to be returned (without original receipts). I never had any issue with their customer care. They are always nice whether on phone or in person. I guess I was lucky all these years.

John Doe said...

I've been bashing Tarbutt for 2 1/2 years and even got sued by them, but the case was tossed out July 16, 08 by the Federal Judge. You can see my blog at: send me your address and get a post card back, or just look at the front of it online at the above site.
J. Doe

Anonymous said...

All this $20 limit talk is only for people who don't have receipts, not for people who do. Yes, they are limited to two receiptless returns a year, but that's only per driver's license, which means a married couple could return 4 items under $20 without a receipt every year. And if you bought it using a credit card, Target can look up that purchase with the credit card or the number of said credit card. That's the only reason why they ask for that. As for the registry things that change, items are registered by their DPCI, a code that is internal to target. When you register for an item that changes frequently, such as bedding, decorations, and clothing, a DPCI could start to be associated with a similar, but not exact product. Consumer demand changes frequently, and Target tries to keep up with it by constantly changing the merchandise in the store. So, yes, it is very hard to keep a registry current. It's just how the store operates. It's true smaller stores and other stores whose merchandise doesn't change as much would have a more steady registry. Mistakes do happen, and it's a pity this situation wasn't resolved as it should have been. I think the real devil here is bureaucracy, and Target hates it just like everyone else does. Also, as a closing note, clearance and other such price adjustments are handled on a store-by-store basis, so the price at one Target may not be the same price you see at other Targets, same goes for online sales and stores.

FreakyFishDavid said...

I understand your pain... I did not use the registry or anything this was just a simple Target purchase of a jacket, which when I bought it, it was $24.99.. Well.. I took the jacket home and realized there was a tear in the fabric on the sleeve! So the very next afternoon with my receipt I took it back to the same store to find that it "miraculously" was marked down from $24.99 to $5.99 for some end of winter clearance, however this was like mid-October... not even full blown Winter yet! After arguing with them to just get a replacement, despite the fact that I over-paid the day before, they didn't have one and would only honor a refund in cash at the current marked down price or give me a gift card for the same value including tax i would have paid for it at the second day's price... it was complete and utter crap! So trust me I feel your pain and all I can say is Wal-Mart FTW!

Thank You! Love the blog!

Anonymous said...

I will tell you that I use to work at target and we were told try to deny all returns without receipts. SInce It will go against the sr managers bonuses.

JK said...

An open letter to:

Mr. Gregg Steinhafel, CEO
Target Corporation
1000 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Dear Mr. Steinhafel,

At Target, I bought a TruTech 17” combination flat screen TV with a built in DVD player. It stopped working after less than a year.
I was surprised to learn the Target store was unwilling to stand behind its product after 90 days.
I realize that I could have paid extra for an additional warrantee. But I’d like to suggest something that may sound quaint and old fashioned. There was a time when businesses stood behind their products as a matter of course, even if it didn’t mean an extra twenty bucks. I believe they did this for three reasons. First, it bred customer loyalty. (My family, in fact, once had some loyalty to Target; we paid for the defective TV with a Target affiliated credit card.) Second, businesses could do this because they sold high quality products. It was easy to have confidence in them. Third, standing behind their products was the right thing to do.
These values may be from another era, but I suggest they are values which, if adopted, would benefit Target in the long run.
I have spent hours on the phone talking to Target representatives from Minnesota to India. With only one exception, every Target person was sympathetic and courteous. But no one was willing to fix the problem. All felt (or at least told me) that they did not have the authority to make things right. Several people told me that no one in the company had the authority to override the 90 day policy. One telephone operator said that even the corporate CEO did not have the authority to fix this. That’s hard to believe.
I was favorably impressed with the local Target manager, John Gorczyk, in Concord, NH. He was patient and persistent, but he ended up being led to the same dead end roads I had already been sent down.
Friendly, competent employees who understand the problem and want to fix it are forbidden to do so? Why would any business have a policy like that?
Instead, they said it was the manufacturer’s problem.
Then I did some internet research. In just seconds, I made several discoveries. One, many customers have reported this problem. Two, Target knew this product was shoddy when they sold it to me. Three, for all practical purposes, TruTech IS Target. When Target employees brushed me off and sent me to the manufacturer, that was little more than misdirection. TruTech is a private label brand. In other words, they work for Target and Target is responsible for their products.
The problem, the responsibility, and the opportunity for a convenient fix all belong to the Target store. Shuffling me off to the manufacturer is not a solution. Internet message boards warn that the repair service may be as poor as the product. And there is a prohibitive price for shipping and service, more than 30% of the cost of the TV when new. More costly are the long wait and the inconvenience. The Target store could have fixed this in less than 5 minutes. They refused. Even if I do pay a bundle for the manufacturer to fix this, that will not undo the lousy impression I now have of Target.
Target management would be well served to read the internet comments from their many angry customers. Start with When I first read the concerns I assumed that the writers need only give Target a chance to correct things. Now I’ve learned first-hand how time consuming, frustrating, and ineffective that is.
Unless the local Target store replaces the defective TV with a working TV at no additional expense to me, I will soon change my focus. Instead of asking Target to solve the problem, I will start warning other customers about Target’s shoddy products and practices.

Anonymous said...

I just read this whole thing and I am fuming! I had some similar dealings with Target....over bathroom towels of all things....and I do NOT plan on registering with them for my baby things. I used to be a loyal Target shopper, and I can honestly say that since my wedding registry fiasco I have barely even shopped there! I am so sorry for this crap!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Our wedding registry did not go as well at Target than at Bed Bath and Beyond. But wee tried to use Target for our Baby registry when we found out we were having a boy. We registered for bedding, some onesies, and a few other things (but I did not register for clothing). Then over half of the items on our registry were no longer in stock or not offered online or limited availability. So I just deleted (actually 'emptied') all of the items on my registry and put a note saying we were having problems with Target. Hopefully that helps. I don't have time to deal with returning things so we just told people we would be grateful for anything we would get. So basically I gave up on Target.