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Target Misses the Bullseye in Customer Service

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Returning something at Target after having purchased it during Black Friday is not as easy as you’d think. The Target in Williamsburg, Virginia made Black Friday shopping an experience I will never forget.

My daughter purchased a pair of sweatpants and paid cash. The male cashier told her the total was $24.14. She gave him $25.14 in cash. He closed the drawer. She indicated that he owed her one dollar. He looked at the receipt and gave her one dollar back. He was mumbling that his drawer would be short. She told him, having worked retail before, that it would not be short since the correct amount was listed on the receipt. That concept was apparently beyond his comprehension. After she left the store, he apparently voided out her sale. No one knows why.

She returned the following morning and was told by a harried manager that “The computers haven’t caught up yet, you can’t return them now. Try back later.” This same manager also told another customer to “Shut up.” My daughter tried again to return the sweatpants later that day and was told that the sale had been voided. My daughter showed her the receipt and the pants and asked for cash back. The manager indicated that the cashier had rung it up incorrectly (meaning he had voided the sale) and therefore my daughter was not eligible to have cash back since there was no record of the sale.

She got a refund onto a Target card. My daughter was upset because there is no Target near her college and she does not like to shop there. Nevertheless, she asked the manager to please speak with the employee about his error. The manager’s response was that there is “no way to identify” who rang up the initial sale. Anyone who works retail knows that the cashier’s number is right on the receipt.

Not only did my daughter have to pay for someone else’s error, the manager denied Target’s culpability in the error and refused to even acknowledge that the employee in question should have his error discussed with him.

I ended up buying the Target card from my daughter so she could return to school. But I don’t nomrally shop at Target either since it is far from my home. I called the store twice and was told that the manager would call me back. No one called.

Online reviews of Target reveal poor customer service. Target’s mission statement is “to make Target the preferred shopping destination for our guests by delivering outstanding value, continuous innovation and an exceptional guest experience by consistently fulfilling our Expect More. Pay Less.® brand promise.”

What their real slogan should be is: We just want your money. Expect nothing.

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About Alexandria Jackson

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    While you’re perfectly entitled to use a bad shopping experience as a reason never to patronise a particular store again (I’ve done it myself), to take one customer service fail – on Black Friday, of all times – as a catalyst to pooh-pooh a company’s entire ethos is a bit unfair.

    Around one-fifth to one-quarter of Target staff working at this time of year have been hired especially for the holiday season (I know this because I interviewed for such a position myself), and they’re on a very steep learning curve. It’s likely that the kid who buggered up your daughter’s sale was one of these, and possible that the manager was too.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alexandria-jackson/ Alexandria Jackson

    The shopping occurred on Black Friday. The return was attempted twice on Saturday, with two different managers. I called and spoke with two other managers. No, Dr. Dreadful, I’m afraid this isn’t about temporary help. Checkout the Target reviews or any other review site. Target has consistently provided poor customer service. I also called the home-based customer service line. They were going to “check into it” and get back to me. Did not happen. It looks as though the cashier stole the money and my daughter had to pay the price of his theft. With a receipt, within one day, for an item paid for in cash, a cash refund is the only acceptable solution, especially if it is the fault of the store itself. Both my daughter and I have worked retail and know better than this. Target does not care about anything once the sale has been made.

  • http://cinemasentries.com/ El Bicho

    I am neutral about Target, but this story raises some questions. Why would the guy be mumbling that his draw would be short if he looked at the receipt and determined that he did owe daughter a dollar? Why is your daughter returning sweat pants during the busiest shopping weekend of the year and what happened overnight that she needed to return them? There was a record of the sale since your daughter had the receipt. Why is your daughter shopping in Target on Black Friday if she does not like shopping there? If she got store credit, your daughter didn’t have to pay for someone else’s mistake or theft.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    Well, Alexandria, Target isn’t Nordstrom, but I can’t personally recall ever having a bad customer service experience there.

    I regard online customer reviews of anything at all highly unreliable since very few bear any resemblance to reality. People can’t usually be bothered to go online and record what they thought about something, and in the cases where they can, it’s either because their own personal experience was orgasmic and they want to share it with the world, or (far, far more common) it was crappy and they want to bitch about it.

    As a psychologist, I’m surprised you don’t know this.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alexandria-jackson/ Alexandria Jackson

    #3 I don’t know why he mumbled. She was out shopping and happened into the store. She did not try them on that night and did not like them when she did. Is it now her fault that she returned prior to leaving back to college? She got a store card, yes. But, she deserved her cash. Twenty four dollars is a lot of money to some people.

    #4 I am a psychologist and I do read all reviews (good and bad) on line before I make any purchase. As a non-psychologist, you probably know that many people bitch all the time about everything. Including, one might say, you here bitching about a review of MY experience. If you like Target, good for you. I’m just hoping to warn people that their return policy and customer service suck. I tried 4 managers to get some help. I think that gives my review some credibility. I’m sorry if you don’t think it does. However, as a psychologist, I recognize that some people visit articles and make negative comments just to stir up controversy due to whatever deficiencies exist in their own life.

    The beauty of this article is that it’s an opinion piece. Just as my article on washers/dryers helped many people considering expensive purchases, I hope this article does as well.

  • Captain Akhmed

    Target should be punished!!! And Dr. Dreadful and el Bicho would do well to accept an experience as an experience and not debate it!!!

    I kill you!!!!!!!

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