I often see people complain about big evil Wal-Mart and say things like “I shop at Target. They care about their customers.” Well, they couldn’t be more wrong at least as far as two separate occurrences my family had in just 2 days.The first instance was when I saw a cordless phone/answering machine on their website. It was on sale for $36.99. The website said that online orders would ship in 2-6 weeks. It also said “ALSO IN STORES” Now, I have shopped at Target many times, and often check out their web page before going to the store to get whatever I want. So I know that whenever there is an online only sale, it ALWAYS mentions on the website that the sale is online only. It did not say it for this phone.My mom went to her Target to get the phone as a Christmas present. For some reason, she made a special trip just for the phone, despite the fact that she is 72 years old and has asthma, emphysema and COPD. (No matter how many times I tell her not to bother, she does.) To make a long story short, they charged her the full price of $39.99. Granted, it was only $3, but it was the principle of the thing. So first she called and asked why and they told her that that is what was scanning and they couldn’t do anything about it. I then called and after being put on hold for almost 10 minutes (I am sure they are busy, so I wasn’t too upset) I was basically told the same thing and also that Target.com has no connection to Target stores. Which, of course, is absurd since it specifically said ALSO IN STORES in the online ad.
I could not call the target.com number because it was too late on Friday and they would not be available until Monday. I did send an e-mail and they replied saying that they don’t price match between Target.com and Target stores. I replied back saying that this was not a case of price matching. It was a case of the web site claiming that the sale item was ALSO IN STORES when it was not. Again, I know their policy is to specifically mention if a sale is ONLINE ONLY. And this did not say that. I haven’t gotten a reply to that yet.
The next instance was much worse. My mom is trying to get a Nintendo Wii for my nieces. She figures if she can take care of all her grandchildren with one major gift, it would be easier for her. I warned her it would not be easy but she still wanted to try. She has tried a few laces the last few weeks with the expected no luck. But last night things looked fairly good. She called her local Target and was told that they had a big shipment ready to be sold at 8:30 and was told to get there by 7:00 at the latest. My sister then called again this morning at 6:30 and again was told that they were going on sale at 8:30 and that she should get there as soon as possible if she wanted a chance. So they went there.
AFTER sitting there for an hour and a half, they were told that they gave out tickets LAST NIGHT to purchase the system today. Yes…before my mom called last night, and way before my sister called this morning, they already knew that all their systems were already taken by people with tickets. Yet they continued to tell people to come in at 8:30…knowing full well that there were no systems left for them. They also knew that there were far more people waiting in line than just the people that they had given tickets to last night, and did not tell anyone until 8:30 rolled around. Had they at least done that, she may have gotten one at Gamestop since she went there right after and was 11th on line for 9 systems. An extra hour and a half could have meant the difference between 11th in line and 9th in line.
Now, I don’t like to complain about isolated incidents like this usually. And the phone thing was just stupidty so I was not too pissed at that. But to tell customers to come to the store at 7:00 AM on a Sunday morning for a Nintendo that they had already sold crosses the line. I can’t tell if it is supreme stupidity on the part of the employees, or store policy to get people to the store under false pretenses. If it was just one call in which they were told to come I would tend to lean toward employee stupidity. But I find it hard to believe that two employees could be so poorly trained as to not realize that they were giving tickets out the night before. It is not like my mom was the only person to call up about the Nintendo.