Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Right on Target

I don't get out much, just medical appointments and the grocery. But a new SuperTarget opened nearby and I was looking forward to checking it out. Anything's better than WalMart, right?

Well, it seemed like an okay Target store, not particularly Super. But then, I went to check out... and found that of 18 registers, exactly ONE was open. And the line got longer and longer and longer, until one of those dim bulbs finally had the bright idea to open another lane; by then, there were 10 seething people in line. Why do stores do this? They're not that badly understaffed; out on the sales floor, I was practically tripping over Targeteers.

This set the stage for Phase II of the Target Experience. I stopped at the service desk to get a rain check for a particular little gefarple that they were out of. Of which they were out. Of. Which. Ah, but the Serviceer claimed that the gefarple was not a sales item, this was a Price Cut item, and they don't give rain checks for Price Cut items.

After several do-si-do's, I still did not understand the difference, so she kindly called one of the Manageers to try to explain it again. And again: there is NO difference between a sale item and a Price Cut item, except if they call it the latter, they can get out of giving rainchecks.

Now the Manageer got out the sales flyer, and tried to show me that the gefarple was included in the "limited quantities available" promotion...which was next to it, in a box, and under a different brand name, and basically, not even related to the gefarple I wanted, other than being on the same page.
And since I was there the day after the flyer was distributed, I think it's fair to say this is what's called a "Bait & Switch" promotion. Which seems to me to be... illegal. And at the very least, an atrocious policy and a crummy way to try to cheat your customers.

Ms. Manageer suggested I try another Target store, about 4 miles away, and I couldn't resist pointing out that the very reason for rain checks is so that you don't send your customers all over town. Now at this point, I think most Manageers would have said, "I'm, like, sorry that wasn't clear. I'll give you, like, a rain check for the gefarples this time, but please be aware of this, like, policy in the future." But the store has only been opened for a couple of weeks, and Ms. Manageer is clearly willing to go down with the ship. I surrendered, concerned that one more "like" would cause my brain to implode.

Well, this was a whole lotta kvetching over nothing. Losing my business is not going to hurt their bottom line. But Target blew a chance to win over a shopper. And it's a slow news day.


Kathy from NJ said...

I just found your blog through a link at "Adventures of Cancer Girl."

I always shop with a list & a pen. In both Target & Wal-Mart I write the price of the item on my list. Both stores are very good at charging higher prices at the register, especially on blue light roll back specials.

La Cootina said...

Grrr... that's illegal. They have to charge the shelf price. I love CG's blog.