At Target, I paid more and got less.
I was at a local Target store and mentioned to the Target cashier that I didn’t have my 10% off coupon earned through my Target Visa. She said as long as I used my Target Visa, any purchases made that day from any Target would get discounted by just coming back with my receipt and the discount coupon. I ended my shopping spree by hitting a total of three Target stores as we looked for things out of stock at each store.
I arrived at Customer Service a week later with my lost coupon (I had left it at work). Target manager Stephanie at the Abingdon, Maryland store told me I could not use my 10% coupon. She said I had waited too long (a week?) despite a 90 day return policy. I pointed out that I spent approximately $1,100 and was a really good customer. Wasn’t there something she could do? The store was not busy yet she refused to do anything or offer any solution. I even offered a solution: refund the original receipts and then ring them up with the coupon. She refused.
When I called to cancel my Target Visa (my only recourse?), the customer service representative — who is not a manager — moved heaven and earth to prevent me from cancelling my card. In exchange for keeping the card open for one more week, she said she would try to resolve the issue but made no promises. She made me feel appreciated and acknowledged my feelings. This was completely the opposite of what I experienced face to face with the manager at an actual Target store.
I can only think that companies like Target assume customers have no choice. If true, they are smug and stupid. They employ managers who either abuse their powers to resolve problems or have no authority to do so. Either way, Target has failed this consumer. It’s about more than creative commercials or designer toilet plungers. It’s about the dying art of basic customer service, something big online retailers like Amazon.com have mastered.
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. To subscribe to PR Fuel, visit: http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/subscribe/.