OK, everybody loves Target, and so do I. I love how the store is laid out, and I like the products and the prices! Yet, today was the first time that I didn't quite like (actually really disliked) Target. I don't intend to get anybody fired, but I do hope that I can raise some awareness to warn the customers/readers.
I've been meaning to get a DSLR, so finally I found this good deal on Nikon D3000 (pretty old, I know…) for $301 with a lens, so I called a couple Targets and found them available at certain Targets. So during lunch I went to the first Target (skipping lunch, yes), and the guy in the Electronics area said they're selling it for $404. So I asked why that is since other Targets were selling it for $301 (sorry, typical Chinese response… I had to…), and the other Target guy said each store's different in term of these clearance items. A bit suspicious but yet polite, I asked if I could check with the store manager just to see if there's anything they could do to help me buy it at the advertised clearance price. Guess what? The first guy said the second guy was the man, and the second guy just nodded and said they won't price match it. The funny thing is that I saw the big fat sign that said " We price match every item with proof"… so I asked about that sign, and they gave me the same answer. A bit frustrated with their attitude (and really not sure if the 2nd guy was really a store manager), I just left.
So I called around after lunch, and finally found another store with 2 available, so I put one on hold so I could get it after work. So after dinner, I sped to the second Target in another city to pick my new DSLR up. At the Electronics counter, the lady was talking to the other associate while I was standing there. I waved like 2 times, but they just ignored me. OK, fine… as long as I get my camera. So finally the lady asked me how she could help me, and I said that I put one camera on hold earlier. She then asked the other associate, who turned and said to me:
Associate: "Sir, sorry, we sold out."
Me: "What? I placed one on hold earlier today."
Associate: "Sorry, we sold the last one at like…7 something. Plus we don't put orders on hold."
Me: "But I called at 5:30pm to confirm again that it was on hold."
Associate: *short pause* Can I have your name?
Associate: "Oh, I think I have it here. The reason that I said we sold out was because we don't hold orders."
I don't know, man, but I felt lied to. I already told them I put the camera on hold (whether they allow that or not), so why did they tell me that it's sold out? Yes, I got my camera at the end (cashier charged me twice and then I got a call from American Express about this potential fraud charge), but I was just not happy with the whole experience.
Anyway, I will still continue to shop at Target because of the competitive price and product selection, but I have already lowered my customer service expectation. I don't intend to tell anybody where the stores are or who the associates were, but I do want the readers to be prepared, just in case you ever face less-than-perfect customer service from an almost-perfect company.