I used to LOVE Target...LOVE love. And it was nothing for me to go to one of my nearby Targets and spend $200-300 each trip and sometimes I was making multiple trips a week, I just could always find something I love. But thanks to their shady business practices which have cost me time and money, I have not been back to Target in almost a year and plan to never return.
It started for me in Austin, where I was sent to work for three months last year. I purchased a dvd player for my hotel room, planning to spend my down time renting movies through Redbox and Netflix, but ended up instead working longer hours than expected and coming home and sleeping mostly and then driving three hours to my parents home in Dallas every weekend. So the dvd player never even got opened. When I was packing up to leave TX, I took the dvd player back to the same Target to get my money back with the receipt in hand and, like I said, having never been opened. The cashier did her cash register thing and said that the dvd player wasn't on the receipt. I told her that's impossible and showed her the item on the receipt that said dvd player and the price $39.99 which she confirmed is what they had THAT brand and model dvd player on the shelves for at that moment, but she said some numbers didn't match up. I explained that it isn't possible for the mistake to be on my side since I had been living out a hotel for three months and there were no other dvd players in my room that I could have possibly mixed up. She got a manager to come look into it and they still said that that receipt did not have that dvd player on it. I needed to get on the road to make a flight and had already spent an hour at the store so we compromised on them returning $29.99 (the lowest price they had sold that dvd player for in the past year and $10 less than I had paid a month prior) by giftcard since they wouldn't give me cash (my original method of payment) because they said I was returning it without a receipt even though I had the receipt!
Next, I had ordered two of the same dresses online in different sizes--large & x-large. I was an x-large at the time but had started a new diet and workout routine and thought the dress was cute and I wanted the large for when I lost some weight in the following months. Well, the x-large was immediately too big and need to be returned rather than keeping both, and the packing slip/receipt said I could return by mail or to the store. So, I took it to my local Target in central California and again the cashier could not match the item with my packing slip/receipt!! She saw it on the receipt, which even included a picture this time, but it would not return on her register. I had even paid with a credit card this time since it was online and she couldn't get the purchase to show up with that either. I spent over an hour this time talking to this cashier, the store manager, a phone representative they contacted, and using their in-store computers to pull up my online account and we just kept going in circles. What they finally offered was that they would give me a gift card for $15 less than what I had clearly purchased the dress for (it has been a while now but I think I paid around $60, so they were offering me like $45 for some reason) or, per the phone representative, I could pay $9 to mail the dress to her and she would continue to look into the issue and get back to me. I took the gift card for store credit right then, so I could just be done with it and done with Target all together.
As pissed as I was the first time, I can maybe sort of see and forgive a computer error one time at a store I won't have reason to return to, but this happened in two different states and the online store within a matter of months. This is obviously a more systemic issue with Target as a corporation that, in my mind, is tantamount to fraud; at the very least this is a poor way to treat customers (not that I am blaming the in store personnel, who were very nice for the most part, I see this as a corporate issue).
Product or Service Mentioned: Target Gift Card.
Monetary Loss: $25.