Wednesday, July 04, 2007


It has been more than a year since my last Target incident, so I guess this one was overdue.

Today, I celebrated Independence Day by being liberated and free, just as our country was 231 years ago. And by liberated and free, I mean liberated from work and free to do whatever I want. So after cleaning out my car, running an extra long time at the gym, I came home, ate lunch and decided I might as well do a few things on my To Do list.

So I grab a few things that need returning and head toward Target.

I enter the store and explain that I received a shirt and a necklace as birthday gifts, and would like to exchange them. Since I don't have a receipt, the Target Team Member explains to me that I can receive a gift card for the necklace since it was under $10, but I would have to find something from clothing to swap for the shirt, and it had to be of the same value or more, and I'd have to find it today. In other words, if I didn't leave the store with something from clothing before store's close today, the credit would go to waste. The shirt was worth about $15, so add that to the $10 necklace and I had $25 in credit that I had to spend today on clothes.

Well, naturally today is the first time all year that I go in Target and don't see anything I want. Seriously. The past 10 times I've been in there, I left with at least a dress or shirt or something. Their stuff is irresistible. Except today, when there is not a single piece of clothing I want besides a $10 pair of PJ pants, because that is the way things go.

Clutching the chosen PJ pants, I return to the customer service desk and explain that since I didn't find anything else I wanted, and would not be using all of my credit today, could I please have my $15 shirt back and I'd bring it back when I found something I wanted to buy from clothing?

Which is when things got ugly.

After some conversations over the walkie-talkie and searching the clothing department, my Target Team Member returns to confess that she cannot find my shirt. Someone had already restocked the merchandise I'd brought back and another customer had already bought my shirt.

Triumphant, I declare that their haste is not my fault and now they have to issue me a gift card.

I explained to you before you left this counter that you had to use the credit today, my Target Team Member debates.

But it is not my fault that you let my returned item go before even completing our transaction. Get a manager, I demand.

Manager is obviously smoking the same crack as my Target Team Member. Will not give me credit or cash.

I contemplate robbing the store of the $15 I am due, but decide I don't want to spend the night in jail. Instead, I ask if I can just use the credit on something today but then bring it back again when I find something that I do want from clothing. Sure, they say, as long as I have a receipt. I march to the rack closest to the Customer Service desk and grab a skirt half my size but priced the almost the same ($5 more) as my shirt that Target too-hastily resold. Now I have $20 in merchandise that I don't want but will try to return.

I grab the ugly, tiny skirt and my PJ pants and flee the store. I drive to the better Target store across town, all the while chastising myself for not going there to begin with.

I walk in and explain my predicament. As I'm talking, the lady at the Customer Service desk (Pattie) sees my ADPi shirt and tells me she too was an ADPi. I am convinced that now I will get what I want.

Too bad the cash register wasn't an ADPi. Because it will not cooperate. Anytime my receipt is scanned, it beeps loudly and reads "Refund denied; return merchandise to customer."

Pattie calls over another manager. They both explain to me that the other store screwed up and should have done my return differently. Because of their mistake, I am in a "return loop," or as I've come to call it, Target Puragtory. And now I can only return Evil Tiny Skirt at the Evil Target Store. They tell me I should go back to Evil Target and ask to speak to the "LOD" (Leader On Duty; Side Thought: if Target's return policy was as clever as its vernacular, we might not be in this pickle). They say that if I speak the lingo and appear to know what I'm talking about, I'll probably get better help.

Not wanting to return to the Evil Target, I ask my new friends on the Target Team if they will either ride with me to Evil Target or at least call and get the LOD to do whatever they are telling me over the phone. As I am about to cry at the thought of returning to Evil Target, my friends see their own LOD walking by and call him over. Mr. LOD is a little less helpful than my friends, but significantly more helpful than the Evil Target's Team Members. My friends explain the situation to Mr. LOD. The three of them agree that there is nothing they can do at this store. Mr. LOD decides he does not want to call the Evil Target and fuss at them.

Looking as tired of hearing about this problem as I am of explaining it, Mr. LOD finally looks at me and says "What do you want us to do?" I plead for a phone call to Evil Target, cash, credit for use beyond the day's close - ANYTHING besides keeping me in Target Purgatory and making me leave with this too-small ugly skirt.

Then Mr. LOD said the words I'd been dying to hear for 2 hours - "Just go get something and we'll fix it. Anything. Go pick out anything that is the same value as this skirt. I'll use my license to override it and we'll be fine."


I SKIP - yes, skip - from the desk, weave through clothing, see nothing that fancies me, and bounce over to electronics. With the same thought and intensity as if I were choosing my last meal, I decide which three $7.50 DVDs to purchase.

I finally narrow it down to Animal House, Dirty Dancing and Ocean's Eleven. I skip back to the Customer Service Desk where my transaction rings up cleanly, Pattie and I discuss Auburn and ADPi, and I am wished a good rest of my 4th of July.

The moral of the story is four-fold:
1. They print gift receipts for a reason;
2. Target on White Bridge Road sucks;
3. T
arget's return policy makes absolutely no sense. Pure, utter nonsense (See my other Target story for further proof of this);
4. If you drive to enough Targets, and ask to speak to enough managers, you will eventually get what you want - or 3 DVDs worth the same amount as whatever it is you DON'T want.

1 comment:

  1. Boy, you sure like riding in cars with strangers. Did you really ask an associate to go to evil Target? Funny. Great story.


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