The Dispute With Target Continues…

I’ve been approaching my dispute with Target from every possible avenue: The Better Business Bureau, the Nebraska State Attorney General’s Office, Target itself, the Federal Trade Commission, and the U.S. Department of Weights & Measures. While it still isn’t over, the BBB has opted to close the case, because they feel "the resolution or explanation the business offered is fair and reasonable". You be the judge. Below is the complete record of my exchange with the BBB (note that I’ve obscured some of the personal information–it is otherwise unedited):
 
09/27/2010  Complaint Received by BBB 
 
10/04/2010  More info received from the business 

Dear [BBB representative],

Thanks for contacting Target Corporation regarding the experience of our guest, [me]. Included, you will find our response to Mr. [me].

As always, we appreciate the assistance you provide us with our guests. If you have further questions or concerns, feel free to contact Target Guest Relations at (800) 440-0680 regarding case number: [the case number].

Sincerely,

Jessica
Target Executive Offices


Dear [me–the cranked-off consumer],

Thanks for contacting Target Corporation through the Better Business Bureau regarding your recent experience at our Lincoln Target store.

Target’s company goal is to have 100% price accuracy at our merchandise displays and checkout lanes at all times. Target frequently audits its own systems and signing to ensure price accuracy. We take this task very seriously and regularly assign employees to ongoing programs to monitor pricing for consistency and accuracy. We will continue to work to make sure this goal is achieved.

We value the time you’ve taken to write. Your concerns about our pricing accuracy are very important to us, and I’ve shared your experience with the Lincoln Leadership team and our Store Operations executives for further review. While I realize this may not completely eliminate your frustration, I hope we’ll be able to welcome you back for another visit soon.

Thanks for writing. Hearing about your experience is important to us.

Sincerely,
Jessica
Target Executive Offices

10/22/2010  Received Consumer Rebuttal 

I’m concerned that this case has been closed. At this juncture, I would request that the case be re-opened based on the apparent discrepancy between what Target claims they mailed me and what they actually did say. Furthermore, I have a two-fold requested resolution to this case: (1) The opportunity to purchase no less than one and no more than four of the disputed item, at the price as it has been advertised in their store; and (2) A written apology from the store manager of the Target "Lincoln South" store.

The letter which Target posted as having been sent to me is NOT the letter which I actually received. I would be happy to forward a scanned copy of that letter to the BBB. Below is a retyped (but verbatim) verison of the letter which I received from Target:

September 23, 2010

[me]
[my address]

Subject: Your Recent Visit to Target

Dear [me]:

I’m sorry your recent trip to our Lincoln South Target store didn’t meet your expectations.

We’re always looking for ways to improve your shopping experience. Hearing about your frustration with the Xbox Live card you saw at the store is important to us. I’ve documented your thoughts and comments, which will be shared with our Store Operations team for further review. It’s just one way we can keep working to provide you with the experience you’ve come to expect at Target.

We appreciate your feedback because it helps make Target even better.

Sincerely,

Kyle
Target Guest Relations
http://www.target.com
(800) 440-0680


Upon reading their reply through a third time, I realize that I made a reading error–that their reply is their reply to my complaint here, through the BBB. However, I still request that the case be re-opened to seek the resolution which I have outlined. Thank you.

10/29/2010  Received Final Response from Business 

Dear [BBB representative],

Thanks for contacting Target Corporation regarding the experience of our guest, [me–still very much cranked off]. Included, you will find our response to Mr. [me].

As always, we appreciate the assistance you provide us with our guests. If you have further questions or concerns, feel free to contact Target Guest Relations at (800) 440-0680 regarding case number: [the case number].

Sincerely,

Monica
Target Executive Offices


Dear [me],

Thanks for contacting Target Corporation through the Better Business Bureau regarding your recent experience at our Lincoln Target store.

Target’s company goal is to have 100% price accuracy at our merchandise displays and checkout lanes at all times. Target frequently audits its own systems and signing to ensure price accuracy. We take this task very seriously and regularly assign employees to ongoing programs to monitor pricing for consistency and accuracy. We will continue to work to make sure this goal is achieved.

Your concerns about our pricing accuracy are very important to us, and I’ve shared your experience with the Lincoln Leadership team and our Store Operations executives for further review. While I realize this may not completely eliminate your frustration, I hope we’ll be able to welcome you back for another visit soon.

Thanks for writing. Hearing about your experience is important to us.

Sincerely,

Monica
Target Executive Offices

11/02/2010  Received Consumer Rebuttal 

(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
The response from the company is not a resolution to the problem. It is a mere acknowledgment of the problem. In fact, it completely fails to address my requested resolution in any way whatsoever. To that end, I would like to remind the Target Executive Offices that their sales persons (at their "Lincoln South" store) had signage indicating one price and refused to honor the price of the merchandise described and pictured on the signage. My requested resolution was NOT a statement to the effect of "please placate me with a written promise that you’ll try to do better in the future". My requested resolution was the opportunity to buy the merchandise at the price posted in the store AND an apology from the local store itself. As such, I do not accept the response from Target. Thank you.

11/19/2010  Received Final Response from Business 

Dear [BBB representative],

Thanks for contacting Target Corporation regarding the experience of our guest, [guess who!] .Upon receipt of your contact, we called our guest to address the concerns raised. We did offer a gift card resolution to the guest which he has declined. I apologize we were not able to assist any further.

As always, we appreciate the assistance you provide us with our guests. If you have further questions or concerns, feel free to contact Target Guest Relations at (800) 440-0680 regarding case number: [at least they’re keeping this consistent].

Sincerely,

Stacy
Target Executive Offices


11/19/2010  Case Closed AJR   
11/19/2010  Inform Business – Case Closed AJR   
11/19/2010  Forward Final Response to Consumer 

11/22/2010  More info received from the consumer 

I realize this complaint is closed at this time and unlikely to be re-opened. I would, however, like to address Target’s final reply as part of the official record of this complaint. First, they stated, "Upon receipt of your contact, we called our guest to address the concerns raised." I was never contacted by telephone. While I realize that this is a my-word-against-theirs scenario, I can assure you that I never received a call or a voicemail or answering machine message from representatives of Target. I’m quite certain I would have remembered that.

Second, they state "We did offer a gift card resolution to the guest which he has declined." Yes. Yes, I did decline their gift card. While I recognize their something-for-nothing approach to conflict resolution, I don’t believe it fairly addresses the situation. I will even give them the benefit of the doubt and hypothesize that the gift card could have been intended to compensate me for the difference between the price displayed in the store (which was the source of our dispute, to begin with) and the price that the item rang up for. If that were the case, then it would be most unfortunate, as the price of that item increased by $10–for all retailers–as of November 1st. Thus, having received the gift card after that date, it does not fully compensate for the difference between their displayed/disputed price and the now-current price of the merchandise in question.

Furthermore, the letter accompanying the gift card never referred in any way, shape, or form to the resolutions I requested. As such, I can only make assumptions about its intention. With that being the case, I am assuming that–at this juncture–Target was simply throwing a gift card at the problem, in the false hope that something-for-nothing would both resolve this situation and draw me back into their "family" of stores. To that I can only make further assumptions about their principles–or lack thereof.

Finally, to Target, I would say this: All I have ever sought, through this ongoing exchange are two things: (1) The opportunity to have you honor the price posted in your store and purchase the merchandise I had in hand that day at the price it was shown to be; and (2) An apology from the store in which the incident occurred. By your complete and total handling of this at the corporate level, you have summarily waived the local store of their accountability in this matter. That is of benefit to no one–certainly not the customer ("guest"), which you allege to cherish above all other things.

Thank you.

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