Target To 80-Year-Old: Yeah, We Sold You The Wrong Watch Battery, But We Won't Take It Back

David cc’d us on a letter he recently sent to Target:

My mother in law, recently went to Target to get a battery installed for her watch. The watch was a common Timex model and the associate told her that she would have to buy the battery first. So she purchased that battery, and the associate attempted to install it in the watch. The battery did not fit the watch, so the associate said “sorry, we don’t have the right battery” and then refused to take the battery back and refund her money. She was told they don’t take back opened battery packages.

Was she taken advantage of as she is 80 years old, or is this store policy? This occurred at the Target Superstore in Miramar, Florida two weeks ago.

We asked David if he tried following up with Target on his mother-in-law’s behalf.

Yes, I called and spoke to store an asst mgr, who stated that store policy is no returns on opened/used batteries. I said she never left the store, had remained at the counter, and it was your person that opened the package to remove the battery to install in her watch. I said I DONT FIND THIS ACCEPTABLE………………..is this the way you treat the elderly who came to your store for assistance, and then has to buy something she cant use !!!!

After pushing the issue, she said its “its only a small amount, I probably would have taken the battery back if I was aware of this” and, “come back to the store and we will discuss this further”

So, it will cost me more in gas $$$ than the battery is worth to drive back to that store and meet with her to get a refund.

From this, I must assume it is Target policy to screw the watch battery customer………..

I know its a small $$$ amount, but for the elderly, on social security, every penny matters.

Little things like watch batteries may not cost much stores much, but blind adherence to obstinately obtuse policies can cost stores customers. The Assistant Manager at least had the common sense to realize that this is a problem with an easy solution.

Of course, the easiest solution is to treat Target as a low-end big box store, and not a repair shop. Our local jeweler resurrects dead watches for $5, which may be a bit steep compared to Target, but he’s never cited ‘store policy,’ and he always gets our watches ticking again.

(Photo: Getty)

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. Assimilate says:

    Yeah that is total bull**** about not accepting the battery back. Our store does it all the time. Even I have done it many times, and no one has said a single thing.

  2. NaldoCretheus says:

    so i don’t see the problem. She told you she was sorry and would give you a
    refund…and now he doesn’t want to drive back? Who’s stubborn now? Maybe if
    the old lady had asked for a manager when she was there this would be a lot
    easier.


    Naji Braich

  3. balthisar says:

    Not to blame the consumer, but “but for the elderly, on social security, every penny matters.” Like it doesn’t matter for everyone? And clearly, only lack of planning would account for the meager social security check being the only source of income, right?

  4. HalOfBorg says:

    Oops, that motherboard we ordered for your PC was the wrong one. Sorry, no, we can’t refund your service fee, or take it back. Out technician opened the box you see.

  5. planetdaddy says:

    Another person that thinks they are special and that they shouldn’t have to adhere to the same policies as everyone else.

    Seriously, if the store employee picked up the wrong battery then Target should eat it, and make the old lady’s watch work.

  6. Sherryness says:

    @balthisar: No, pension funds do go bankrupt. Bad luck of many different kinds in life happens and eats into reserves – after a certain age it can be hard/impossible to restore that. People get bilked, etc. Not everything is black and white.

  7. @balthisar: You Sir or Madam, are an ass.

  8. BoomerFive says:

    @balthisar: That is idiotic. You assume quite a bit there. All kinds of factors can contribute to a financial situation. My grandfather died of cancer and all the bills left my grandmother with very little. She was a very honorable woman and believed that she should make every effort to pay her debts.

    At the end of her life a few dollars sure made a difference. “Pennies” certainly can mean more to some than others. At least you are young enough to go out and get a job, at 80 years old lets see who hires you.

  9. agb2000 says:

    The ASM should offer an over-the-phone refund, either as a credit to the card, or as a mail check.

  10. DeeHaney says:

    This reminds me yet again — get names, get numbers, and always try to talk to someone else.

  11. Me. says:

    I saw something (somewhat) similar happen at IKEA. A woman bought an As-Is item (read: absolutely no refunds). As the *IKEA employees* were loading it into her car in the IKEA parking lot loading zone, they dropped and broke it.

    She was inside trying to get a refund since the employees broke it before it even left the loading zone and they weren’t issuing the refund. The conversation was pretty much as follows:
    “No refunds on As-Is items.”
    “But your employees broke it while loading it in the car.”
    “Yes… but no refund on As-Is items.”
    …and so on.

  12. cosby says:

    The issue here goes beyond the old lady part. The store sold her something claiming it would work with install. They failed to be able to do it. The solution is to return the part and be done with it. You have to wonder about the store that can’t do this. The battery doesn’t fit. Hell they could have figured that out before opening it. You open the watch first and see what it has in it. If you don’t then it is on you. In this case the store didn’t do this. They screwed up end of story.

    The solution to this would have been a refund. At this point they should refund the money and give a gift card or something to the person to try to keep her as a customer. Cheap ploy I know but it can work.

  13. strathmeyer says:

    @balthisar: No, sorry, that is blaming the customer, but better luck next time.

  14. target_veteran says:

    I used to have to do this at Target. This is very much the employee’s fault. There’s really several simple solutions to this.

    1. Read the battery right. Odds are, the clerk grabbed the wrong battery.

    2. Install before ringining up the battery. Saved me a lot of headache, since I could only get the back off some of the time. Those things get crusted on.

    3. Check if Target carries the watch first. Employees aren’t supposed to mess with watches they don’t carry.

    4. Call Electronics to get the battery. Odds are it’s over there.

    Honestly, I referred people to real jewlers a lot. Installing watch batteries cost more in my pay than they made in the sale.

  15. humphrmi says:

    I miss Venture. They used to hire actual jewelers to work in their jewelry department. Paid them squat, but they still did a good job.

  16. z4ce says:

    I seriously don’t understand why people shop at Target. Their return policies are awful, their prices are high, and their selection is low. It seems to me in virtually all aspects Wal-Mart is far superior.

    Target is shiny and has better fashion.. but that’s about it.

  17. KD17 says:

    Never had to take anything back to Target but then I don’t shop there much. As someone mentioned they prices aren’t that great so I don’t go there much.

    Last thing I went to Target for was a Wii. I think for some reason many people don’t think about going there for games. Everyone else sells out of it in like 10 minutes. I have bought 3 total, 2 as presents and 1 for me. I always found them on the self 2 or 3 days after then get in stock. So I’ll give them that.

  18. Landru says:

    @balthisar: What a dick. Really.

  19. 2719 says:

    They messed up and they should have made it right. But this fool will waste more money and time in getting this resolved considering the battery is most likely less than $5 anyway.

    He is probably one of those people that slow everyone down at the register because they absolutely have to have that 20 cent coupon accepted.

  20. ginnylavender says:

    @balthisar
    You’re about 22 or so, right? Still living with Mom? But an authority on life?

  21. Kekaha says:

    @balthisar: Wow! You really don’t have a clue, do you?

  22. MyPetFly says:

    @Me.:

    If it’s any consolation, I was going to buy two as-is closeout items from Ikea a few months ago. I dropped one and broke it, so I only bought one. : )

  23. wtrwlkr says:

    i’m not trying to blame anyone here but the store in question, but is it always necessary to include in these stories “80 year old”, “grandmother”, “military member”? I’m active duty USAF myself, so i’m not trying to insult 80 year olds or the military, but to me, a person is a person is a person. It would be no more acceptable if this had happened to a 40 year old businessman than it would be to the 80 year old on a fixed income. Just some food for thought.

  24. This is why I take my business to a local clock/watch shop. They’ve been open for ages and all the guys in there are part owners. You know you are in good hands when you see a bunch of retirees in there. Fuck target and fuck corporate america for running the mom and pop shops into the ground. It’s a damn shame this elderly woman had to go thru this bullshit. The “associate” in question needs a good punch in the jaw.

  25. ngallion says:

    @balthisar: Come back in about 60 years and see if everything turns out exactly the way you plan, then make that comment.

    I love playing “pile on the stupid comment”. This is fun!

  26. Jcakes says:

    I agree, support your local businesses.

    Target is Walmart in sheep’s clothing.

    I have to say the idiocy of balthisar is par for the course, though.

    stupidity isn’t limited to Target, as we can see.

  27. It seems as though things on Consumerist follow a pattern.

    1) Someone says that the business being referred to has behaved in an inexcusable fashion.

    2) Someone blames the customer .(usually, I suspect, a troll who just wants people to respond to him/her cuz mommy didn’t hug him/her enough.)

    3) Someone gets all indignant at the customer blamer. (Sometimes it IS the customer’s fault, ya know.)

    4) Someone says “That’s why I don’t shop at ACME corp. ACME Corp has the worst customer service. I prefer ACME corp’s competitor.”

    5) Someone tells that the same thing happened to them or a friend of theirs.

    6) Someone says “Why were you going to ACME Corp anyway? You should have gone to Competitor’s store, they’re cheaper/better.”

    My 2 cents: Common sense says that the lady should not have been charged due to the error of the store employee. The customer’s son in law called and was successful in getting the matter cleared up. But that wasn’t enough for him…It’s too expensive to go get the refund I just fought for. What do you want them to do, deliver you refund to you? Feed you grapes? Fall to their knees and beg forgiveness?

    You got the refund, pat yourself on the back and move on with your life.

  28. JollyJumjuck says:

    @wtrwlkr: True, but the average 40 year old businessman is probably in a better position to fight this sort of thing than the average 80 year old on a fixed income. Besides, the store associate in question might be too cowardly to pull a fast one on the businessman, but would have no trouble doing this to one of the elderly.

  29. bigmil87 says:

    I agree that this is insane, and should not have occurred, however I do understand from Target’s point. Honestly would you buy an open item battery? I know I wouldn’t so chances are they would sit on said battery till it became at risk and lose money on it. Now if they did that through-out all Targets they would lose a lot of money.

  30. What should their age have to do with it? Someone getting fux0red over is someone getting fux0red over, no matter how old they are.

  31. VikingP77 says:

    What asshats…both the associate AND the manager. Now it will take more time and money to go back to the store for the poor lady. Target make it right! The store should have never treated the customer like that in the first place.

  32. Sherryness says:

    @ConsequencesIX: Have an in-depth conversation about watch batteries for exactly 5 minutes with a 40 year old. Then try to have that exact same conversation with an 80 year old. Then come back here and read the story and see where the phrase “opportunistic bloodsucker” might seem appropriate.

    As an aside, my kudos to Consumerist for having more willpower than myself in not calling Target Stores an “opportunistic bloodsucker.”

  33. JollyJumjuck says:

    @Daniel Alderman: “What do you want them to do, deliver you refund to you? Feed you grapes? Fall to their knees and beg forgiveness?”

    You are completely missing the point. Why should the customer (or her son-in-law) pay for the store employee’s mistake?

    But if you still feel that my point of view is wrong, I’ll *admit* that I was wrong, as long as you take a $5 bill out of your wallet and rip it to shreds. Because essentially that is what has happened to the OP.

  34. @JollyJumjuck:
    No, I agree that a refund was in order. I just don’t think the customer should, having procured said refund, then complain that they now have to go and get their refund.

  35. …and while I, for the sake of customer satisfaction, would have thrown in an extra something for the customer’s trouble, a gift certificate or something, I can’t say that I’m surprised that this manager chose not to do so. It really was their prerogative.

  36. AngryEwok says:

    Target is much cleaner than Wal-Mart… Target is more expensive, sure, but I can’t stand walking into Little Mexico, anymore.

  37. stinerman says:

    SpeedyGonzalas:

    Second.

  38. Concerned_Citizen says:

    What was so hard with matching the new battery with the old battery? This is a difficult situation, because neither the store employee or the customer could perform such an easy task. Next time use a credit card and do a chargeback from home.

  39. witeowl says:

    The ONLY – and that’s a big only – way this could be the consumer’s fault is if she picked the battery off the display unit herself, handed the battery and watch to the associate and asked, “Would you mind installing this battery into my watch?”

    But even if that happened, the associate should have been aware enough to realize that people make mistakes (particularly the elderly considering potential eyesight and other issues) and double-checked to ensure that the customer had the right battery. You know, we try to take care of the elderly in our society. Well, except for balthisar, of course; he’s just too cold-hearted.

  40. Lambasted says:

    @Daniel Alderman: “My 2 cents: Common sense says that the lady should not have been charged due to the error of the store employee. The customer’s son in law called and was successful in getting the matter cleared up. But that wasn’t enough for him…It’s too expensive to go get the refund I just fought for. What do you want them to do, deliver you refund to you? Feed you grapes? Fall to their knees and beg forgiveness?”

    I’m with you and scratching my head thinking, “And the problem here is…?”

    In my language, when you have a problem with something someone has done; and that someone tries to fix the problem in a reasonable manner; it is called a RESOLUTION.

    Too many more of these type stories and companies are going to start saying, “We’re damned if we do, damned if we don’t. If they are going to complain about us anyway, f*ck ‘em then!” Honestly, I wouldn’t blame them. Only a saint or a fool would continue to smile while getting kicked.

    There is enough real corporate evil to complain about that we don’t need to go looking under a rock in the Antarctic trying find it.

  41. vitonfluorcarbon says:

    You know, stories like this get old on this site. You can’t fix stupid, and unfortunately, stupid works at about every store in the country. This is not a “Target” problem, its a problem with people. Now if Target put out a memo that outlined a plan to screw people over on watch batteries, that would be news here… but this? Come on.

  42. Hamm Beerger says:

    @Lambasted: I think the point is that the old lady would have been screwed if she hadn’t complained to her son. It should have been taken care of immediately and not required a relative calling the manager.

  43. HOP says:

    target never seems to have what i want….they do give us relics a break on coffee in the food thingee…..i had a watch battery crap out, and the girl at the wally’s world (wal-mart)jewelry counter replaced the battery ,did a good job , and only charged for the battery….

  44. CamilleR says:

    Yes, Target could have handled this better, but I’m curious about her having to buy the battery first. Did the customer pick out the battery from a display, or did the employee grab one claiming it was the correct battery? In either case, why didn’t the customer double-check it was the right battery before paying it? Both my Timex watches clearly have what battery they require printed on the back of the case.
    Then again, I only know to double-check what battery they put in since I had a jeweler put the wrong battery in my watch. I didn’t it realize until it stopped running several times in one day. I got it replaced at Target over my lunch break. The employee replaced the battery and tested the one that had been in my watch (it was good, just the wrong one). I didn’t have to pay until after the replacement was done.

  45. LJKelley says:

    Well did the old lady is questions try to escalate in store? Did she try to talk to a manager (that looked eager to correct a wrong). Rules are there for a reason and sometimes employees must follow them though the employee in question should have called a manager to facilitate a return.

    I know I have always had a great experience in both shopping and returns at Target.

    Obviously these $5 (or whatever the battery cost) were not as important as she claimed because $5 is not as important to me and I still would have gone and talked to the manager in store.

  46. FangDoc says:

    @Me.:
    At the IKEAs in my orbit (Conshohocken PA and White Marsh MD) they have signs up in the loading area saying that IKEA employees cannot assist you in loading items into your car. I’m sure it’s for precisely this reason, so the store isn’t liable for employees damaging the items, the cars, or themselves. It’s a shame, since most other stores will help you with a big item and damn the consequences, but it’s posted policy.

    Then again, I once dropped a Billy Bookcase while loading it into the car at the White Marsh store and crushed the corner. I took it right back inside, told the clerk at returns exactly what happened, and he sent me to get a new one, no problem.

    Apparently, some days you eat the meatball, some days the meatball eats you.

    @z4ce:
    In my town, the difference between Target and Wal-Mart is like the difference between Greenwich CT and Flint MI. Less selection? That’s OK, as long as the two choices Target has are functional and aesthetic, unlike the ten turds on a shelf that Wal-Mart has. The Target stores and employees manage to be clean and presentable, which I don’t think the Wal-Mart was the day it opened.

    At the same time, the Target employee in this post not only dropped the ball, they weren’t entirely sure what a ball was and didn’t know they were supposed to catch it. I sincerely hope this person was young enough to have a chance of growing a clue in the next few years as their brain matures, but experience tells me that isn’t necessarily the case. On the other hand, blind obedience to “policy” without understanding the basis of the policy is a quality that opens up wonderful opportunities in the fields of civil service or health insurance.

  47. ScarletsWalk says:

    I agree with the poster who said this was a stupidity problem, not a Target problem per se. I recently went to Target to replace a watch battery and because I did not buy my watch there, they would not replace it for me. (they’d sell the battery, but would not open the watch in case they damaged it). It was mildly inconvenient, but I understand their logic. And I am glad I had to take it to a real jeweler instead of someone putting in the wrong one and charging ME for it.

    And I worked in an auto parts store and we frequently gave the wrong parts and customers would come back in and say, for example, “This lightbulb is an 8000 and it’s supposed to be 8001″ and we’d exchange it, no problem, especially if we made the error.

  48. @LJKelley:
    Thank you for including this. I couldn’t agree more. Being able to avoid an apparently expensive trip to the store to retrieve the refund could have been avoided all together if the nice lady had escalated at the time. She didn’t, for whatever reason, the son-in-law seems to think that she was feeble and dim-witted because she was 80 years old.

    I’ve met my share of 80 year olds, and though some have been feeble, few have been dim witted. She just figured that it wasn’t worth it to complain over a $5 item. I would argue that it was the principle, but in her wisdom she chose to let it go.

    I suspect that son-in-law heard about it and was OUTRAGED! He decided to call the store and accuse them of taking advantage of a feeble and dim-witted old lady. The manager agreed, and then the customer was then upset because he had to go get it.

    It wasn’t worth it to drive to the store and pick it up. Gas prices and all.

    Well, deal with it. If the $5 wasn’t worth it, then perhaps the original customer was right not to complain in the first place…

    I, were I the manager, again, would have dealt with it differently. Apology. Refund. gift certificate. A promise to educate the employee involved. But the Target manager in question was under no obligation to do so.

  49. bohemian says:

    @balthisar: Based on the woman’s age she lived in the era where women didn’t work. They were supposed to stay home and depend on their hubby to provide. Even if she was left with a pension it very well could have run out.

  50. freejazz38 says:

    always remember who you’re dealing with Slarget employs only people with IQ’s in the single digits, and their policies are specifically designed to ripoff the customer. Why anyone shops there is beyond me

  51. Target is exactly like Wal-Mart, only they charge more for everything. Don’t get all high and mighty about it. They are both discount stores. Even if you pronounce it “Tarjay.”

    As for the watch battery, the elderly lady should have received a refund. I’d drive my ass back to the store to get my $5 just on principal.

  52. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    @Me.:
    The Ikea problem is far more clear cut than Target, but clearly target should have accepted the return for good will, instead of being stupid over $5.

    As for the Ikea problem, if I’m the customer and thinking clearly enough, when the refund is denied claim compensation for them damaging YOUR property. Ask for about 3 times as much, because you are in a position to set the damages… I bet you’ll get the refund.

  53. pigeonpenelope says:

    likely, it was a dumb employee and stupid interpretations of the policy. had i been that employee i would have called my manager and asked for assistance on rectifying the situation. target hires folks who have never had a job before or have had barely anything.

    it doesn’t matter if this person was a 25 year old or 100 years old. i really can’t stand when people try to add emotion to the story by saying the person was elderly. in target’s case, what’s wrong is wrong no matter what the age.

  54. pigeonpenelope says:

    @Daniel Alderman: i have also met my share of 80-year-olds… they were tough as nails to sell pier 1 merchandise too. this is a compliment as i really felt they were quite wise on many decisions they made.

  55. MonkeyMonk says:

    Target is nothing like Wal-Mart with the exception that they are both discount stores. At least in my area the Wal-mart has about the worst shopping experience imaginable. The only thing worse than the Wal-Mart is the K-Mart down the street.

    The Target near me is the complete opposite. Clean and with prices that are competitive enough for me as long as I never need to step inside a Wal-Mart again.

  56. no.no.notorious says:

    that poor lady. I’d be pissed if this happened to my grandmother. The guy was right to contact headquarters.

  57. cametall says:

    Well there’s your problem. It’s a Target in Miramar. Duh!

  58. balthisar says:

    For the record, I’m not really an ass. I was just playing off the old “blame the consumer” meme. I’m not usually so trollish.

  59. r081984 says:

    I worked at walgreens and changed peoples watch, hearing aid, and garage door opener batteries all the time.

    The trick is the old battery has a code and voltage/current info on it. It is pretty easy to find a direct replacement.

    Sometimes I did guess, but let the customer have the final say so it was not my fault. Even though the customer made the wrong choice Walgreens would still let them return or exchange the battery.

  60. thekizerman says:

    @balthisar: I think it is much too late to change anyone’s mind about you being an ass.

    /Thats lame of Target, I work at an independant jewelery store and we never charge the customer if the battery doesn’t work, even if they bring it back after 2 or 3 days and the watch stops for a reason other than the battery, we will still refund it so long as the customer lets us send the watch out for a (free) estimate to repair it.

  61. trk182 says:

    @Daniel Alderman: I no longer need to read the comments section anymore since you’re right and pretty much nailed every single thread right there.

    and to all people who responded to balthisar, honestly you can’t tell its flame bait when it’s so lovingly laid out before you?

  62. ezacharyk says:

    I used to work in the Kohls jewelry counter. We sold the battery first and then installed it. But we never refused a refund for something that was our fault. If we rang up the wrong battery, we exchanged it for the correct one.

  63. witeowl says:

    @Daniel Alderman: I’m not sure that anyone feels that she was dim-witted. Having spent years in various customer service jobs (and having parents nearing that mark), I’ll posit that the “problem” is something else. As pigeonpenelope points out, many are tough as nails (that’s my father). Many others fall to the other extreme (my mother) and feel a significant frailty and vulnerability. They’re forced to put too much of their safety and success into the hands of strangers, and are afraid of pushing too hard on any one issue lest they be put on the losing end of some even worse situation.

    No, it may not be rooted in reality or even logic, but it’s a very real emotional situation for a great number of elderly, and is even more reason to treat them with extra respect. No kid gloves, of course, that’ demeaning; but kindness, respect, and enough awareness to subtly look out for them should be practiced. After all, age takes us all.

    Oh, and what should Target have done to appease the OP? I suppose that the following migh have helped: You’re right, sir. The clerk made a mistake by not double-checking the battery and should have called me before refusing the refund. I’ll have a discussion with him about this. We aplogize for the invonvenience. Haven’t we all learned how much an apology is worth?

  64. BearTack says:

    Fails the implied warranty of merchantability test. The battery did not serve the purpose which the store claimed it did. It is not a valid sale and the store must return the purchase price or provide a functional replacement.

  65. + says:

    Okay, that’s her problem. She purchased the battery, if I could give my games back to Gamestop every time they told me that it was going to be good then I would be rich.

  66. Me - now with more humidity says:

    Lamburger: next time try reading the post. They sold her the wrong one then refused to take it back.

  67. scooterist says:

    @Me: IS about the only one that understands the obvious point in all this. The stupid sales associate looked at the watch, said “Yes, I know what battery fits this watch” when in fact they had no frickin’ idea. They then sold the lady the wrong item and refused to take it back after it was opened. the sales clerk is the idiot in all this (along of course with balthisar).

    My advice is to buy really cheap Timex watches with a battery that lasts for somewhere in the two to three year range and then when it dies, just buy another $10 timex to replace it.

  68. ChChChacos says:

    I used to work at the jewelry counter in a Target in FL. This is actually the policy. I had the exact same thing happen. It really sucks. And the problem is the jewelry sales people are usually not properly trained. Including myself at the time. I was only in highschool, had no idea what I was doing.

  69. AngryEwok says:

    @Lamburger Helper: Didn’t your mommy and daddy teach you to play your videogames quietly when the adults are conversing?

    You clearly didn’t read the post, so you have no frame of reference here, Donny. You’re like a child who wanders into the middle of a movie and wants to know what’s going on.

  70. Carrnage says:

    Is it just me or are there more and more asshats in the Consumerist comments with every passing week. I wish Consumerist would be like their “sister” site, Kotaku, and start ban-hammering all these “blame the customer first” astro-turfers.

  71. + says:

    @AngryEwok: Umm, no, I clearly read the article. It doesn’t matter whether they told her to buy it, the associate is not a trained watch repairer, nor should “David” or the old lady treat them like they are. Target is there to sell a product and only that, having somebody that may or may not know how to repair a watch is just a bonus.

    The only people that are taken advantage of are the ignorant.

  72. cyberscribe says:

    TARGET: Refund this customers money, install the proper battery – for free – into the customers watch, apologize profusely to the customer for your poor employee training and for their unnecessary inconvenience, and “counsel” your salespeople about how to properly handle such incidents in the future.

  73. witeowl says:

    @Lamburger Helper: Sure it does. Imagine:

    OL (Old lady): Hi. I need to replace the battery in my watch.
    SC (“Silly” Clerk): Sure. Here’s the battery you need.
    OL: Can you install it, please?
    SC: Yeah, but you’ll have to buy it first.
    (Money changes hands.)
    SC: Oh, oops, this is the wrong battery. My bad. Well, thanks for playing.

    Do you really not see the difference between an opinion (yeah, this game is kewl) or fact (this is the battery you need for your watch)?

  74. AngryEwok says:

    @Lamburger Helper:

    “The only people that are taken advantage of are the ignorant.”

    Are you for real?

  75. @Carrnage:

    Sometimes the customer is wrong.

    Not necessarily in this case, but it happens. So a blanket statement to “ban hammer” the people who say the customer is wrong would be counterproductive.

    I think the ideal we should be striving for is fairness by examining each case on it’s merits, not blind agreement with the customer (or the business) regardless of stated case.

  76. balthisar says:

    @thekizerman: that’s okay, as long as they know I’m an ass for other reasons. ;-)

  77. @MonkeyMonk: The Target near me is a pretty big dump. The Wal-Mart, on the other hand, is clean and tidy. It is different wherever you go.

    Besides all that, they are both discount stores. Tell yourself Target is superior if it makes you feel better.

  78. Lyndo says:

    @target_veteran: I also worked for Target, and that is exactly how I was trained to handle watch battery replacements. Also most of the watch batteries are kept behind the counter, so the team member would have had to get it.

    The girl basically did everything wrong that she could do wrong.

  79. teexcue says:

    @balthisar: It was just a comment she made, this isn’t the point of the letter. Thank you for being an asshole. I wish poverty on you and your family.

  80. Consumer007 says:

    Target was in the wrong, but I read plainly they were willing to make it right. I understand the OP’s frustration with high gas prices, BELIEVE ME, but instead of just refusing the offer, he should have mentioned something additional he would like to make it worth it, especially since it was the old lady’s money, not his. His willingness to help his mother with the situation doesn’t give him the right to co-opt her right to get the refund. He should have asked her what she wanted to do and let her make the gas up to him another way.

    But a good manager also would have offered him something else to keep his business.

  81. Consumer007 says:

    @Carrnage: I couldn’t agree more. Any non-constructive rude comments critical of consumers on a pro-consumer website should just be edited and their accounts cut off. That’s how this site would be run if I owned it….but…. Just because it’s a free country, doesn’t mean you have a right to run people down on any site you want, pro corporate assholes.

  82. Consumer007 says:

    Policies are made to be broken. If the policy is stupid and doesn’t work CHANGE IT.

  83. delphi_ote says:

    Escalate and be patient! A girl I was dating had her watch broken by a Target employee. After calling their customer service line, they offered to pay for the cost of the repairs!

    There are good people who will listen on their customer support line. Just be patient and friendly and they’ll fix what they did wrong.

  84. penarestel says:

    I call bullshit on that alleged policy.

    Obviously no store is going to accept a return on a battery that has been bought, opened, taken out of the store and then brought back. How are they supposed to know if it’s the same battery and not some shady customer trying to return their dead batteries? But if the battery was bought, opened and the customer never left the store then your “policy” doesn’t apply.

    If it was me I’d have escalated to the highest manager possible. Free gift cards are always nice.

  85. GinnyErns says:

    Some of you are very hard on the customer here. No matter what age, when a “policy” becomes ridiculous, clecks should be taught to use common sense. Customers should not have to fight for justice and common sense. Customers should not have to waste valuable time (their’s and the store’s) taking matters up the line. Half the time we only get the same parrot talk. “It is not our policy” Can anybody think these days or just read scripts.

  86. imaLttlGrl says:

    I have worked for Target for 3 years, and in those 3 years I have had to of changed a couple hundred batteries for people of all ages. I have never once told a guest that they have to pay for their battery before I install it. To my knowledge that is not Target’s policy because I have had managers assisting with a watch at the same time when I first started out learning how to use the tools, and they, nor anyone has told me to have the guest pay first. Same with watches, if someone buys a watch and wants links taken out etc. we are supposed to do all the work on it before the purchase, because if something goes wrong, or in this case if the battery is incorrect, the problem can be taken care of faster.

    The employee was definitely in the wrong here, they should have called a manager over and had them deal with it. Target’s ultimate policy is to: “provide Great Guest Service”. At least that is the case at my Target. However, since the employee failed to provide such service, the woman should have asked to speak to a manager in the store instead of waiting after the fact and having her son in law call in. Manager’s are always (at my store at least) more sympathetic towards in-store guest, especially if the issue is simple and easy to take care of like this one.

    Not to mention, ALL Target stores recycle used/unusable batteries of all kinds at the electronic and jewelry boats, so the opened battery that most likely cost 3.54 would not have done any damage to the days sales and the employee and any manager that was on duty that night should have known better.

  87. Lambasted says:

    @Hamm Beerger: Companies and humans are not perfect. I expect mistakes. From time to time, I expect an item to ring up with a wrong price (hello, Target); I expect to receive the wrong merchandise; I expect a newly purchased item to break or is otherwise defective in some manner; I expect a service rep to give me misinformation; I even expect that a rep may have a bad day and take it out on me. Etc., etc.

    I expect all of these mishaps and more. But I also hold the company accountable and expect that mishaps will be dealt with and resolved in a reasonable and satisfactorily manner. When they are, I have no further complaints. I will gladly give them more of my business. When mishaps are ignored or minimized that’s when my ire is raised and the fight is on.

  88. jamgrrl says:

    She should have gone to Radio Shack. I had an old watch that didn’t work, and I was pretty sure it was just the battery. I went to Radio Shack, and they let me open a battery (before purchase), install it, see the watch still not work, and didn’t make me buy the battery.

    I actually felt a little bad, because I had sincerely intended to buy the battery, but not TOO bad, because… well, here I am, recommending Radio Shack. :)

  89. zoomer54 says:

    @Assimilate: @Assimilate:
    The girl at the jewelry counter should have sent the lady to guest services to refund the battery- then guest services should have defected it out. This is the best guest service that could have been given by the team member to a guest.