Kirk and his wife spent over $4,000 last year at Target, but we have a feeling that figure is going to drop dramatically for 2008 after Target refused to refund Kirk $24 because they said they didn’t have a record of his purchase in the system. In fact, they didn’t have any record of the lampshade he was holding in his hands—it wasn’t in their computer, and therefore it didn’t exist, even after his wife went and brought an identical lampshade from the store shelves to the customer service counter. Said the clerk, “We don’t carry this lampshade.”
The “customer service” clerk scanned the shade and said “We don’t carry this lampshade.” Fine. Here it is. Doesn’t fit. Perfect condition. Just give me store credit, and I’ll go drop another $200 today in your store.
Nope. “There’s nothing I can do for you.” she says. My wife goes to see if she can find an identical one on the shelves. She does. Clerk’s Supervisor is here now. She scans it. That one doesn’t exist either. Hmm, strange. Flaw in Target’s system, they’ll probably give me the benefit of the doubt at this point.
Nope. “There’s nothing I can do for you.” I mention how much we spend at Target. Blank stare. Slight nod of acknowledgment. Okay, this is ridiculous. Go get your boss. Surely someone can override this policy. I’ve returned $200 jeans at Bloomingdales with no questions asked, no receipt, nothing.
Enter Eileen (pictured above). C’mon Eileen. You look intelligent. Surely, you’ll run my card, see how much we spend at Target, and give us the store credit. $24. Really now. I’m sure you put out fires around here all day long.
Nope. “There’s nothing I can do for you. Maybe if you know what date you purchased it?” We do. April 27. $306. Same day we bought a DVD player and other stuff we probably don’t need. “Hmm. No, I don’t see that.”
It’s as if Target has employed some sort of Schrödinger’s Inventory software, where if the system doesn’t “see” the SKU, the lampshade is neither alive nor dead. Just invisible to their employees.