Target Refuses Return, Says If Computer Doesn't Show Item, It Doesn't Exist

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.

“Come On, Eileen” [After the Jump]
(Photo: Getty)

Comments

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  1. Meltingemail says:

    How did this end?

    Interesting that they could find it on the shelf. That’s awkward.

  2. APFPilot says:

    I bet if you tried to walk out of the store with the one of the shelf it would start exsisting pretty quickly.

  3. Well you can always get it at Amazon….oh wait, you can’t today.

  4. zigziggityzoo says:

    Idiots. all of them.

  5. calvinneal says:

    The woman in the picture is about 10 years old. I am sure this isn’t Target policy. Did you call anyone at corporate? Too easy, Bitch to Consumerist.

  6. madanthony says:

    Target’s system does eventually drop discontinued stuff off the shelves. I’m a big fan of Target clearance, and follow the thread on Fatwallet listing what’s on clearance. After a while, stuff will go to salvage and not be shown in the system – although employees usually can still look it up with a PDT. And given that the pictured item has a Target Home logo on it, it’s pretty clear that it’s from Target.

    The lesson here, though, aside from Target’s poor customer service in this case, is to not lose your receipts.

  7. jscott73 says:

    @APFPilot: Yeah, I would have grabbed all the lampshapes that don’t exist and walk out with them :)

    Seriously, this is why I hardly ever buy anything from Target, I hate their return policy, not even worth my time to deal with them.

  8. bravo369 says:

    Since you found the same item on the shelf then it’s obvious they sell it. I would have asked them what they would’ve done if you wanted to buy the 2nd lampshade you found on the store shelf. would they have refused to sell it, give it to you for free, or find a price?

  9. BoydJibsy says:

    Same thing happened to me recently when I tried to return a gift (a
    rice bowl and chopsticks) without a receipt. They told me it wasn’t in
    their system even though the packaging was covered with little white
    targets. I think this new hard-core return policy is new. I remember
    returning a used coffee maker with a friend a couple of years ago when
    she didn’t have a receipt and they didn’t even carry the model
    anymore, and they still let her exchange it for a new one. Way sucky
    new policy.

  10. ryan89 says:

    Around Christmas time I found a Play-Doh toy on the shelf with no price tag. I went to the price check scanner and it said item not found. I took to it to an associate who couldn’t scan it either and she said she couldn’t sell it to me because it wasn’t in the system. There was a whole bunch of them on the shelf too!

  11. Truvill says:

    Sounds like a philosophy discussion…

    Manager: Prove to us this lampshade exists!

    Customer (being clever): What lampshade?

    Manager: Exactly!

    Customer: Wait, shit…

  12. evslin says:

    I’ve returned $200 jeans at Bloomingdales with no questions asked, no receipt, nothing.

    Wait, what? What kind of pair of jeans does $200 get you?

  13. AskCars says:

    this happened to me at Best Buy and I had the receipt the item was on there yet the bar code on the product didn’t ring up in their computer so it didn’t exist. They accused me of fraud. Like I bought two, the one at best buy and the one I was holding and was trying to return the other one for some unknown reason.
    I spent a lot more at Best buy then these folks at Target and brought that up with them and the corporate complaint people. They didn’t care and didn’t believe me. I’m never shopping there again over a $75 wireless usb dock.

  14. TheDude06 says:

    I wish someone had the balls to say “ok great!” grab all the items off the shelf, and leave the store. Suddenly, they may find a reason to claim ownership of the item

  15. G-16 says:

    I didn’t know that spending $4,000 at target would mean that you get anything special. And if that is not the case then why point out how much money you do spend there? I realize that Target should take ownership on the problem but really what is trying to be said in this situation?

  16. HalOfBorg says:

    For what it’s worth, the woman ‘pictured above’ looks like a dart board to me.

    Ohhhhhhh…… Targettttttt! :)

  17. IphtashuFitz says:

    Heh. I’d be tempted to walk out with a few of the lampshades from the shelves. If they said it doesn’t exist then they can’t accuse you of shoplifting!

  18. There’s probably something we’re not being told here. Having worked in retail for 10 years myself, I can say that many things could have happened.

    She brought an identical lamp shade back up there. But, was it the exact same one? Did it have the same SKU/UPC? If not, tough luck.
    The one they were trying to return could have had a different UPC on it from a different store. Just because it looks similar to one they sell at Target doesn’t mean it is the exact same one.

    There has to be more to the story.

  19. mgy says:

    @APFPilot: Best comment of the week.

  20. woogychuck says:

    I had similar problem after my son’s birthday. He recieved multiple Thomas the Tank LEGO sets, so we tried to return the extra set. Target insisted that they didn’t carry the item, but after checking, they had the exact set in the aisle.

    So, I purchased the set and came back later that day. I explained to the new rep that I had 2 extra sets, but only had a receipt for one. They accepted both with no questions asked.

  21. APFPilot says:

    @jscott73: My Fiancee and I are doing our registry for our wedding and were excited to do one at target but after the stories we’ve read here we decided to completely skip target.

  22. Snarkysnake says:

    I think that this just points up the fact that Target employees are not empowered to solve seemingly simple problems.A REAL store manager would have found a creative way to solve the problem,keep the customer and protect the company from getting screwed.A dynamic, go getter-type would have had that woman singing their praises to friend,family and ,yes, on this blog.

    ” There’s nothing I can do for you ” is the same as saying ” Get the hell outta here until you are ready to spend more money”

    Too late for the OP. But for the rest of us,knowing that Targets new customer service policy is ” There’s nothingI can do for you ” is fair warning- Use at your own risk…

  23. UdoLibolo says:

    @calvinneal – Yes, my wife called and talked to 4 levels of customer
    service at Target who told us to take it up with Amex. Amex said they
    can get the receipt, since the purchase shows in our statement, but
    it can take up to 8-10 weeks.

    @evslin – LOL, I guess I shouldn’t compare Bloomingdales to Target.
    But yeah, have you been jean shopping lately? $$$$

    @G-16 – My point was that yes, while Target should treat all
    customers equally, they’re in business to sell stuff and they have to
    watch their bottom line. It is plain good business to try to keep
    good customers. The amount proves our brand loyalty, which they
    proved they don’t hold in high regard.

    @Turd-Ferguson – Identical.

    Best,
    -Kirk Skodis

  24. ftrain says:

    @G-16: +1.

    The other thing that irked me about was:

    I’ve returned $200 jeans at Bloomingdales with no questions asked, no receipt, nothing.

    That’s very nice of them but this isn’t Bloomingdales. Never understood why people quote other store’s return policies. What’s the point in this situation?

  25. Meltingemail says:

    I don’t really understand why they should get a break because they spend $4,000 a year.

    But if they did find the exact same lamp, that’s just silly.

  26. BlondeGrlz says:

    You must have gotten the one customer service rep who actually checks to see if stuff is in the system. When I worked at Target we had a constant shopping cart full of things people returned that we actually didn’t sell, stuff that was obviously Wal-mart brand. A got a free comoforter that way – what else are we going to do with it?

  27. strangeffect says:

    @APFPilot: excellent.

  28. mechanismatic says:

    Time to blame the customer.

    Regardless of what the Target return policy states, it would be better to save your receipt. There’d be a SKU on the receipt that would help them identify it.

    Having spent years in retail, I have seen customer’s try to return items from the wrong store and get upset when you can’t (read that: the computer will not allow a return on an item that doesn’t ring up). I’ve also seen this self-righteous attitude of “I spend X amount of dollars in this store a year!” Unless you were just handing them money for no reason, you were likely getting merchandise for that money. You weren’t doing them any favors. Further, the return desk employee has no personal stake in your petty grudges. Just because you’re screwing yourself out of shopping at Target (which does have a generous return policy and decent prices and products from my experience) because you can’t let go of the issue, doesn’t mean they should lose some sleep over it.

    And who spends $200 on jeans?!? Clearly you have enough money to waste that $24 should mean nothing to you.

  29. picardia says:

    @mechanismatic: It sounds like you’re blaming this customer for the behavior of OTHER customers over the years. I agree with the poster above who says this is symptomatic of Target not teaching/empowering its sales staff to deal with even the smallest/most glaringly obvious problem. As the merchandise clearly was in the store, and Target does not require a receipt, the refusal to refund was their error, not the customer’s.

    And as for the “X dollars in this store” — maybe it’s a bad attitude, but OTOH, the regular customers are maybe the ones you wouldn’t want to alienate.

  30. Skeptic says:

    Uhm…from the story it sounds like the OP was trying to return a $200 lampshade without a receipt.

    If the OP had a receipt then Target is being stupid. If the OP has no receipt then the OP is being stupid.

  31. UdoLibolo says:

    @mechanismatic:
    Mechanismatic – “You weren’t doing them any favors.” Really?

    If you still think that way, first off I can’t believe you read
    Consumerist, and secondly in this economy I am doing them a HUGE
    favor with my customer loyalty. If they lose that, they’ll be gone
    fast and you can take that to the bank!

    -Kirk Skodis

  32. geoffhazel says:

    @BlondeGrlz: How do you process a return for an item you truly don’t stock?

  33. ludwigk says:

    Gah, more misused quantum mechanical analogies, its like pulling my eyeballs out of my head through my nostrils! I hate being the guy who’s constantly shouting “that’s not what Schoedinger’s box was about!” Stupid physics degree, stupid quantum classes, never bring me nuthin’ but grief… *mumble mutter swear*

  34. Terwilliger says:

    I thought Target sold their lampshades as part of a “kit” with the lamps. So you buy a lamp and you get the shade that goes with it. Maybe the lampshade is inventory, but it’s not able to be rung out separately…they have to ring the lamp, then ring the shade for it to work properly.

  35. mmatesky says:

    To those who think that the customer was “self-righteous” for mentioning how much is family spends at Target, you seem to be missing the point.

    In order to guarantee whatever profit they made on a $27 lampshade, Target’s policy and actions in this case have cost them roughly $4000 in revenue per year (if the customer follows through and stops shopping there).

    Given that simple math, do you think this was a good decision by Target?

  36. linbey says:

    You know although Target really screwed this up, the one thing I HATE is when people mention how much they spend somewhere like it should get them special treatment that someone who only spends $200/year there does NOT get. If a business is run properly they treat ALL customers the same regardless of how much they spend.

  37. jamesmusik says:

    Did no one consider the possibility that she never paid for the lamp shade in the first place? That’s the only way I can reasonably understand it not coming up when looking up the credit card.

  38. mmatesky says:

    mechanismatic,

    if you’ve “spent years in retail” and think customers “[ar]en’t doing [retailers] any favors” by shopping at their stores, methinks you might be part of the problem.

  39. BlondeGrlz says:

    @geoffhazel: I guess if people really threw a fit you could over-ride the system and use 999 99 9999 as the item number, which is what the CSR mentioned in the article should have done since it was for an item they really did sell.

  40. UdoLibolo says:

    @jamesmusik – we have the Amex statement.

    @linbey – Annual amount spent is a good gauge of customer loyalty,
    wouldn’t you say? Do you think a brand should be interested in
    preserving customer loyalty?

    -Kirk

  41. MT says:

    @evslin:I’ve returned $200 jeans at Bloomingdales with no questions asked, no receipt, nothing.

    Wait, what? What kind of pair of jeans does $200 get you?

    In all fairness, I’ve been gifted things like jeans and shirts and other clothing that cost in excess of a couple hundred dollars (primarily at Nordstrom’s). I then promptly return them and spend the $300+ on sale items that I actually like. Maybe that’s why there was no receipt.

  42. jackal676 says:

    @ludwigk

    Schrödinger’s box, perhaps? Stupid English degree. *mumble mutter swear*

  43. bobfromboston says:

    @G-16: Really? You don’t think that being a loyal customer, even to an unfeeling monolith like Target, should count for anything?

    Remind me not to shop at any store you ever own.

  44. MT says:

    @mechanismatic: I’ve also seen this self-righteous attitude of “I spend X amount of dollars in this store a year!” Unless you were just handing them money for no reason, you were likely getting merchandise for that money. You weren’t doing them any favors.

    Actually, the OP kind of is doing them a favor. Why do you think so many businesses were giving an extra 10-15% on gift cards purchased with stimulus money? They want people to shop at their store. Profit means less/no layoffs means the store stays open means the company stays afloat. These days, most companies should be going the extra mile to retain the loyal customer base that they do have. In this case, it means having a satisfied customer versus having a complain posted on the Consumerist. Bad news spreads fast.

    And, again, maybe he didn’t spend the $200 on jeans. They very well may have been a gift, seeing as he had no receipt.

    I don’t say it much but I, along with many others, hate with the fact that some people just can’t get through their day without blaming every problem on the OP. Perhaps your time would be better spent elsewhere.

  45. bleh says:

    Most register jockeys at huge stores have no interest in helping customers. If they have to think or do something that requires more effort than scanning a barcode they feel their meager salary doesn’t warrant it.

    But I’m sure they would complain very loudly if something similar happened to them in another retailer.

    People are lazy and selfish and it is just more apparent when money and customer service are involved.

  46. ShadowFalls says:

    @Terd_Ferguson:

    If you read it throughly, they scanned the one they brought from the shelf and it too was not in the system. The problem is not with the consumer it is with Target. When the product came in, some employee did not do their job and enter it into the system.

    These issues can happen, whether with not being entered, or not being updated. I saw a Kmart with the PS3 for $599.99, they never updated the price in the system when it dropped.

    The lack of receipt hurt this person’s case. I am sure with running the card and checking back far enough, they could have easily have found the item if effort was applied. Once the customer brought up another one that wasn’t being recognized either, and showed there was no fast one being pulled, this should have been quickly handled.

    One other question, did they try to return it to the store they purchased it from? or a different one?

  47. ShadowFalls says:

    @jamesmusik:

    You know, that actually possible. The person ringing them up might have never noticed, and neither did they. If it was never in the system, it is all so possible.

  48. SonicMan says:

    Chargeback time. How could Target be charging your cretit card for an item that does not exist. Good luck to Target fighting that one.

  49. RetailGuy83 says:

    @mechanismatic: @linbey: Agreed, I can just see the consumerist post right now.

    “Retailer X won’t take back YOUR widgets because you dont spend $X a year there. New high volume return policy hurts orphans who like widgets.”

  50. MyPetFly says:

    …shades of a Monty Python skit… (pun very much intended)

    Or something from Brazil (the movie)

    (and pardon if this is a duplicate post — I gave the first one several minutes and didn’t see it)

  51. juri squared says:

    This happened to me with a crib set. I didn’t have a receipt because it was a gift, but it was clearly from Target as it was a Target-exclusive item.

  52. Life_Sandwich says:

    In all honesty, Target and Bloomingdale’s don’t make for the best comparison. The associates at Bloomingdale’s are on commissioned (by and large), and selling high-end items like $200 pairs of jeans. A Target employee is usually just scraping at or away from minimum wage.

  53. People who bring up how much they spend, and think they deserve special treatment for it, are so lame. Like they’re more important than any other customer. As someone who’s worked with customers, I can tell you that you’re as annoying as the people who barely spend anything.

  54. katra says:

    I really, really wish you hadn’t repeated the whole “4000$, so kiss my ass!” bit, Chris.

    Also, no receipt? The poster didn’t mention anything about it being a gift. Would Target really have refused it if you had the receipt?

    When I worked in retail, I would refuse a return with no receipt and no record of the product in the system.
    (Also, the people who brought up the “I spend tons of money here!” were usually customers no one had ever seen before. So when you use this argument, you are in fact weakening your position in the eyes of the workers. Good job.)

  55. thelushie says:

    Well, it may or may not be the same lampshade. Retailguy I am sure you have dealt with this. “But it LOOKS like it” but it is not the same thing. Sometimes it is hard for those of us who work with the merchandise to know the difference. But we have to go by the barcode. Save your reciept and tag.

    I am sure that mentioning Nordstroms is a way to say that they have alot of money therefore they deserve special treatment. I am a sales associate and I also shop at Nordstroms. Another favorite is assuming I am not educated. That is when I manage to mention working on my PhD into the conversation. The looks are hilarious. (I work retail because I like it…not because I have to.)

  56. thelushie says:

    Excuse me, I meant Bloomingdales which I have actually never shopped in.

  57. Jmatthew says:

    “How do you process a return for an item you truly don’t stock?”

    Pretty easy. We used to do it all the time at Wal-mart. Just do an override and return a “misc item” @ xx.xx…

    Wal-Mart is evil, but their return policies are liberal to a fault.

  58. dakker says:

    Seriously, mentioning you spent $4000 sounds condescending to a CSR rep who probably makes $7-$15 an hour and doesn’t have that kind of disposable income. Talking down to the person who isn’t helping you IS NOT GOING to get them to go the extra mile to help you. If you want to be a loyal customer then shop there often enough where the cashiers recognize you and be a loyal customer, not just some tool.

  59. RetailGuy83 says:

    @thelushie: Agreed, may favorite is when I get some Europeans buying up all my electronics because of the exchange rate, and calling me an ignorant American (in French). Then when we get to the register I conduct the entire check-out procedure in French. Faces are priceless.

    Also, $4000 isn’t even that much if you buy groceries at Target, I mean, thats what? $350 a month?

  60. JohnMc says:

    “…you were likely getting merchandise for that money. You weren’t doing them any favors.” — mechanismatic

    Uhmmm. Well I’ll tell you what, take that attitude and flush all your customers and see how fast you lose your job! McDonalds frets over whether a $5 order of a customer’s complaint. Why because that customer represents a $4500 income stream over their life. That is why how much a customer spends in your store might be important.

  61. OletheaEurystheus says:

    @dakker:
    condescending or not, stating you have spend $4000.00 USED to mean
    you where a loyal customer and they didnt want to lose one. But
    obviously both from their attitude and the attitude of the
    commentators here, what used to garner respect has turned into “your
    a asshole.”

    Its just another sign of how our nation of consumers is destroying
    civility and morals in this country. In the past a store that pulled
    this warranted losing their entire customer-base. These days some of
    you commentators are so fucked up your blaming the consumer for the
    companies mistakes.

    I honestly wonder how many of you are really posting in defense of
    companies paying you.

  62. kirkskodis says:

    @dakker: To you and anyone who thinks I expect special treatment let me assure you I do not.

    I mentioned the amount (in my blog post, not in the store, btw) to show my loyalty to Target. How else can Target gauge my loyalty if not by how often I shop there and how much I spend when I do?

    If you owned Target. How would you figure out who your best customers are? And once you did, would you try to preserve that customer loyalty? I bet you would.

  63. parad0x360 says:

    It doesnt matter if it was in the system or not. The item was over $20 therefore without your receipt which you did not have…Target wouldnt have taken it back anyways

  64. eben56 says:

    I believe they said the exact item found on the shelf did not exist in the system either. Boy if they were trying to BUY the shade someone would have figured out what to charge them pronto.

  65. RetailGuy83 says:

    @JohnMc: McDonalds worries about a $5 sale because they operate very low volume at 90%+ profit margin (save $1 Double Cheese Burgers). I make the same $4.90 on a brand new laptop. Really.

    So the $5 v. $1000 approach is meaningless. At the same time, my customers all receive one level of customer service. Doesn’t matter how much you spend, I’m going to take care of you. Honestly, operating in that fashion makes MY job A BUNCH easier. But it took me a long time to find a retailer that agreed with me on that. Luckily we make enough margin on other things that I am empowered to take care of issues at the store level.

  66. rdm says:

    I thought the new Target policy was >$20, no returns without receipt, matter what.

  67. Hawk07 says:

    @dakker:

    Not really.

    You get the red carpet treatment at Saks if you spend more than $20,000 a year (I think that’s the minimum level) at their chain. As in, you get personal shopping assistants, private dressing rooms, appointments to have stuff fit, etc.

    So, that’s the way you get ears to open if you’re having a problem — at least at Saks.

  68. Hawk07 says:

    @rdm:

    I think that was the case in 2007, but now I believe it’s no receipt = no return, no exceptions (except probably manager discretion, but that’s very YMMV).

    And, it’s a hit or miss whether they’ll be able to look it up through your CC.

  69. fjordtjie says:

    clearly, it wasn’t that they refused to do anything, they couldn’t return an item if it wasn’t in the system, i get that. it seems kind of pretentious to toss out how much you spend, blah blah, $200 jeans, and your complaint is about a cheap $24 lamp shade. you could have kept the reciept and avoided the problem. they could have called corporate, but i’m sure they can’t just pull money out of the register and give it to a customer because they claimed to have purchased something that no one(target’s fault) seems to have record of. sell the lampshade on craigslist, eat the difference, and stop whining. worst case scenario, you’re out $24 and have a nice new lampshade.

    80% customer’s fault, 20% target’s

    and bringing up returning a $200 pair of jeans without a reciept to convince them to give you money makes you seem like a pompous jackass…

  70. To the OP: The amount you spend at Target is not relevant. Target’s policies apply to you whether this was your first purchase or you are their largest customer. When you wave the $ as part of your complaint you lose much of your credibility. Remember that fact the next time you deal with employee/drones.

  71. kirkskodis says:

    @Corporate-Shill: Amount spent = customer loyalty.

  72. LosersHaveCreditCardDebt says:

    Right on, Target.

  73. Shmonkmonk says:

    If it’s a common item that’s sold at more than one retailer (Wal-Mart, JCPenney, etc.) the manufacturer might have sent them a batch with a wrong sku.

    Oh, and for future reference, “I spend $XXXX at your store every year!!!” Never ever works. It just makes you sound like a royal douche and retailers just want to help you out less.

    And no, no retailer can swipe your card and see how much you spend at the store… if they could, everyone would be in an uproar about privacy issues.

  74. Shmonkmonk says:

    @OletheaEurystheus: No, you are very wrong.
    Stating how much money you spend at a store does not get you better service ’cause there is no way to prove it. Anyone can go into a store and claim to be their biggest customer!

    Customer services used be better back in the day ’cause stuff cost more and margins were higher, and stores could afford to have a seniored, well trained staff who took pride in their job and company. Now, because of consumers (probably like you) who demand $20 shoes, $40 coats, and $15 jeans, companies have to cut cost and staffing/training is the first to go.

    If you want to be treated “well” go shop at places like Nordstrom, Saks, and Niemen. You’ll be paying $300 for a button down shirt but the staff will care.

  75. kirkskodis says:

    @Shmonkmonk: The economics of this are not lost on me.

    Target and other discounters need to take from inflated marketing budgets and spend more wisely on customer service programs.

    If we have learned anything from blogs like The Consumerist, and the new empowered consumer it’s that customer service is the new marketing.

  76. SpeakerphoneON says:

    Here’s a simple rule that works really well:
    If you have to say “I’m a really good customer”, then you’re not.

    If you were, they’d know you. And it wouldn’t be based solely on the amount of money you spent. It has a lot to do with how you treat the people who work at the establishment.

  77. kirkskodis says:

    @SpeakerphoneON: Really?

    So a huge chain like Target, with 25 checkout isles, and thousands of customers per store, per day – I’m supposed to build some old-timey rapport with them?

    Really? You think so?

  78. macinjosh says:

    @evslin:

    “Wait, what? What kind of pair of jeans does $200 get you? “

    They come with a hot girl (or guy) pre-installed. :)

  79. macinjosh says:

    @HalOfBorg:
    You have to click through the blog story (which is slightly longer than what’s posted here.)

  80. thelushie says:

    @Shmonkmonk: I love the personal, hand written, invitations and thank you’s that I get from Nordstroms.

    I work at a well hated store on here but, you know what? We are a GREAT store. There are more great employees than bad ones. Our managers are responsive to us and the customers. And the vast majority of us take pride in our work. (I just had to say that.)

    @macinjosh: Usually nicer detailing and higher markup. Of course a hot guy would be a great detail. But, until then, I think I will stick to Levis.

  81. thalia says:

    @mechanismatic:

    Pretty much what I was thinking. I’m glad I don’t work in retail anymore…you just get yelled at by people who refuse to understand that you are just a cashier and have literally no control over their situation. If the manager says we can’t accept a return, we can’t do anything for you (unless we want to lose our job, and no offense if we’d rather keep eating food and living in a decent apartment and paying our bills instead of cutting you a quick favor.

  82. thelushie says:

    Here is the comment from the blog posted by the individual involved. Apparently he is having problems with his log in. As much of a jerk (even after reading his response) as I think he was being, I do believe he has a right to come to his own defense. From Come on, Eileen:

    skodis
    June 6, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    For some reason, I cannot get Consumerist to either email me my password nor approve the comments I emailed in.

    So for anyone who’s stumbled here from the Consumerist post, let me say this:

    1) The reason I mentioned the $4,000 is, amount spent = customer loyalty. We do not hope for special treatment. But how else can Target gauge my loyalty if not by how often I shop there and how much I spend when I do?

    2) Yes, we confirmed with Amex that we made a purchase on that date. They are getting us a copy of the receipt, but it takes 8-10 wks.

    3) Sorry, yes we shop at Bloomingdales and while it’s not the best comparison to Target, they are at every mall in my area, and I’ll remain loyal to them because they treat me better.

    Re: #1 above. If you owned Target. How would you figure out who your best customers are? And once you did, would you try to preserve that customer loyalty? I bet you would.

  83. RetailGuy83 says:

    @thelushie: (responding to the quote, not you) One level of customer service, doesn’t matter how much you spend. I would have taken care of it in my store (not a Target) but I would have before you told me how much you spend. And, honestly, tell me how much you spend, makes you a douche.

    I still hold to my previous theroy, if retailers varied their policies based on how much a customer spends, you would see a post on the consumerist about it.

  84. kirkskodis says:

    @RetailGuy83: I’ll try to refrain from schoolyard name-calling, douche. Oops.

    Hmm. You mean like credit card Rewards Points, Frequent Flyer Miles? Yeah, I can’t see why companies would want to reward good customers…

    For the record, I never said I mentioned a dollar amount to the manager or anyone at Target. We only arrived at that amount after we got home, so I included it in my blog post.

    Who’s the douche now?

  85. kirkskodis says:

    @thelushie: Thanks!

  86. kellzzz says:

    @Hawk07: Actually, according to Target’s website [www.target.com] returns are accepted for up to 90 days with or without receipt. Their lookup system is generally supposed to be able to find credit card purchases like this one. Besides, the store wasn’t refusing the return because he was minus a receipt; it was because the sku wasn’t in the store’s system.

    Yes, the $4k/year comment was douche-ist, but given that the item was clearly still in its original packaging (check the photo on the OP’s blog) and that the store had more of the item in its physical inventory, refusing to exchange such a small $ item for store credit was just crap customer service.

  87. Letsgohokies says:

    Why not go grab all the shades and try to walk out of the stores with them. See if security thinks they exist.

  88. eelmonger says:

    @jamesmusik: That was my thought too, and it’s backed up by the fact that they couldn’t find it even after given the info to look it up. When I cashiered, if an item wouldn’t ring up and a price check was taking too long or no one could find the price I’d frequently give it to the customer for free, or ask them how much they thought it was (a lot of people got stuff for $0.01 that way), after making a note of the UPC. This was a grocery store though, so I only did it with small items, i.e. no free cartons of cigarettes.

  89. eelmonger says:

    Also, as ludwigk pointed out, that Schrödinger reference is just awful.

  90. bcsus83 says:

    precisely why I will not spend one red cent in Target. Ever. I hate that store. Filled w/ nothing but overpriced crap. The one time I have had to return something (which was a gift, and I had a gift receipt for), they were snotty about it. I didn’t even want cash back. I just wanted to exchange it for an identical product that WORKED. nope, no can do w/ a gift receipt apparently. Stupid Target.

  91. Emmasmom says:

    They were lucky the employees actually spoke English!! but honestly, is there a reason they wear the Target symbol on their shirts instead of the center of their foreheads?? Just so you know where to whack them with the center of your palm?? It IS kind of fun shopping at Target though…it’s kind of like watching an old rerun of “The Twilight Zone”…just ask a question of any employee and you get that blank gaze and…oh, you get it.

  92. JadoJodo says:

    I’d find other stuff that “Doesn’t exist” and walk out with as much as you can carry. You can’t steal what doesn’t exist.

  93. Lambasted says:

    Target’s inventory scan system is the absolute worst. Almost every time I buy something inevitably an item will scan at the wrong price. If I don’t catch it at the register, I always check my receipt before I leave the store. Sure enough, I have been overcharged for an item or two. Time to go to customer service for a refund. My last couple of visits have been okay so I hope Target has fixed their “catch me if you can” pricing game.

    C’mon Target, how hard can it be to keep track of your inventory and pricing?

  94. ngth says:

    Wait… a $200 pair of jeans? WTF?

  95. @Terd_Ferguson: Actually, this happens at Target all the time.

    Brand new and very old items are sometimes not in their system. They have another source they can check and if it’s not in there, they cannot and will not sell the item to you.

    This is even if they have 20 of them on a shelf, which I have personally experienced.

    The employees don’t like it either, apparently, because people keep trying to buy the items…

  96. AskCars says:

    For the folks complaining about the mention about the amount of $ you spend etc. There are a few things here.
    1. If you spend $50 a week at Target that’s $2500 a year. It’s not hard to spend that much so don’t think it’s rubbing it in someone’s face.
    2. The point of it making a difference is that these companies are taking the attitude that their return policy, even if it has a fault that’s proven by a legitimate customer like this and my experience at Best Buy w/receipt in hand, is more important than the customer being happy and coming back to the store and continuing to spend money. That would help the company’s bottom line.

    There are many many studies in management about the negative advocate. The people like this that will tell 20 friends about a bad experience and 0 about a good one and the damage it can have. When you add the simple fact that you’re losing future sales as well as that negative advocacy than to me it’s a bad idea. If when I had called corporate best buy they had figured something out I would have become a positive advocate and told a few friends how they went out of their way. It happens all the time. That’s why Nordstroms was so successful.

    And to why would it matter if they shop at this store? Hello Wal Mart! There’s competition out there for that $4,000 a year.

  97. Techno Viking says:

    Eileen is pretty in red. Oh and I can’t believe Kirk could not persuade Eileen to get the lampshade back. Come one Kirk, you’re slipping with ladies. Where is your charm with women? You wife has it. I thought so. Good try though unless Eileen is really a not so intelligent girl. Pardon me Kirk, but I had to say it even though I am combining our reality with the TV series of the future. I am sure you and your wife will be laughing when you read this. As for Target, they would be very upset at loosing you. No big deal.

  98. czarandy says:

    This is why credit cards exist. Dispute the transaction, and yay, you’ll have your $24 back. It’s like magic.

  99. MikeGrenade says:

    After skimming over this comment thread there’s one possibility that’s been missed I think.

    If the item has been dropped from the computer system, then no price whatsoever is on file.
    If the item was dropped, it had to first go on the clearance shelf – Where there are no shelf tags.
    (Now this is the weakest part of this chain of if’s) If there was no clearance tag on the item itself, then there was no price on the item. This IS possible since Target’s clearance stickers like to fall off.
    If the customer doesn’t have the receipt, then the store has no idea how much they paid.

    So, even though there was an item on the shelf, it’s possible nobody had any idea how much it’s worth.

    I’m just trying to reason my way through why they would do this – It’s entirely possible (and likely) they were just being asses.

  100. Televiper says:

    @Rabbi Dave:

    1. If you spend $50 a week at Target that’s $2500 a year. It’s not hard to spend that much so don’t think it’s rubbing it in someone’s face.

    As you said, it’s not hard to spend that much money at a store over the year. In fact, I bet there’s quite a large number of people who also spend that amount of money there.

    Trying to tell the CSR how loyal a customer you are is an appeal for better service. Especially when it’s in response to “we can’t help you.” If they guy isn’t posturing at this point then what is he doing?

  101. TheUncleBob says:

    I’ve seen a couple replies advising the customer in this situation to file a dispute with the credit card company. Is “Buyer’s Remorse” really a reason to file a dispute?

    The item wasn’t defective and the store was not in default of their agreement with the customer over the purchase (despite the reasoning of “it’s not in the system, we cannot return it”, it would appear the customer did not have the receipt – something required via Target’s return policy [[www.target.com]]: “We will issue a full refund for most items returned within 90 days in new condition, with the original receipt, packaging and accessories.”]

    I don’t see why filing a chargeback would be the right thing to do in this case. It seems to me, the right thing to do would be to find your receipt or to suck it up.

  102. bigbri says:

    I had the same problem with a pair of shorts and went and got them from the shelf. Then they said ok we will take your return but we will take off 15% for a restocking fee and only give you store credit….Total scam, make sure whatever you are buying is exactly what you want

  103. ClevelandCub says:

    It’s sad when half of the posts here are shilling for Target. I don’t think that the OP was using the fact that he spends a significant amount of money is irrelevant or unwise. What is unwise is for Target and other retailers to not realize that their thumb off the nose treatment of their customers costs them a hard dollar loss in sales, from that customer because they’re not likely to come back, and potentially from others that he tells about this horrible experience.

    As far as the receipt issue. The reason that Target and Wal-Mart only require you to have the Credit Card that you used to purchase the item you wish to return is thanks to electronic journaling. In times past and still in some smaller stores, there is/was a second roll of receipt paper called a journal that recorded every transaction for the register. In very large stores like Target they have moved to electronic journaling, which dispenses with the second roll of receipt paper and stores them in their data warehouses. They are very convenient for the merchant for a number of reasons, not the least of which they make credit card returns easy, because you can look up a transaction based on the credit card number and transaction date.

    Obviously there was an additional issue here – either they did not use the credit card provided or something was wrong with Target’s journaling system, in any case the store personnel could have done something to save their relationship with this customer, instead of sending him into the waiting arms of a competitor.

  104. milk says:

    I don’t understand why everyone gets up in arms about the lack of refunds without a receipt. I’m sure they could have found a way to pull up the receipt if they’d tried a little harder, but if you can’t hold onto a receipt sucks to be you. Target makes so much money, I doubt they care about $4k/year. I wouldn’t.

  105. Cliff_Donner says:

    Well how ’bout this: If a tree fall in Target’s forest, but an employee does not hear it, does it make a sound?

    Did I just blow your mind?

    I think I did.

  106. eeyore.conspiracy says:

    @thelushie:

    “That is when I manage to mention working on my PhD into the conversation. The looks are hilarious. (I work retail because I like it…not because I have to.)”

    No, you’re a loser with a worthless degree. THAT is what they’re thinking.

  107. MrMold says:

    I work retail in Whitest Whitesylvania. My multiple degrees in more than one discipline make me nigh unemployable in this area. The perfect employee is a dullard with less than high school and a Republican/Ayn Rand philosophy. So, I toil in the fields of commerce to fund my Xth sheepskin. Nothing delights me as much as knowing far more about everything (except sports)than the locals. They still retain the fantasy that all retail is populated with serfs or slaves and we all must kowtow to their glorious $3.96 purchase.

    This post smells. Even though Target is a DISCOUNT store, they do have fairly decent computerized POS. If the item was from the store, a manager could possibly offer store credit. However, even in the piney backwoods of Pennsyltucky, there are those that attempt to obtain unwarranted benefits from retailers. “Cutomers” enter with stock from KMart, WalMart, Goodwill, DollarTree, Dollar General, and local merchants and want cash. Methinks the posturing about money spent should indicate a problem with the poster. Many stores have gone to the “no receipt-no return” style policy. Reduces shrinkage, eliminates the profit for thefts, pisses off jerkwads (hooray!), and forces idiots to have adult behavior. Really folks, unless you recite the alphabet every morning you should be able to produce a receipt.

  108. RetailGuy83 says:

    @ClevelandCub: ::Sigh:: Ok, this won’t make a lot of people happy, but if you believe me, it will at least help you let go of a little stress.

    Major Big Box retailers (Wally World, Target, BB, CC) use a mathematical formula to determine customer retension v. return losses. This means that when they make a return policy, in their equation is BUILT IN that they are going to piss off X number of people and they won’t come back and they will tell their friends. So at the store level all they are doing is implimenting a formula. Yes, they are going to tick you off, and yes, you wont shop there anymore. But, if the formula is applied universally to every customer every time then Target comes out ahead and doesn’t “Lose Business.”

    If you play poker this is the same concept as “pot odds.”

  109. christoj879 says:

    @eeyore.conspiracy: Gonna have to agree with you on that. A retail employee could tell me they’re in the process of curing cancer but I’m not going to believe them because as soon as they’re done telling me that they have to go clean up vomit in a dressing room.

  110. HungryGrrl says:

    Had this problem at Sears with a sweatshirt my grandmother gave me for Christmas. They told me it was probably old stock that had been sold off to TJ Maxx or something and they couldn’t take it back at Sears.

  111. RetailGuy83 says:

    @christoj879: You sir, are an elitist, entitled asshole. I hope you drown on your own excriment. If you seriously decide how you are going to interact with another human being based solely on the fact they are wearing the uniform of their employer, you are the biggest waste of human flesh I can possibly imagine. You are a toliet. Really, a toliet.

  112. @eeyore.conspiracy: Yeah, every PhD is worthless. Nope, can’t get any job w/ a PhD. No how, no way. All you’re fit for is retail and waitressing when you get a PhD.

    I’m a full time college student and I deliver sandwiches to make my way through school. The guy/gal you made a crack at said s/he was working on his PhD, which is pretty much a full time job, and is working in retail for fun and money.

    The lack of reading comprehension by the vast majority of commenters here never ceases to amaze me.

  113. stuny says:

    I think every one of the lampshades on the shelf were actually returns from people like you that brought non-existent lampshades into the store. Now they got a whole pile of them that they can’t sell because they don’t exist.

    Very existential.

  114. teqjack says:

    A few years back I worked at a national chain. A woman came in with a sweater she had bought, put in her closet, and somehow forgotten about: she wanted to return it. It still had the tag, but that did not have a scan code – because she had bought it some fifteen years ago!

    The store manager allowed it. Which was corporate policy, BTW.

    Target needs first to alter its policies and second to replace its entire computer programming staff (or, if the inventory system was purchased from a software outfit, fire the people who bought it and replace the system).

    Oh, and a tip: if you buy something as a gift, ask for a “gift receipt” at the register – duplicates everything but the price, so if desired it can be returned/exchanged but otherwise the recipient need not know how much it cost. This was an option at the same chain, may not be universal.

  115. Lodlaiden says:

    @stuartny: very nice…

  116. mechanismatic says:

    Wow. I didn’t expect to be invited to leave. Remind me not to disagree with people again. I’ll toe the line from now on, sir.

    That being said, my point is that it may be worth to the OP to get over his little $24 grudge and continue to shop there. What if an alternative vendor has higher prices and is a farther drive? Target won’t notice that they’ve lost $4000 in sales a year because they’re a big company who doesn’t look at an individual’s purchase history. If they did, they’d likely be wasting money and manpower to do so.

    Would you prefer them to analyze your purchase history to determine if they should give you a refund when you don’t have your receipt? That would be discrimination. What if it was your first purchase from Target and you had no purchase history? The whole “I spend x number of dollars here a year” really only should work in a mom and pop store. Retail has changed. Get over it.

  117. dweebster says:

    @mmatesky: Well, it cost them multitudes of that now, as I’ve decided to use them even less than I have been over the past few years since they decided their crap doesn’t smell…. Really, it’s a Kmart with a better paint job, robotic employees, and a layout designed toward total overconsumption. The fact they went from having a reasonable return policy to this “walk out of the store and you take a risk we won’t honor our return policy” BS makes keeping money in the bank even more delightful.

    With this report, they’ve sunk in status to just above the level of Walmart now. Congratulations, “Tar-Jay.”

  118. dweebster says:

    @mechanismatic: “Target won’t notice that they’ve lost $4000 in sales a year because they’re a big company…..” <- famous last words in the retail biz. How’s it hanging MonkeyWards?

  119. MrThunderfield says:

    Computer sez no…

  120. eeyore.conspiracy says:

    @The Walking Eye:

    Yeah, every PhD is worthless.

    Most are. Moreover, your feeble attempts at refutation by sarcasm do not speak highly of your abilities.

    Nope, can’t get any job w/ a PhD.

    Obviously you can work retail. Or maybe even deliver sandwiches.

    It also seems to be the case that the Ph.D. program in question is not a funded one. That almost invariably means that (a) it’s a horrible Ph.D. program, and (b) the student got suckered into feeding a school’s money cow.

  121. dweebster says:

    @TheUncleBob: “Is “Buyer’s Remorse” really a reason to file a dispute?”

    A: No, but failure to honor a written return agreement probably is. If they purchased this with a written understanding they have “x” days for which they can return it for a full refund – with or without a receipt – and no terms stating that it has to be in Target’s computer system… I’d say the Big Red Anus is fucked here. Of course, IANAL – but pretty sure Target wouldn’t fare too well if dragged into Small Claims for this sort of shit. Hope they do it, if only to spare me the trouble of doing it myself if they ever pull this stunt.

  122. dweebster says:

    @me and the sysop: Tell us that from the soup line after your career gets automated or sent off to some third world country, elitist pig. $4,000/year spent at a yuppified (read “overpriced”) “Dollar and up” store like Target may not seem much to you – but a whole lot of the world lives on less than a buck a day for all their needs and can MAKE you care about $4 Grand.

  123. VikingP77 says:

    Anyone posting in defense of Target is a FOOL! Customer service shouldn’t come at how much you spend or how much the Customer un-service agents are making. Wife pulled exact shade off the shelf….money back! Just because you don’t like your job IS NO reason to give poor service. Just because it was less than $20 does not give Target the right to keep your money. I’ve had piddly problems returning items to Target WITH a receipt…I looked forward to it like going to the dentist. SO I DON’T SHOP there anymore….. Seriously do you want Target run like the airlines? DO YOU?!

  124. eelmonger says:

    @eeyore.conspiracy: Wow, what’s with the PhD hate? A PhD in any subject will basically make you eligible to teach that subject at a college level, and a PhD in Engineering or Science disciplines is very useful when applying for private research jobs. That’s not the mention the experience and skills you gain from doing research during your PhD program, or the potential for your research to have a real benefit to society. Of course they aren’t for everyone.

  125. D-Bo says:

    @mechanismatic: You summed up what is wrong with retail when the businesses and their employees (as attested by you with your years of retail experience) believe that “You’re not doing them any favors”. Why not put that right at the front door then, use it as the new corporate slogan perhaps?

    Something that goes like this: Buy your shit here or whatever, it’s not like you’re doing us any favors by spending money here.

  126. jared51182 says:

    I do want to add something, and I’m not sure it has been posted, since there are a lot of posts, but I will go for it anyway. I used to work over-night stock for Target. From time to time we would get in items that the store did not actually carry, or even the company. It would come through from the supplier, but be the wrong product. Some kid doing stock would be like “F*** it” and just put it up with all the other items of similar characteristic, here a lamp shade.

    What would then happen is someone would try to buy it, and it wouldn’t ring up, so the cashier would “walkie” someone on the floor for a price check. The person on the floor would go and not find that exact numbered shade, but all the other shades were equally priced, and so would just call it back in at that price. Then the cashier would manually punch in the price.

    This is not to say this is what happened, but I think you got the raw end of a deal where such a mega-corporation can have little mistakes like that.

    My advice: Take it to walmart, they will usually take it back, even if they don’t know where the hell it came from.

    P.S.: I no longer work for Target, or am affiliated with it in any way, it was just a summer position during college.

  127. RetailGuy83 says:

    @eeyore.conspiracy: I got $50 that you flunked out of grad school, but think you have enough knowledge to warrant a degree. Or, you know someone with a degree that you think you’re smarter than. In either case, actually finishing a grad program says somthing about your character in that you are willing to finish what you start, and take challenging paths in life. I don’t think you would understand what it means to have character though, based on your comments.

  128. MikeGrenade says:

    This thread is a good example of Target’s return policies bringing out the best in people, isn’t it?

  129. eeyore.conspiracy says:

    @RetailGuy83:

    I got $50 that you flunked out of grad school

    You just lost $50. It will take you almost an entire full-time work day to pay off that bet.

    actually finishing a grad program says somthing about your character in that you are willing to finish what you start, and take challenging paths in life

    Sweet. I have character, your $50, and a job that actually pays well. I win. You lose. Go stock some shelves or swipe some credit cards.

  130. TheUncleBob says:

    @dweebster: “walk out of the store and you take a risk we won’t honor our return policy”

    They are honoring their return policy – the return policy requires an original receipt.

    @dweebster: Please read the link I provided directly from Target’s website where it shows Target’s return policy that clearly states returns require an original receipt.

  131. JAQUEBAUER says:

    Well, this is America, where the good customer is always wrong. They hire the lowest IQ humans they can find, so that they dont have to pay them a decent wage. The supervisors are from the same boat, and maybe the manager graduated from high school.
    Its not only Target, its Sears & Roebuck, Dell, Motorola, and many many others.
    After the sale, its F*@K the customer.

  132. MrMold says:

    eeyore fantasy..I am better than a wage-slave. Let’s see your cards.

    Many posters still have the need to feel superior to retail employees. Any guess as to why not one treats you with deference?

  133. baristabrawl says:

    See, I never have problems at Target. When I do, I either go to another one or come back when said douche is not at the counter.

    I also buy almost everything on my Target card. I do that for a reason.

    Also? When you complain to Target, they don’t care. I’ve never seen a store less concerned with a complaint in my life…well, I guess Wal-Mart, but I can’t be bothered to shop there.

  134. atypicalxian says:

    LOL on the graphic!

  135. Umisaurus says:

    @JAQUEBAUER: That may be the most ignorant comment, like, ever. Do you know how many people work in retail not because they’re stupid, but because they’re just waiting for something better to come along? Customer service work is easy to come by and has flexible hours for students/single parents/those who are working multiple jobs.

    Was this couple on the receiving end of corporate policy/stupidity? Unfortunately, yes. Does that mean that everyone who works for a company like that is stupid? No. They’re just following the rules so that way they don’t lose their low-paying, thankless job.

  136. ptrix says:

    @dweebster: “failure to honor a written return agreement probably is. If they purchased this with a written understanding they have “x” days for which they can return it for a full refund – with or without a receipt”

    Unless I am mistaken, the return policy is often written ON the receipts, either on the front when it is printed, or on the back of them when the paper it produced.

    To make a valid return claim, especially at a large store that sees, at a minimum, tens of thousands of dollars of business per store, per day, having that paper strip with the date of purchase, descriptions of items purchased, prices or items purchased, etc etc would make an attempt to return an item MUCH easier and painless.

    I’m pretty certain that as part of that “written return agreement”, it states that the item must be returned within a specific amount of time, AND that the receipt must accompany it.

    it sucks that the OP didn’t get the return they felt they were entitled to, but let that be a lesson to follow the rules like (most of) the rest of us do. Most people keep receipts. you should too. they’re provided for a good reason.

    the store employees may have been asses, or simply uninformed, but you’re the one trying to get them to bend their return policy. On the bright side, they’re only out $24, and they have an extra lampshade. they could save it for a new lamp, or give it to someone as a gift or something. (either way, it looks like they may be stuck with it)

  137. RonDMC says:

    A few general comments.

    Stores don’t determine how to treat customers based on how much they spend – False. Best Buy explicitly focuses on pleasing long-time, consistent spenders of high-margin items. This does not mean they refuse to help the guy who shows up to buy the loss leader and nothing else.

    All customers are NOT equal – it is foolish to consider all customers equal. A store is in business to make a profit, not treat everyone the same. I can’t blame a store for spending more energy on keeping profitable customers happy over customers they lose money on.

    Repeat Business – Customer loyalty is tremendoulsy important to long term success. Generally, it is much less expensive to retain existing customers than to earn new ones.

    @mechanismatic: “Target won’t notice that they’ve lost $4000 in sales a year because they’re a big company…..” – Oh yeah? How’d that work out for Sears? K-Mart? Montgomery Ward? A loyal, repeat customer base is an easy revenue stream that you don’t need to spend millions marketing to. Big companies weren’t always and may not always be.

    Nordstrom – citing Nordstrom was specifically to juxtapose Target’s rigid, illogical adherence to a store willing to make a special exception for a repeat customer.

    General – Rigid adherence to a policy with no room for considering exceptions is short-sighted. Blindly following the rules, especially in this case, may protect Target from losing $24 but end up costing them a revenue stream of $4k per year. Not a good return on investment if you ask me. A reasonable, entitled associate could have examined the situation reasonably, seen it was a special case, determined that since Target CLEARLY stocks the item since it is SITTING ON THE SHELF and the OP brought it up there that it might be worth it to make an exception for store credit. It’s not like the OP is NOT going to spend the store credit at Target, and while there is also a lot more likely to spend more than that.

    And therein lies the value of retaining customers – repeat business. They might lose a little on the lamp shade but might have made up the difference in additional transactions the same day. Nordstrom is expensive, but they have an exceptionally great return policy and stellar customer service. There are case studies where they have flat out accepted returns on categories of items they do not stock (tires!!) but they graciously accepted it and won business and great word of mouth.

    Word to the wise…don’t let the letter of the law blind you to its intent.

  138. Jeff asks: "WTF could you possibly have been thinking? says:

    I stopped shopping at Target years ago when they installed the credit card machines that eat your card to read it. A friend on the inside told me they did that to protect the clerks when a card is flagged to be confiscated.

  139. RvLeshrac says:

    @UdoLibolo:

    I’ve been pants shopping.

    And no way would I ever be stupid enough to pay $200 for a pair of jeans. I’m hoping that was the reason for the return: “Wow, why the hell did I pay $200 for a pair of jeans?”

  140. vladthepaler says:

    1) Eileen is a dartboard? Should have tried talking to a person.

    2) There’s no mention of having a receipt. If he didn’t have a receipt, it’s reasonable for Target to not accept the return, regardless of whether they stock the item he is trying to return.

  141. mariospants says:

    CSC: “Hey manager, this lamp shade isn’t coming up on the system.”

    Season CSM: “look under ‘party supplies/misc'”

    CS: “oh yeah, there it is.”

    Sometimes, you just gotta know where to look.

  142. TheUncleBob says:

    @Psychodad1961: Wait… why is that a bad thing?

  143. TARGET4LIFE says:

    well… doesnt matter how much you spend at target, I think that if you dont have the reciept then you shouldnt ba able to return it period!! But they do make acceptions and now are able to return off your ID for $35.00. If it wasnt in the system, then like was said, probably got clearanced out. not much you can do there. If they kept everything in their system then people could return things from 5 years ago… It says on your reciept when it expires, oh wait you didnt have one!!