I Order Patio Set, Target Sends Me Umbrella And IOU

LJMJAG made the mistake of thinking the patio set he found on Target.com was in stock because it was labeled as such. Turns out only the umbrella and its stand were actually present, because he has to wait for the other stuff until Independence Day.

At least he’ll have something to shield him from the bad luck rain cloud that’s hovering over his head. He writes:

On May 12, 2010, I placed an Order for the Outdoor Alexandria Patio Set (http://www.target.com/dp/B002LXTR76) together with the accompanying umbrella and umbrella stand to replace an old patio set I had used for several years (Order# 601-9369618-1874644). The items were all listed as “In Stock”. On Thursday, May 13, I received a notice that the umbrella and stand had shipped. On Friday, May 14, after the umbrella and stand had shipped, I received a notice that the Patio Set was delayed until at least July 4.

How is it possible that less then two days after I ordered “in stock” merchandise, the item is suddenly backordered until the middle of July – yet Target thought that they should ship the umbrella and stand (and charge me for them) immediately. What am I supposed to do during the months of May, June and part of July (provided that the item was not further backordered) set up the umbrella and stand like they are some ancient totem pole and sit under it while waiting for the rest of the patio set to arrive? In fact, how is this even remotely acceptable?

The fact that the item was in stock should have meant that it was available without delay. When I called to speak to customer service and then a supervisor, I found them to be uninformed and unable to offer even the slightest explanation or assistance in any way. “Sorry, I guess it got backordered” is not an acceptable answer – neither is giving me the same information that I was already able to ascertain myself from the Target website. You can be assured that I intend upon voicing my dissatisfaction with Target to everyone I know and will personally take my business and my family’s business to one of Target’s many competitors.

In the meantime, I am now left with a patio set and have to scramble to try and find something. I would have never ordered a patio set for this summer if I had known at the time of ordering that the summer would be more then half gone before I might be able to actually set up and use the furniture.

If this happened to you, what would you demand from Target in order to calm you down?