UPDATE: Target Targets Handicapped, We Target Them

Lexi — the sweet daughter of the elderly, handicapped woman who was publicly humiliated by Fran at Target — wrote us in to tell us that Consumerist jihad works.

It turns out that yesterday evening, around 6:45pm, she was called by Cassandra, the regional manager of Target in Rhode Island. Cassandra was appalled and took great steps to address the situation. First of all, she has ordered another MartCart for the store, so handicapped patrons don’t have to drag themselves across the floors when the first one breaks down, or impose upon Petey to piggyback them through the store. Good move, Cassandra! We already like you.

Better yet, although Fran is legitimately “on vacaton”, Cassandra is “looking forward to meeting with Fran when she returns.” Oooh! Ominous. Cassandra intends to be in-store on Fran’s first day back, to kick ass and chew bubblegum. However, Lexi recommended that the limit of steps taken against her be sensitivity training. Lexi’s a peach, and we’d like to support her on this: though we doubt, as many of you have claimed, that Lexi is somehow exaggerating this story, I think we can all understand that Fran may have had entirely ancillary issues going on that caused her to behave that way. If a day in a training course is good enough for Lexi, it’s good enough for us.

Overall, Lexi seems very happy with the resolution, and she doesn’t think she would have gotten anywhere if people hadn’t made their voices known on her behalf. Which is precisely what we were shooting for.

Lexi’s sweet email, after the jump.

Wow- I just read Consumerist now, and am absolutely stunned at the outpouring of comments and reactions! I feel a little defensive at the suggestions that I might have exaggerated- there is no way I would spend a Friday evening writing to consumer defense websites for kicks, but understand that a lot of people want to hear both sides of any story (an entirely commendable and all too rare urge!) Also, for the record, my mom is not a gorgon. I might be (have to look it up, but kind of doubt it), but don’t mess with my mom! Also, someone wondered when it all happened; the ill-fated visit to the store was on Friday the 8th at about 12:30 pm.

I can’t thank you enough for urging people to contact Target. By late this afternoon, I was furious all over again and feeling kind of helpless about getting some response from them. (I had written to them on Friday evening as well, to their “Guest Services” department, and to some “Investor Relations” email addresses I found.) When I got the email from you earlier, I still had not heard word from Target. I would bet any money (if I had it) that the help from Consumerist readers was responsible for the call I finally did get tonight.

At 6:45 tonight, I got a phone call from a Cassandra at Target, who identified herself as a regional manager, and she apologized profusely for what happened. She did tell me that Fran was ‘on vacation’, and that the incident would be addressed when Fran returned. She also told me that the store was ordering another MartCart, and also some regular ‘push’ wheelchairs. She said that she thought that the store had had regular wheelchairs at some point but that they had ‘rolled out of the store’, which I guess I can see happening. I thanked her for her call, and asked if she could keep me up to date with what changes, if any, would take place at the store, and she told me that she would be in touch with me. I suggested that maybe Fran needed some sensitivity training or something, and she said that she was looking forward to meeting with Fran when she returned from her vacation. Supposedly Fran will be returning next Monday, and Cassandra said that she would be in the Warwick store that day to ‘address the situation’.

Whew. I’m still a little wowed at how many people responded, with comments and action, and again thank you very much for what you do.

Thanks again!


ps. I just read the wiki entry on gorgon- “vicious female monsters with sharp fangs and hair of living, venomous snakes.” Huh. It would make a great Halloween costume! No, in all seriousness, although I wanted to go off on Fran with all of my heart, my mother was right there trying not to cry! I can’t believe that I limited myself to saying only “You have been very unpleasant”, as that’s about as spineless a comment as I have ever made, but hey, a nice girl doesn’t swear in front of her mother.


Edit Your Comment

  1. lgf says:

    I still don’t agree on calling a company about an incident that I didn’t see that happened to a person I don’t know. I’m glad she got resolution, but still, jihad?

  2. Karmakin says:

    Meh, all we really have against the big corporations is each other. This is exactly what should be done. I was a little worried that we were only getting one side of the story…it seemed so extreme, ya know?

    But to be honest, Lexi’s e-mail here put that to rest, at least in my mind. I’m satisfied. Why? Because to people who might have thought it was an exaggeration, she not only didn’t get defensive, she empathized.

  3. Clare says:

    I know I’m a little late to the party on this, but doesn’t Target have surveillance cameras? If this incident happened 25 feet from the door, there should be surveillance footage of it. If there’s footage, you could at least observe Lexi and Fran’s body language.

  4. I didn’t think the e-mail was wrong/greatly exaggerated but I was worried that alot of angry phone calls would lead to Fran’s being fired without having a chance to defend herself. (Is Rhode Island an ’employment at will’ state?) She should have the chance to explain her actions even if the result is the same.

    In any case, I hope the training class is enough.

  5. any such name says:

    honestly, Lexi is just not being stern enough. I understand not wanting to raise a huge fuss in front of my already upset mother, but really, this Fran woman should be fired. it’s never acceptable to yell at anyone in a store when you’re in a managerial position (be it an employee or a customer), not to mention singling someone out for being handicapped!! good PR would tell Target to fire this woman.

  6. cudthecrud says:

    I don’t think that Lexi has any responsibility to Target or Fran to be “stern” or have any response whatsoever beyond the unpleasantness part and saying that you intend to contact the store manager about the treatment.

  7. Papercutninja says:

    While the surveillance footage could hang “Fran” even more, it’s highly doubtful that Target would release such footage, unless it was some sort of criminal inquiry. This isn’t one of those cases, we’ve all dealt with cunty customer service and hoped/wished that that person would get their just punishment, and it this one’s a doozy.

    I love Target, and it sounds like most of their staff is on Lexi and her mom’s side. Hopefully they hang Fran out to dry.

  8. laurelt says:

    Is Rhode Island an ’employment at will’ state?

    ALL states are ’employment at will’ states. (Even California.) Unless you have a specific employment contract to the contrary, you are an at-will employee and can be fired at any time, without any warning, for any reason not specifically prohibited by law.