Target Ships Couch With No Screws Or Legs, Wants You To Return It To The Store

This story is precisely why we’ve decided to avoid buying furniture from any store that doesn’t specialize in furniture. Christian and his wife bought a couch from Target and had it shipped to the house for $100. It turns out that “Target Ground” was really just UPS, and the 6 foot couch took no less than 3 boxes and 2 drop-offs for UPS to deliver in its entirety. Oh wait. They didn’t deliver it in its entirety because they forgot the screws and legs needed to put the couch together.

Target’s solution to this is not to apologize and mail the screws and legs to Christian and his wife. The solution is Christian and his wife should box up the couch and have UPS pick it up. They don’t have the boxes the couch came in (because they had to cut the boxes off to get the couch out). Target also suggested they just bring the couch down to their local Target and drop it off in the customer service department.

All Christian needs is some screws…and legs. He doesn’t want to bring the couch back.

Read his (really funny) email exchange with Target inside.

Target writes:

I’m sorry for any inconvenience you’ve experienced with this situation.
Yes, the “Metropolitan Upholstered Sofa – Chocolate” may be returned
to a Target Store.

We will issue a full refund for most items returned in new condition
within 90 days of shipment, with the original packaging and
accessories. If you no longer have the original box, the store
should still be able to accept the return in most cases.

The store associate will issue the refund back to the original
payment method (credit card or GiftCard).

However, our stores aren’t set up to refund shipping or Gift Wrap
charges. So after you return the item at Store, please contact us
so that we can refund you for the associated shipping charges.

Christian writes:

Hello! I would like a full refund for this couch, including the cost of shipping, as I am DONE dealing with your company! Maybe you can see from my MANY previous emails or possibly notations from all of the calls my wife and I have made to customer service that our lovely couch that we purchased with money we received as a gift for our wedding… that we purchased to match the matching chair that my grandmother bought us for our wedding (and is in fine condition, but useless as it does not have a matching couch to compliment it and never will it seems)… our lovely couch came missing all of the hardware and legs to actually put it together. Returning such a massive thing seems absurd and returning through the mail is simply impossible as UPS will not ship anything out of box and I wouldn’t know how to begin to find a box big enough for this six foot couch. Returning it in store is what I truly would love to do, as it would be hilarious and I would film it for my own enjoyment (sending a copy to your corporate headquarters, of course… so that you can see how I tell every customer that looks at my wife and I and our massive pieces of couch about our experiences with it) but returning in store would require the rental of a truck, as this thing could nowhere near fit into our compact car. It is ALMOST worth me biting the bullet and paying for that truck rental, but I’ve decided the best option for me at this point is to throw the pieces of the couch into a lake. I think you would also agree that that is my best option, dear Target, as you have not offered any better. Please refund all of my money for this purchase, I will draw you a map to the lake that I will throw the couch into and we can make our return.

Target writes:

I’m sorry for the problem with your order. We

ll be happy to help
you out with this return. UPS will pick up the “Metropolitan
Upholstered Sofa – Chocolate” and when we get it back, we’ll refund
you the cost of your order. The request for pick up has been issued
to the shipping address.

We can’t confirm the exact pick-up time or date with UPS. They
should make the first attempt within the next 5-7 business days.

Here’s what you need to do to get your order ready for pickup:
-The driver will bring the return label, so you don’t need to
put one on the package.
-Put the item back in its original packaging.
-If you’re not sure that you’ll be home when UPS comes,
remember to leave the package where they can find it.

Christian writes:

This does not resolve my issue, but instead creates a whole different issue to deal with! A UPS man coming to my door when I have stated in every email that I DO NOT have the original packaging, as the original packaging was quite damaged and dirty and I did not want to drag it in and onto my carpet, so I cut the couch out of it outside. I cannot find any kind of packaging large enough to house a six foot couch. I did, however, like the part of the email where it said I could leave the package where he could see it if I was not home. I could leave this package on the MOON and he could see it, as it is taking up quite a lot of space amongst our apartment and has been for one month now. You see all I wanted were the missing pieces that should have come with my couch, but I guess that isn’t possible, so I will just have to buy a hacksaw and saw this couch into tiny, tiny pieces and then eat each and every piece to finally remove it from my life, one bite at a time.

Good grief, does anyone work at Target? Can you please send Christian the legs of his couch so he doesn’t have to eat the damn thing? He’s really not happy with his Target purchase,

“I now realize that $500 would have been better spent on someone that trains birds of prey to train a very large hawk to peck my eyeballs out and build nests in their sockets.”

Does that cost $500 dollars? —MEGHANN MARCO

Why you should never purchase a couch or any piece of furniture from Target. [Christian Stella]


Edit Your Comment

  1. kerry says:

    Thank you for making me glad I decided to spend more and buy a couch at Room and Board. $69 for home delivery, arrived assembled. Target sucks.

  2. djsyndrome says:

    I had a similar situation with them a few years ago when I purchased a dresser for my daughter’s room. Upon assembly I discovered the dresser was missing one set of drawer rails (remember kids, always check the parts *before* assembly!), but everything else was fine. The box was sealed when I brought it home, so it was likely an error at the factory.

    I called Target’s 800 number and asked for another set of rails. Their reply was that I should contact my local store for assistance, which I did.

    And the local store’s solution? Bring the dresser back in and they would swap it for a new one. No, it did not matter that it was nearly fully assembled, and no, it wasn’t their problem that the dresser wouldn’t fit in my Toyota (just getting the box home required folding the seats down).

    After laughing at the ‘supervisor’ on the other end of the line for a minute, I hung up and made my way down to the store with the receipt. Bypassing customer service, I headed straight for the furniture department and grabbed a nice young lady who had no trouble getting the missing rails out of a box for me. She was going to set the pillaged box aside until she received a set of rails from corporate. This entire process took less than three minutes.

    I still buy furniture from Target, mostly because it’s as cheap as IKEA but seems to last longer, but partially because of the service I received once I knew who (and how) to ask.

  3. gorckat says:

    I love how his frustration comes through…why have they just not sent him the hardware? Does any local Target have this couch in stock? Maybe he can work it out with a manager there to just take what he needs and ‘return’ the one in the store.

  4. comedian says:

    Maybe Target will spring for the cost of some replacement feet from a third part source.

    I googled “furniture feet” and a bunch of different stores appeared that sell finished legs & feet that might fit the bill.

  5. LWQuestie says:

    Who actually manufactured the couch? I’d recommend going directly to the manufacturer for missing parts. They tend to be fairly easy to deal with. I’ve gotten missing part sent to me by craft kits companies (bought stuff at Joann that had missing pieces) and the blinds that I bought at Home Depot wanted calls directed to them for replacement, rather than to Home Depot.

  6. v2h5a81 says:

    I have never laughed so much with a post as I did with this one. While I am sad to see him suffer like this I think it it the funniest thing I have ever read. I do hope he gets this problem resolved or more so decides to deliver the couch and video tape it as well as post it. Anyway thanks for making my day start in a funny way.

  7. WhatThe... says:

    Yes, deal directly with the manufacturer. Read that notice in every furniture box that says “Do not return this item to the store: Read This!” Service is faster, and better than trying to deal with a store on missing parts.

  8. Starfury says:

    We have several pieces of Target furniture and they’ve all been complete and in exellent condition when opened. I didn’t have them shipped since I have a mini-van. 2 chairs, coffe table, 2 bookcases, and a TV Armoire.

  9. muddgirl says:

    I bought this dining set from Target – when I got it home, the back of one of the chairs was broken. Instead of dealing with Target which is the incorrect thing to do, I followed the instructions in the manual to contact the manufacturer. They sent me a replacement part within weeks, for free, and I didn’t have to send back the broken chair back. They even called when the item was shipped to confirm all of my information, and sent me a nice little letter after I received it asking if I was completely satisfied (I was!)

    That’s customer service.

  10. theAlphaJohn says:

    I had something similar happen with a piece of office furniture I bought last month:

  11. not_seth_brundle says:

    This story is precisely why I’ve decided to avoid buying furniture that requires assembly.

  12. royal72 says:

    target has gone to shit. i used to work there back in the day and if this happened, we would have simply opened a box and handed him the missing hardware with a smile and apology. the rest would have been returned to the manufacturer. depending on the situation, there were many times our manager would also contact the customer after, just to follow up and make sure everything was ok… heck, he just figured that was part of his job as a manager. the irony.

  13. aka Cat says:

    I think he should have the birds of prey trained to go to Target, fetch some sofa legs and screws, and bring them back to him.

  14. rachmanut says:

    No question he has the right to rant, and I enjoyed the funny, but I have to take issue with his assertion that:

    “…the matching chair that my grandmother bought us for our wedding…is…useless as it does not have a matching couch to compliment it…”
    (emphasis and heavy editing mine)

    Trust me, I’ve been to college. You can use furniture that doesn’t match.

  15. John Stracke says:


    I think he should have the birds of prey trained to go to Target, fetch some sofa legs and screws, and bring them back to him.

    Yeah, but imagine all the false starts. “No! Not soda kegs! Sofa legs!”

  16. smash says:

    the problem is that the store might not carry the item. most stores don’t carry a lot of furniture. so he can’t just go to the store and switch it out. if he ordered it online and had it shipped, he has three options:

    1. contact customer service, get a replacement order shipped (if item is still in stock) and have ups pick up the defective couch with no legs/screws. hopefully the replacement one will have the legs and screws.

    2. contact and request the parts. however, it takes 4-6 weeks for parts request to be fulfilled and often, they can’t be fulfilled at all.

    3. contact the manufacturer and see if they can supply the legs/screws. if they charge you, ask to refund you what they charged you.

  17. smash says:

    also, it’s important to note the difference between a target STORE and they’re operated very differently.

  18. “Who actually manufactured the couch? I’d recommend going directly to the manufacturer for missing parts.”

    Yes, typically when I’ve bought from Target, the little booklet for putting it together says “contact manufacturer for missing parts” with a 1-800 number, and you call and they arrive in two days.

    Not that Target shouldn’t be able to, you know, GET HIM THAT NUMBER or even CALL THEM FOR HIM.

  19. God_of_Gamblers says:

    I just ordered a bed from WalMart online (I’m sorry to say it was a terrific deal). It was sent in three parts.. the base, some decorative slats that attach above the headboard, and the headboard itself.

    I received the base, a package of wood sticks, and a full-size baby stroller.

    I sent it all back for a refund (mostly because I changed my mind about what I wanted in the bedroom), but they were pretty cool about having UPS pick everything up the next day. Delivering it to an acutal store was an option, but not a requirement.

    I realize the necessity of sending pieces seperately, but they really need to work on their internal tracking for ensuring that the right order goes out the door. ..or do better drug screening.

  20. matt1978 says:

    Eyeybrows –
    The CSR wouldn’t have the manual to his specific couch right at arm’s length. Why didn’t this guy just look it up? He didn’t say the manual was missing.

  21. crichardson79 says: blows. I ordered some hurricane glasses a month and half ago. They never came so I checked my online order and it said it had been canceled. They never e-mailed me or called to let me know they canceled the order. So I called customer service (first off what a bunch of dumbasses) the says I see it was canceled. I ask why he say I have no idea. My response can you do something? He say no I have to turn this over to someone else who will e-mail me. A bunch of retards at customer service. I will never buy anything from again. After a week some jerk off from target said they would send me a refund gift card. Too little to late I recommend no one buy anything from their online store.

  22. d0x says:

    Uh its terrible that your in the situation but you didnt need to destroy the box to get the couch out.

    Also why the hell would you buy a couch from target?

    Lastly why dont you call the manufacturer because they always clearly state if your missing a piece dont return it, notify them and they will ship it out to you.

    All you need to know is who made your couch which you can find out from your receipt. Go to their website or call them and get the damn screws and legs.

    Your making a bigger deal out of this then you should and its your own damn fault for cutting the box up.

    Would you like someone from Target to drive out there with a new box because your not smart enough to save the package until after you inspect all the pieces!?

    Go away!

  23. silverlining says:

    Oh, that is some hilarious reading. Hehehehe :) I wish I were as creative in dealing with customer service.

    @God_of_Gamblers: You ordered a bed, got two parts and a STROLLER?!!? ROFL!!

    @d0x: Oh, cmon. They said they had to rip the box apart to liberate the pieces of couch. The escalation of this issue was very preventable on Target’s part by any competent CSR, as several others on this thread have noted. Yeesh.

  24. puka_pai says:

    If the sofa is anything like other RTA furniture I’ve seen, the manual with the manufacturer’s contact info would have been in the sealed plastic bag with the hardware — you know, the one he didn’t receive? Still, Google is your friend, most manufacturers have web pages. You might at least be able to find how to contact them.

    If not, the American Furniture Manufacturers’ Association can often help. (It doesn’t necessarily have to be manufactured in America — odds are slim! — but they can point you in the right direction.) Also Furniture World magazine has a page at with a manufacturer’s directory.

    The Intarwebs is pretty darn useful. Lots of good stuff in those tubes.

  25. QquegChristian says:

    Sadly, this couch is an “online exclusive”. I did ask that they send an exchange to my local store location where I would arrive and remove the parts that I need, then leave the rest of the new couch there as my exchange… as the couch I have is perfectly fine, save for the missing pieces.

    I actually do have the instructions for the couch, but they came on one single sided piece of paper with no manufacturer name or phone number. The couch cushions list a company in Guandong, China. (Not a joke, the real location.) Only the very first customer service person at Target searched out their “supplier” of the couch, as I guess they’re not dealing directly with Guandong, China. He said that it said the supplier was a company called HomElegance, but that an internet search was showing that they changed their name to HomElement. When I finally got in contact with HomElement, who sells the exact same couch on their website under a different name, they corrected Target that they are just another retailer of the couch and nothing more. That HomElegance IS the actual supplier. All of these clever names with their two E’s consolidated into one E and I feel like I’m unlocking a mystery. Anyhow, I have never received any responses from HomElegance and their website clearly states: “Please request all parts and/or services through your authorized Homelegance, Inc. dealer.”

    Repacking the original boxes sounds romantic and all, but the third and final box, the one labeled “sofa back and legs” was less of a box when it arrived and more of a six foot pack of Wrigley’s gum torn open, the top discarded.

  26. swalve says:

    Perhaps Target decided to not be helpful because he was being a whiny jerk?

    Also, Target is a discount retailer. If you want kiss-your-ass style service, go pay full price somewhere else.

  27. Jason-Ryan-Isaksen says:

    This is really rare, every computer chair or anything else I’ve bought has a big label saying “Don’t take it back, call our 800 number if something is missing” and the one case I had to call, they sent the missing wing nuts right away. This is Targets fault for not insisting a supplier do business this way.
    With a company as large as they are, they can call the shots to make sure something like this can’t happen. Require the maker to overnight the missing parts, they have all kinds of lawyers and corporate rules they can place on a supplier to prevent any of this from ever happening. It looks like either they didn’t, or the people they dealt with didn’t know about it. In any case there’s no excuse, there should always be an information packet of what to do in case something is missing. From a financial point of view as well as customer relations, it’s better to have an 800 number in with the box and have the supplier own up and overnight the screwup than to have them go through this kind of ordeal.

    Jason Isaksen

  28. QquegChristian says:

    Jason, that is exactly my thought as well. Even coffeemakers come with a great big STOP sign piece of paper listing a number for parts and coffeemakers are a far easier return without calling the manufacturer. But calling the manufacturer is a courtesy to them, as the manufacturer would foot the bill for the returned item. It is absolutely absurd to return a $500 item over parts that probably amount to about $5. My wife was freaking out when we realized the parts were missing and I said, “It’s no big deal, they’ll FedEx them to us tomorrow.” Then I couldn’t find the manufacturer, so I called Target and the guy at Target was courteous and said that he would put in a parts order right away. Mind you, the torn open boxes were still around before he said that and I’m sure I COULD have Frankensteined them together somehow if I didn’t throw them away when I knew the parts were coming. It was probably two or three hours after we threw those boxes into our apartment building’s trash compactor that Target called us back at 2 in the morning to say that the parts order “won’t go through.”

    Either way, it doesn’t much matter now, as this posting on The Consumerist prompted them to give up on me entirely. They sent me an email the night the story went up, stating not that they would get in contact with the supplier and use their status as a huge account to get us our missing parts, but that they were issuing an “advance refund” for my purchase and that the $500 will be back in my account in a few days.

    Oh and that they expect me to return the couch to them by mail or store shortly.

    I’ll return the couch to them whenever I want, thank you.