Target Corrects Their Mistake Because You're A "Nice Angry Person"

Reader Jared writes in after having tons of fun haggling with a Target supervisor about an incorrectly priced DS game. Jared writes:

The ad reads: $24 Sale, Each Nintendo DS Games (fine print: Choose from over 30 titles to stuff their baskets! Includes all reg. $29.99 and above DS games.) To me, that ad says, if ANY DS game is $29.99 or over, then I get it for $24. Sound about right? Well, anyone who just answered yes would be wrong, including me.

Naturally, the game that Jared wanted to buy rang up at its normal (non-sale) price. No big deal, right? Jared thoughtfully brought the ad to show the manager. Oh, if it only were that simple…

Read the rest of Jared’s story inside.

The story begins, I was at Target getting Jenn some things for her Birthday, and I noticed a sale on Nintendo DS games. The ad reads: $24 Sale, Each Nintendo DS Games (fine print: Choose from over 30 titles to stuff their baskets! Includes all reg. $29.99 and above DS games.) To me, that ad says, if ANY DS game is $29.99 or over, then I get it for $24. Sound about right? Well, anyone who just answered yes would be wrong, including me. I find out how wrong we are when I get to the register with my items of interest, including one of the “$24” DS games.

The cashier and I go through the routine, and she scans the last item: the game. The computer reads “$29.99.” “Oh, I’m sorry, but the ad says all DS games $29.99 and above are on sale for $24.” “Hrm, I need to call a supervisor.” I am annoyed at this because it is right there on the ad, which I (thinking ahead) brought with me, but I understand they need to do things “by the book.”

Supervisor arrives; cashier explains situation; supervisor looks at ad; tells cashier this game is not included. I decide I would like to be part of this conversation, seeming as I am about to give them my money, so I add, “Your ad says this game would be on sale by the conditions the ad has set for what games are on sale.” “Well, it would scan correctly if it was on sale.” (If you have ever gone to a store before, we all know that last statement from the supervisor to be untrue.) “So, are you telling me you will not validate your own ad?” “No, it is just not on sale. This game is not even pictured on the page.” I responded, becoming more frustrated, “There are ten games on the cover, and your ad says ‘over 30 titles’ are on sale; therefore, could this game be one of the missing 20 or more games?” Supervisor, now upset, “Let me talk to electronics.”

Electronics dude is walking by at the time, and she asks him. He says that game is not included because I had to actually point the game out behind the glass case because it was not actually displayed like the normal games. Oh, let us back track in my story for a moment. The electronics guy is correct; the game I wanted was laying in a stack, improperly displayed, inside the case despite the game being released over one week ago. Back to the normal time line of the story! “Just because you don’t properly display your merchandise makes it not on sale?” “Well, it is because it is new.” I respond, “It was new a week ago, which is an entire ad cycle, and your current ad does not say new games are not included.” Supervisor says, “Electronics says it is not on sale, so I can not change the price.”

I push forward. “Well, let me talk to LOD (leader on duty).” “I am the LOD.” “Ok, let me talk to the store manager.” “He is not here.” “Of course he isn’t. Let me talk to someone who can change this price.” Supervisor says, “There isn’t anyone else. Do you still want the game?” “No, I don’t want a game that is not correctly priced.” “She says fine. Do you want me to take your name and number.” I ask, “Why?” “So I can call you if I can change the price.” “No, you have made Target an incredibly inconvenient place to shop at.” “I’m sorry,” she says, and she walks back to electronics with the game.

I check out with the remainder of my purchases. After collecting my bags, I follow the supervisor over to electronics to continue our argument over Target’s inability to match their own ad. She sees me, and I say, “I would really like to know why you won’t match your ad.” “It is a new game, so we can not adjust it.” “Listen, I am sorry that we are having this little argument, but I will not accept any of these excuses because the ad is worded in such a way that no matter what you tell me, I am going to be right, and you are going to be losing a customer if this is not taken care of.” She thinks about it and takes it to the electronics boat register and says, “Because you have been one of the nicest angry people I have dealt with, I will go ahead and match the price.” This statement, to me, is in itself completely stupid. You are not going to change the price because YOU are wrong? But because I am a nice angry person? “Well, thank you, but we should change the price because the ad dictates it is should be that price.” “Ok she says.”

I end up buying the game, but I had thought about not buying it because of the trouble. My thoughts of not buying it because of all the trouble were outweighed by the thoughts of needing to buy it because I went through all this trouble to get it. In the end, I bought the game at the correct price. However, and this is for real Target, I will not be buying any electronics bases purchases from your store again. That includes, dvds, games, and game systems.

Update 1: I just noticed I paid $24.99 for it in the end, which is actually $.99 more then advertised. Also, I am currently on the phone with the corporate office.

Update 2: Talked to corporate. They said it should have been $24, and they are sorry for all the trouble. Apparently they are also sending me a $3 gift card…

Good job sticking to your guns there, Jared. We’ve noticed that Target corporate (with the exception of furniture shipping issues) seems pretty competent when you kick complaints up to them, so it’s probably a good idea to give them a call when something goes awry in the store.—MEGHANN MARCO

(Photo: Maulleigh)


Edit Your Comment

  1. mordie says:

    what game was it?
    i work in customer service industry. so like thank you for being a nice angry person. from what i noticed nice angry people tend to have better deals than mean angry people.

  2. ADM says:

    Nice job, Jared.

    Can someone please explain the rules on stores having to follow what is printed in their ads? I know that if a price is displayed in the store at a certain price, they have to honor that price. But are the rules different for ads? Lots of times you will see in Circuit City or the local grocery, “This week’s circular contained an incorrect price.” Was just wondering whether that truly gets them off the hook or not.

    Anyway, great job. I love that Target corporate validated you.

  3. ZonzoMaster says:

    So basically they won’t sell you the item at the proper price unless you argue and go trough all that hassle. It’s really simple, people will quit to those 5 dollars just to avoid it, wich is a nice profit for the company, having the customer come with an idea of a lower price.

    My parents bump into “errors” from time to time in stores, i do wonder why no “error” i have seen affects the store, but well they do always try to get their money back, or get what they really wanted. Sometimes it is much more than 5 dollars, so look at your receipts people.

    (oh and sorry if there are spell errors)

  4. philbert says:

    Way to go Jared – now if you could just teach the rest of us how to be the nicest angry person maybe we wouldn’t all have to spend a better portion of our shopping time wondering how retailers are going to try and screw us over this time.

  5. krunk4ever says:


    “Hrm, I need to call a supervisor.” I am annoyed at this because it is right there on the ad, which I (thinking ahead) brought with me, but I understand they need to do things “by the book.”

    I’m not sure why you would be annoyed when the cashier called the supervisor? It’s not like the cashier could resolve this issue for you. The cashier scanned it a price x and the only way that he/she can override the price to reflect the ad is through a supervisor.

    In my opinion, that was unjustified annoyance. ;p

  6. Scuba Steve says:

    “In my opinion, that was unjustified annoyance. ;p”

    If he was annoyed at the cashier, then yes. If annoyed in general, then no.

    The computer should have been set up right. Its something to strive for, if nothing else.

  7. numberoneshaqfan says:

    I don’t think he has any right to be annoyed at the cashier. As a cashier myself, we need to call a supervisor with any price changes, even if it includes correcting a wrong price to the right price. It all needs to be approved.

    However, I will add this. While the statment in the ad does seem misleading, this Jared person clearly understood that there was a certain selection of titles marked down as shown when he was “(thinking ahead) brought with me”

    He was just trying to get over. Target corperate wasn’t saying they were wrong either, they were just being subseviant to avoid further hassel.

  8. mr.dandy says:

    Just curious, which game was it?

    I was out to get Custom Robo Arena the other day, which came out last week, and found it wasn’t on display. I had suspected they were holding back the new releases to avoid the sale, seems that’s what happened here. They should have hid them better! Way to go on your win.

  9. ARG says:

    Indeed, well done Jared, but this should have been a non-issue.

    Target is promoting some level of autonomy for their cashiers. Cashiers are encouraged to make price adjustments up to 20 dollars without consulting the GSTL (Guest Service Team Lead), if the mistake is reasonable ($29.99 to $24 is certainly reasonable, especially with ad in hand).

    Any cashier can make a price adjustment, that does not require any supervisor functions. The POS system even has an option which flags the item as a “Sign/Label/Ticket Error” so it can be corrected.

    I’m glad that Target Corporate backed you on this one.

    Disclosure: I supplement my income from substitute teaching by working the service desk for Target on the weekends. (I understand why many kids are Pure Evil(tm) now. Nurture all the way.)

  10. Mike. says:

    Working in the electronics department of a retarded retail chain myself, I get a lot of equally retarded customers. Some really smart ones too, but it’s unfortunate the ratio isn’t more balanced.

    I’d love to take a look at that ad myself, a picture would have been nice. When I read:”Includes all reg. $29.99 and above DS games”, It sounded like the ad was a two part sentence:

    “Includes all reg. $29.99” being the first part,

    “and above DS games” the second part referring to the pictures of games printed above the words on the ad.

    Sure it wasn’t worded as great as it could have been, maybe they put too much faith in the idea that you’d actually think about it instead of jumping to conclusions that best suit yourself.

    And if a mess of people tell you that you are wrong, do yourself the favor and question yourself a little. If you were in fact right, than you’ll only be stronger in your defense. Sticking to your guns is great – unless your a douche who sticks to his guns.

    PS. Corporate and higher management has ZERO backbone. They want to keep you as a customer, so they give you what you want. Unfortunately rubbing your ego doesn’t help you become a better person – or anymore right.

  11. Mr. Feller says:

    @numberoneshaqfan: and now it becomes clear why you are now and forever will be, just a cashier. Jared had every right to be annoyed and angry. the cahiers at most Targets have the right to change a scanned price. the cashier should have called the supervisor over with taking the side of the customer. of course corporate isn’t admitting that they were, wrong, because corporate wasn’t wrong, the store idiots (including the lowely cashier) were wrong. I would file an official complaint on the manager for not following policy. especially since the game ended up being sold for more than the advertised price anyways.

  12. swvaboy says:

    If a store will not give permission to a cashier to adjust prices by $10.00/$20.00 or less, then they do not need my business. Does Target have a price matching offer like K-Mart?

    I work in a hotel (completely different than Target I know) our front line has the power to make adjustments up to $100.00 without a supervisor. All the customer has to do is show an ad (internet, travel guide, etc) and as long as it is legitimate in the “cashiers opinion” then they have the discretion to do whatever it takes. Why irritate the customer and loose in the end?

    I guess that that is one of the differences in a customer service establishment and a big box.

  13. swvaboy says:

    I always take the sales paper to the stores I shop in, prices are constantly “Not changed by corporate” or “The price must not have downloaded properly”

  14. homerjay says:

    The name tag on this supervisor didn’t happen to read “FRAN” did it?

  15. medalian1 says:

    $3 gift card, lol!

  16. B* says:

    I used to work at Target. All cashiers have $20 leeway to change prices if a customer has an issue. Especially if the ad said a different price (and that wording makes Jared right, by the way), the cashier should have just changed it. In fact, I used the $20 leeway once and I had to invent a price another time (item wasn’t even in the computer, I sold it for $1.99). I was never even asked about it. I’m very surprised that this happened, because when I worked there the managers made a habit of making us look like the idiot when a customer (excuse me, “guest”) complained. Next time, if there is a next time, do exactly what you did.

    Don’t shop at Target if at all possible. They treat their employees like garbage. They get screwed just as badly as employees at Walmart but no one seems to notice. Also, does anyone remember when they banned the Salvation Army from their stores a while back? Ugh, I’m so glad I got out of retail.

  17. phelander says:

    Jared, please stick to Subway ™ as Target doesn’t seem to care for you.

  18. Starfury says:

    Beki: The local Target used to allow people/Salvation Army to be outside the main door. When they started becoming bothersome to the customers they were given an area off to the side of the main door to preach/ask for money/signatures. This was still annoying to the customers so they decided to not allow ANY group or person to solicit in front of their store. I like it that way and will continue to shop at Target.

  19. Antediluvian says:

    I’m glad Target doesn’t have the Salvation Army and its homophobic church people begging for money. That Target stood up for doing the right thing in the face of adverse publicity means a lot to me.

  20. konstantConsumer says:

    all over $5.

  21. Tallanvor says:

    @Beki: Let’s see… Target, or Walmart? Targets tend to be cleaner, have better quality merchandise, and well, just less trashy overall, so I’ll stick with Target.

    And I’m glad they banned the Salvation Army from their stores. –The SA is a discriminatory organization, and even though that’s not why Target banned them, it’s still good that they did.

  22. macinjosh says:

    Did they try to sell you any “scented canders?”

  23. homerjay says:

    If target employees are treated as badly as WalMart employees, why do they always (with a few exceptions) seem so happy, pleasant, and empowered? I LOVE shopping at target because 99% of the time they’re incredibly helpful.

  24. Rajio says:

    @konstantConsumer: money is money

  25. catnapped says:

    @homerjay: I’ve often wondered the same thing. I don’t think I’ve ever found a Target employee that was pissed off, nor have ever seen a Target location that resembled a garbage dump (can’t say the same for “Ole’Smiley Face”), so assuming the salaries are similar, why aren’t they both just as bad as one another?

  26. etinterrapax says:

    I would have been able to give that discount when I was a cashier at the Empire of Evil. I might have had to explain myself, but when I produced the ad, it would have been clear. They were completely wrong not to honor the advertised price immediately. The ad doesn’t specify that new games are excluded, or give a list of titles that are included. Someone in their ad copy department at corporate should have taken the flogging, not a customer.

  27. Terminixsux says:

    Oddly enough, most of the time when I shop in Target, the price rings up lower than the price on the shelf or item. I’ve never asked about this, and have always been glad to be the recipient of their apparent largesse. In terms of customer service, I have found themn to be no better or worse than any other retailer. You find some good, some bad, some indifferent, and sometimes the same person can be all of these at different times.

  28. Anne says:

    @Starfury: Agreed. Anybody getting in my way when I have to make a quick run into Target is liable to get run over, and that includes people ringing bells for charity. I approve of their policy.

    That $3 gift card cracks me up. Is that all Jared’s annoyance is worth? Just make sure they actually deliver, Jared. Otherwise you might have to call them back and deliver the paperboy’s line from Better Off Dead (slightly altered): “I want my three dollars!”

  29. bigtech says:

    I read the ad differently:

    The ad reads: $24 Sale, Each Nintendo DS Games (fine print: Choose from over 30 titles to stuff their baskets! Includes all reg. $29.99 and above DS games.)

    As I read this, it says that of the over 30 titles on sale (which may not included every title), the price is $24. These on-sale titles include those that are prices $29.99 and over.

    Otherwise it would say, $24 Sale on all Nintendo DS Games. No?

  30. nequam says:

    My favorite part of your story, Jared, is that you paid for your other purchases and then sought out the supervisor again to continue arguing your point — and you won. I admire that sort of persistence.

    “all over $5” – this statement cuts both ways. On the one hand, one can ask whether it was worth Jared’s trouble over $5 ($8, actually, counting the gift card). I think it was, and it sounds like Jared agrees. On the other hand, I would ask whether $5 was worth the manager’s trouble. Is a loyal customer worth $5? Probably. Is avoiding a scene with an angry customer worth $5? You’re damn right!

    And that $3 card is funny. Why not $5?

  31. nequam says:

    @bigtech: It’s the “includes ALL regular $29.99 and above DS games” that makes Jared correct. All $29.99 and above games are on sale, and this comprises over 30 titles. It is at least unclear and should favor the customer.

    And what does “over 30 titles” mean? 31, 35, 68?

  32. sweetlyvicious says:

    @Beki: I used to work at Target too, and used the $20 leeway quite a lot. What’s more important, keeping the guest happy or having to deal with a backed-up line full of angry people whilst waiting for an LOD? Also, if something you’re buying is dinged or smudged, haggle for a discount. The cashiers also are allowed to take an extra 10% off items.

    This cashier should have just sucked it up and put in the $24 price. Perhaps she was new?

    I can also testify to Beki’s comment that certain Targets stick it to their employees. The one where I worked at for instance, constantly rotated schedules so only a few people could claim as full-time employees. There was a lot of shadiness going on to satisfy corporate.

    However the Target where my mum worked for a while was wonderful – she had flexible hours, her superiors were always polite and helpful, and the work atmosphere was fun.

    I still shop at Target, but I make it a point to go where there are happy employees, ergo a better shopping experience.

  33. RandomHookup says:


    There is no standard answer to how stores must handle mistakes because it is a state issue generally. Most states give the stores an out to correct price mistakes (through follow-up ads and/or signs at the store). These laws are primarily around ‘bait and switch’ issues, so they don’t force the stores to sell at the advertised price if they take some action to correct.

    Most of the major retailers have a price guarantee policy that states how they handle price mistakes, including some stores that give it to you for free up to a certain dollar amount (I think this is required in some states). There was actually a Consumerist post a while back about a woman banned from a grocery chain because she was tying up the store trying to find price mistakes so she could get stuff for free.

    In most stores, managers/cashiers/supervisors have a long list of reasons why the price is right (and you are wrong), hoping that you will eventually give up or sucumb to their vastly superior powers of logic.

  34. mac-phisto says:

    @krunk4ever, @numberoneshaqfan: i read it as he was annoyed that this was going to become an issue, not that he was annoyed at the cashier.

    imo, this is a typical case of ppl on a power trip. the supervisor clearly had the ability to change the price all the time but refused. they love to bask in that little bit of power their afforded.

    i’ve been on the other side before too. the cashier should’ve adjusted the price & retained the ad in case he needed a little CYA. end of story.

    i find situations like this to be an incredible inconvenience…so i like to return the favor. i whip out the cellphone right at the register & call numbers until someone answers the phone. then, in the loudest possible voice i have a mock conversation w/ them, “hey jim, you have blumenthal’s number?….no, it’s not about golf on wednesday….yeah, fred said something about coming…listen, i need to talk to rich about an issue….ok, keep looking….” i continue the conversation indefinitely until my price change happens (or i get escorted out). usually it’s the former…right about when the 8th person in line starts throwing a fit.

  35. Erzengel says:

    Im not taking sides or anything, what bothers me here is that the ad says that over 30 titles were on sale, nobody asked wich were the games on sale. Yes, the ad is confusing, but it doesnt says or really implies that all games that were $29.99 are now $25, you are all asuming that, but the ad says over 30 titles, not all the $29.99 titles. If both the supervisor and the tech guy said the game wasnt on sale, and Jared knew the game was just too new to be on sale, to me he was the one acting wrong, and still got away with it. If it happens to me, i go and tell “okay, show me the list of your games on sale, show me the list wich proves my game is or not on sale” And if i dont see a game that i like, i just dont buy anything.
    Im not a sheep, i defend myself a lot, i know my rigths. From here, Jared doesnt look lik he was defending himself to me, looks more like he knew they were rigth and still he pushed to see if he could get away with it, and did.

  36. Jared-M says:

    Just to clarify real quick, my annoyance was not really directed towards anyone (initially) but actually at the situation because I have had price changes of around $5 before, and the cashier did it themselves.

    Also, I think the whole event was worth getting my $5, if not for the reason of them fixing the prices for future customers or posting a sign saying that not all DS games are actually on sale. However, the sign goes back to an earlier comment about whither stores actually have to match their own ads even if there was a mistake.

    The whole $3 gift card made me laugh because it just seemed so odd, but I appreciated the gesture. The people I spoke with at the corporate office were incredibly nice and backed me up completely (even reading the ad with others there to verify they agreed with me).

  37. chimmike says:

    I hope I’m not the only one who thinks that, while the principle is good and all, this whole deal was EXTREMELY piddly.

    $5? I mean, he spent more than $5 of his own time arguing this. Over a video game.

    Congrats for wasting a ton of your time to save $5 on a nintendo game bro.

  38. DarthDigweed says:

    I worked at Target in high School and Loved it. I was a cashier and could change prices if needed to keep the folks happy and the line moving. To me it sound like Jared was trying to get something cheaper because of a unclear ad, I mean lets face the fact that new games are never on sale a week after they are put out. In my view he was just being a jerk. and I’m sure Target will go under without his huge contribution to their bottom line.

  39. dewrock says:

    I think the main point here is whether or not the ad was clear, Jared understood it. He knew that only a select amount of games were on sale, but he was trying to get over on Target anyway.

  40. r81984 says:

    Walgreens does not have this problem, they purposely train their employees to understand and read ads so you do not have to call a supervisor to price modify an item.
    If the add says Xoz. of Product A is $24 dollars, then you match the product to the terms in the ad, if it matches you price modify.
    At Walgreens if the ad said any DS game over $29.99 will be sold for $24, then any cashier would just PM it and then let a manager know after the fact so they can figure out if there is a problem with the ad that may need to be fixed.

    This way customers are not inconvienced when they are right and it was actually the company that made the mistake.

    Also, sometimes someone does have an ad that was misprinted, Walgreens will honor it until they put a sign up in front of the product correcting the error.

    You would be suprised at how many people will bitch to try to get a cheaper price when there is a clear sign stating it was a mistake and listing the correct price.

  41. virgilstar says:

    Yeah, I had something similar happen in Target last week. They had a pair of mini ceramic element electric heaters on sale. The original price was $29.99, and they were in a large display that said “30% off marked price”. Well, the box had a small sticker in the upper-right corner which said “was $29.99 | now $19.99”. I took $19.99 to be the “marked price”, and so expected to get another 30% off that (making the final price $13.99. It rang up as $19.99 at the register. I argued with the manager, she disappeared for 10 min. trying to find the display, and I was in a rush so just paid the $19.99 and left. After all, $20 for 2 heaters is still a pretty sweet deal. Annoying, but not the end of the world. Yes they should word their ads more carefully, but I suspect the people who draft/print the ads are not the sharpest tacks in the tin.

  42. closer says:

    i would have bought the game and then thrown that piece of shit game back at her face and spat on it.


  43. nequam says:

    @Erzengel: The ad says: “Choose from over 30 titles to stuff their baskets! Includes all reg. $29.99 and above DS games.” In other words, “Hey, we have over 30 games! And, guess what, all of them regularly priced $29.99 and over are on sale.” I don’t understand how you read the “over 30 titles” as qualifying “all reg. $29.99 and above.” In plain English, it says that Jared is correct. Your mistake is that you are reading the ad while trying to anticipate what Target meant. Your reading renders the word “all” meaningless. My reading gives meaning to every word. If Target meant what you are suggesting, they needed to describe it accurately with the language they used. They did not. They could have said: “Sale includes certain games reg. $29.99 and above, over 30 titles in all!”

  44. Chaoticfluffy says:

    Yeah, what nequam said. Frankly, I don’t see any way to get around the word “all.” If it said just, “Includes reg. $29.99 and above DS games,” ok, you could make an argument for whether that implies all or some of the 29.99 games. As it is, it’s possible that the ad means that the 30 games mentioned include all games which were 29.99 or more, as unlikely as that might be (I suspect there are far more than 30 expensive video games out there for any given system).

    But whether it meant that or not, with “all” in there, there’s no way to take it to mean anything other than that all 29.99 games are being referred to. That’s what we highly-trained language specialists call “a noun phrase modified by a quantifier.” A quantifier quantifies, and the quantifier “all” denotes the entire set X, where X is items that fulfill the rest of the phrase (“29.99 games”).

    Semantics is really highly mathematical. You’d have to jump through some explicit linguistic hoops to make that ad mean anything but that it is referring to ALL 29.99 games. *steps down off soapbox and goes back to work*

  45. tcabeen says:

    I agree with everyone that loves Target and feels that they have excellent customer service.

    But I also agree with everyone who refuses to purchase electronics, music, or movies there. From finding someone to open the case, to getting an answer to 1 or 2 questions, to getting the correct price, I don’t have the patience to deal with them. Fortunately, electronics and media don’t need to be tried on, so I can get them from one of my favorite online retailers, like Newegg or

  46. EtherealStrife says:

    ah but you forgot one potential interpretation. Games aimed at the Over 30 crowd. :p

    I used to work at office depot, and we had up to $100 in leeway. I had to use it all the time, because the machine was a pos (har har) and was always cutting sales short (for some reason hq never seemed to input the date range properly). I was never questioned about it. Yet for some idiotic reason I had to get manager approval to void items…go figure.

  47. silverlining says:

    Maybe my expectations are too high, but after all of the time and trouble you had, they sent you a measely $3 gift card?

    Yeesh. Don’t spend it all in one place.

  48. royal72 says:

    hey dumb-ass, give him the damn advertised price. it’s what your ad states. also, the amount of time you argued about a few dollars, your salary and time away from doing something productive, cost your employer more than the fucking $6 difference of the game.

  49. Thassodar says:

    I currently work at Target and have no issue with working there at all. The environment is enjoyable, the pay is decent, and they don’t have a cow when you can’t come in. I don’t ever feel as oppressed or uncared for as Wal-Mart employees seem to feel. Currently I’m just staying there to see what my raise will be in May.

    Although at my Target its a $10 leeway, not $20, I would have most certainly given the guy the game at $24 and any other game he brought up there. It’s common sense to keep the guest happy. I actually plan on going up there tonight to load up on DS games for $24 and get my 10% Discount as well.

    It can’t be any worse than when they release a “FREE Choxie Brand Chocolate” coupon (on the internet no less) and stay-at-home moms with no life come and RAPE the Choxie area, bringing up $85 of chocolate with a coupon for EVERY ONE. And the whole thing is completely legit, even though they just made about 100 copies of the same coupon (there is no fine print saying they can’t).

    Back on topic: I think it should imply that ALL games over $24 should be $24, and if they try to start crap with me tonight I’ll be doing the same thing as this guy.

  50. arkan says:

    I probably wouldn’t have gone so far to continuing to follow the manager for no other reason than to continue the argument. As Meghann said, I would probably just call Target corporate and they’ll get you taken care of in a snap. Not too long ago my wife bought a sandwich from the deli and when she opened it up it was full of mold, even though it looked fine on the outside. She took the sandwich back to the store and the manager was apologetic and said he’d give her a $5 gift card but she’d have to sign a release. That pissed me off something fierce, because we weren’t there to sue anyone, because things like that happen sometimes – we just wanted our money back. I called corporate just to complain about it, and they ended up sending us $200.

  51. karmaghost says:

    Depending on the kind of store that you’re in, cashiers should be given varying degrees of control based on several rules. It also depends on whether they’re a FE cashier or a cashier within a certain department.

    I’m not sure it was clear whether the cashier in question was working on the FE or in electronics, but it sounds as if they were on the FE. FE cashiers don’t really have the authority to change prices, even if it’s “obvious.” That’s what supervisors or coordinators are for. In this situation, if it was in the store I work at (not Target), the least that would be done would be that the flier and display would be checked, and an allowance would be made, at the very least, for this particular customer. Then, based on the results of the discussion and the “evidence,” a follow up decision would be made between store staff/departments with how to deal with subsequent issues. The price or product would be pulled until a decision or correction was made; this would only take a few minutes, so the product would be available again soon.

    On a personal note, I visited a Target aiming to buy a DS game that was on sale. There weren’t 30 titles marked with the “$24” tag, but there were titles that were listed as “$29.99,” including the game that I wanted to buy. My impression was that only the marked games were on sale, despite what the ad said. I didn’t do a follow up because I was in a hurry; this may have been a corporate screw-up rather than just a store-specific problem.

  52. datruesurfer says:

    Where I work, we are only allowed to mark down products to a certain percentage until a supervisor code is required. Even if a manager approves the mark down, the transaction is red-flagged for review by the store manager and the LP Manager. The supervisor that Jared encountered was afraid that if he marked it down, he would face disipline for his action. This is why we use the “if it doesn’t ring, it isnt on sale” line.

  53. mac-phisto says:

    @datruesurfer: that’s great & all, but it’s a violation of the law in many places. when i worked in electronics, the rules were simple…give the advertised price, retain whatever shows advertised price to CYA.

    here in ct, they actually have teams from the ag office scout stores & they’re pretty vigilant about enforcing “correct pricing”. try the “if it doesn’t ring, it isn’t on sale” line on a shopper from that office & the store gets slammed with a hefty fine.

    & that’s how it should be everywhere.

  54. jordy777 says:

    To the commenter at the beginning asking what legal obligation an advertiser is under to follow through with advertised prices, the most general rules are based in contract law and are as follows:

    Most advertisements appearing in newspapers, store windows, etc., are not binding contractual offers to sell. This is because they do not contain sufficient words of commitment to sell. (Example: A circular stating, “Men’s jackets, $26 each,” would not be an offer to sell jackets at that price, because it is too vague regarding quantity, duration, etc.) But if the advertisement contains specific words of commitment, especially a promise to sell a particular number of units, then it may be an offer. (Example: “100 men’s jackets at $26 apiece, first come first served starting Saturday,” is so specific that it probably is an offer.)

    However, words of commitment will suggest a binding offer for contract. (Example: “Send three box tops plus $1.95 for your free cotton T-shirt,” is an offer even though it is also an advertisement; this is because the advertiser is committing himself to take certain action in response to the consumer’s action.)

    As a previous commenter noted, each jurisdiction will have their own specific legislation apply for handling these situation.

  55. Jared-M says:

    Karmaghost, I would have most likely did the same thing you did, but when I had the electronics guy get my game, it did not have a tag at all.

    Also, to address some of the earlier comments about me being annoyed at the cashier: I was never really annoyed with her but more with the situation. As the event went on, I became annoyed with the supervisor.

    I do have to say though, corporate hadnled this all very well. I did laugh a little when they said they were going to send me a $3 gift card, but I appreciated the gesture.

  56. Reatail_Slave says:

    Yeah Target is bad they have the 20.00 or 20% off rule which ever comes first. I sadly work at Target and count the days until I can get out with some self respect left. When people tell me a price is wrong I usually fix it unless they are a turd burglar, then I just annoy them.

  57. Esquire99 says:

    Congrats to Jared on standing up for the principal of the matter. While it was only $5, if people just lay down and let the stores continue with that kind of asinine behavior, nothing will ever change. While the ad very well may have been a mistake, short of a posted correction in the store, the wording of the ad should control the sales price. I hate it when stores, and their power-tripping managers for that matter, try and roll over the customers by simply saying “I’m not going to fix it (or some similar line). In those situations, persistence pays off. The important thing is to be able to argue your point accurately , correctly, and fiercely. Threatening to “sue” the store, or call your lawyer (in 99% of cases EMPTY threats) does nothing other than make the person you are arguing with think you are a fool. I’ve found it to be incredibly useful to continually point out why you are right, and why they are wrong, and if that doesn’t do it, use buzzwords like “customer satisfaction” and if/when the argument continues, point out the fact that there is no reason the issue should have gotten as far as it did. The ad, right or wrong, clearly states x, y, and z and someone needs to step up and make things right. I’m not one to be rolled over (ask my previous landlords) and I think Jared did the right thing by standing up for his principals and what he knew was correct.

  58. stevedastampede says:

    Yea I work at Target as well but in Electronics. If someone complains about a price I usually just give them that price if they can back it up enough. Like with the Jared guy that’s fine and then I would have probably abused it myself later. But if its like $20 or more or in the wrong spot. I usually say no or get a team lead and then go back to my dancing/weirdness.

  59. B* says:

    I should have added that yes, I know not all Targets treat their employees badly. Sorry, I just get riled up every time I think about my time there. :) And no, I don’t think people should shop at Walmart instead, they’re equally bad. I just get a little annoyed at the cult that worships Target as if it’s so much better, not realizing that /all/ minimum(ish) wage jobs suck.

    We all need to shop, and there aren’t a lot of choices as far as department stores (especially if you’re on a budget). But, while we think about how these stores rip consumers off, it’s good to remember that many employees are being ripped off as well.

    And as for the Salvation Army thing, I’ve never seen a bell ringer in the way of a door or otherwise impeding a customer. I think it’s not only a crappy thing to do to a charity, but also a really terrible PR move (i.e., obviously not caring what your customers think of you).

  60. chickymama says:

    At the grocery store that I worked (I was a clerk in grocery and dairy and back-up for cashiers) all ads were distributed to the registers for the cashiers to look at prior to the ad effective date. On top of that, they were required to do walk-throughs of the store to look at new items as well as the ad items. It helped tremendously as it resulted in fewer price checks.
    I know not many stores do this but sometimes just 5 mins can add to a whole lot of saved time during a rush.

  61. Jesse in Japan says:

    Target really should be more careful about how they phrase their ads. They wanted to say, “Choose from over 30 titles to stuff their baskets! All 30 discounted titles normally retail $29.99 and above.”

    But they didn’t actually say that and they’re required to stand by their word, however mistaken it may have been.

  62. numberoneshaqfan says:

    Okay, a few things.
    Number one, here is the actual ad in question.

    Is it unfortunatly worded? Yes.

    But lets use mathematical logic…
    If it is clear that there are Over 30 Titles To Choose From, meaning not every title. And it’s clear that all the titles that are on sale are regularly priced at $29.99.
    Then are all titles that are $29.99 on sale?

    Once again I will say that Jared knew what he was doing and specifically brought the ad because of this. That doesn’t mean just because swvaboy above who always brings an ad with him that Jared does too.

    And to Mr. Feller, hey douche bag, you lack the intelligence you so quikly tried to point out that I lacked by stating “Most Target stores”.
    In all your moronic glory, did you perhaps stop to think that said store might be one of those situations?
    As for your belittlement of me, you bag of dicks, I’m a cashier because I’m a college student. And at my particular store, which is not Target, we have to call for clearance on a price change, no matter the amount.
    I was speaking from my own experience. I guess I’m an idiot for doing my job properly?
    Fucking people like you are the customers I hate. Privileged fucktards that think a cashier owes them everything because they’re spending a few bucks on cough drops.
    Go fuck yourself.

  63. triple says:

    That’s ridiculous. The ad obviously meant all games at that price point and the games PICTURED above.

    Any idiot can figure that out. If this guy was in front of me in line arguing something everyone knows is BS i’d get mad.

  64. infinitysnake says:

    @ADM: Generally, what’s prin ted is what goes, with the excdeption of printer’s mistakes (ie, 99 cents when it should read $99), in which case they have to post the correction where it can be seen. (Most do so at the door or the registers)

  65. FordPrfct says:


    Until you posted a link to the image, I had also believed that the ad meant to say “Includes titles normally priced $29.99, as well as those displayed above.” However, it appears that there aren’t any titles displayed above the text. Only beside it.

    As for the claim that “Over 30 titles to choose from” indicates that it clearly does not include every item, again, I disagree. If I held out a deck of cards, and stated that you had “over 50 cards to choose from,” I imagine that most people would not think to themselves “Oh, clearly that means that there are cards in the deck that I am not allowed to choose.” The statement simply means there are over thirty titles, from which you can make your selection. No other implication.

    In any case, I think that the ad agency should be disciplined for their wording. I think that any of the below versions would have worked better, depending on the intent:

    “Stuff their baskets with one of over thirty Nintendo DS titles, all of which are normally priced $29.99 and above!”

    “Stuff their baskets with Nintendo DS games! Includes all games regularly priced $29.99 and up, with more than thirty to choose from!”

    “Choose from over thirty titles to stuff their baskets! Includes all reg. $29.99 Nintendo DS games, as well as those shown here.”

    Given the appearance of the ad, I would definitely interpret it to mean the following:

    “We have over thirty titles to choose from. This sale includes all Nintendo DS games normally priced $29.99 and higher.”

  66. numberoneshaqfan says:


    But that’s rediculous because the nintendo DS catalouge is far more than 30.
    There are hundreds. Would all of them been on sale it would have said “hundreds of titles to choose from”. A store, with a dedicated section to games does not carry only 30 or so titles out of hundreds.
    Like I said, I believe the wording is unfortunate but it’s pretty clear to me. Perhaps I’ve been working in retail to long, lol

  67. tazewell78 says:

    @ Rajio says:

    “@konstantConsumer: money is money”

    Wrong. Time is money, and haggling for $5 is only a good idea if you couldn’t have made that much working for the same period of time (roughly). Unless, of course, you derive some sort of unholy utility from badgering retail supervisors and then preaching to the choir about it.

  68. fujimitsu says:

    I work at target in central iowa, i do the signing and advertisement prep for the electronics department, and to make a long story short the game was on sale it just most likely wasnt in the computer system when the ad was set up, i personally wasted an entire day making sure that every game $29.99 or more in our inventory was marked down, i had to enter about 40 of them by item number, by hand, but i did it because its my job, you were in the right

    also that LOD is an idiot, shes supposed to be the boss, why would you ask one of the people under you for permission to do something? thats just pathetic

    also #2 target trains its employees (its part of the cashier trainign) to adjust prices “reasonably” up to $20, i would call $5 a reasonable adjustment even if the ad wording was kind of muddy (which its not)

  69. shawneechance says:

    unfortunately such items as the $24 ad for DS games do occur and the stores can make adjustments to the store system to correct such errors.

    usually the new games will not be listed as part of such a special but the stores can add them to the system.

    the same thing occurs with the widescreen vs. full screen of some movies where one version is on sale while the other is not.

    when I work on my ad for MMB (movies/music/books) — and when I used to do it in the shoes area I look at the ad from the consumers perspective, not just from the store/corporate side of it. if the ad is clearly posted and the info clearly printed I have no problem but if there could be some issues based on miswriting or potential confusion in the items, I’ll add the items to the system that I think may be confused


  70. necie says:

    I used to work for Target for just over 5 years. Druing that time I have worked at 3 stores from a small Target to a SuperTarget. The policy back then was if there was a disagreement on the price and the difference was under $20 the cashier could adjust the price for the guest without even contacting a GSTL(Cashier Supervisor) or LOD (store manager). After reading your story I was shocked that the cashier wouldnt just adjust the price for you and that the LOD wouldn’t either. If it was a $40 dollar differnce or more okay I understand but it was $5. Seriously that is just nonsense, not to mention the AD clearly states the terms. Sorry for your inconvience, glad corporate is making up for it. One thing that I found interesting about your story was that you said you were going to stop shopping there.. but then continued to pay for your other purchases. During my 5 years I have seen that happen a handful of times and just thought it was ironic. Anyways glad things did work out in the end… and hopefully if you get a better cashier/lod in the future.