Back during last year’s Black Friday shopping frenzy, Khoi purchased a new smartphone that cost $50, with a rebate offer of a $50 Target gift card along with it. The rebate card was supposed to show up within two weeks. Six months later, he’s still waiting on that gift card, and he hasn’t exactly been sitting around twiddling his thumbs and waiting for Target to mail it. Finally, at the 6-month mark, he decided to take his dissatisfaction to the very tippity top, writing to Target’s CEO.
After 6 months of trying to deal with this problem at the Target store I’ve decided that it is time to escalate. During Black Friday last year I went to my local Target store and stopped by the mobile department to buy a HTC Incredible that was on sale for $50 with a $50 Target gift card. Similar offers were available online but I decided to buy at the local Target store because I trusted Target and I figured that it would be easier to deal with a local store if there were any issues. Sadly I was wrong on both counts.
After 2 months and not seeing the gift card I went back to the store and was told that I should get it in 1 week. Two weeks later I returned only to be told that there were some issues with Verizon not wanting to give me the gift card, but the problem was being resolved and that I should get the gift card in the mail in 2 weeks or so. I thought this was odd that the sales associate placed the blame on Verizon but decided to not inquire too much into it.
A month later (now 3.5 months after the purchase) I went back to see the sales associate at the Target Mobile to find out what is going on and he promised that the problem should be resolved in a week and if not to check back in with him. A week later I went to see the associate and was told the same thing.
After 4 months and not seeing anything in the mail I came back to the store and spoke to the associate again, asking to speak to his supervisor. When I mentioned this he said that he will speak to his supervisor about reimbursing me the $50 and asked me to return in a week. I came back a week later and he said that his supervisor was going to be at the store in a week to give me the gift card (6 PM on Friday). That Friday I called the store to confirm with the sales associate and he said that his supervisor was stuck in a meeting and could not come see me, but he would be there at 3 PM the following Monday. On Monday I came in to find that the sales associate was not there, and when I asked the associate working the Target Mobile department she told me that the supervisor was not scheduled to come in that day.
After 5 months and many failed visits I went to see the sales associate and told him to have the gift card mailed to me. I gave him my home address and asked him to call me back with updates. It has now been a month and I have seen nothing – not that I’m very surprised.
After half a year and many frustrated visits I have all but given up on this. While it would be nice to get the $50 gift card, my main reason for writing this is to bring this to your attention since this experience has really soured what has been a good overall experience with Target. While I am sure that the Target Mobile is run by an outside company associated with Target, you of all people should understand the importance of the brand, how hard it is to build a brand, and how easy it can be ruined. As a quality organization I am sure that you want to know what your partners are doing with the Target brand and how their actions are tarnishing that brand since I am sure that I am not the only one that has experienced this terrible service.
Target mobile kiosks exist in partnership with–get ready for it–Radio Shack, not exactly a respected brand for most Americans today. Maybe if more customers who have poor experiences at the nexus of The Bullseye and The Shack let corporate leadership know when they’re unhappy, Target will rethink the partnership.