Target Sent My Package To The Wrong Address, Says It’s My Fault

Image courtesy of (Ron Dauphin)

It doesn’t matter where you tell Target to send your online orders: if your account has a “default address,” your packages will go there no matter what. Diana didn’t realize this. She thought that if she updated her billing address, then ticked the box that said her billing and shipping addresses were the same, her package would end up where she currently lives. Not so fast! Now the person living in her old apartment has her new jeans, and Target just blames Diana.

She explains:

Target has a feature in its online ordering section that has a “default” shipping address. Apparently that default overrides any address you type in, no matter what boxes you check or double check. I recently fell victim to this feature.

In late January I ordered a few items from Target clearance (so no refunds are likely.) I had just moved, so I carefully typed in my address, made sure my order said the billing address and the shipping address were the same, and assumed – since I live near Target headquarters and they recently moved a chunk of their fulfillment operations from Texas to Minnesota – that it would arrive.

It sure did arrive fast. I had placed the order on 1/28 and got a notice that UPS delivered it on 1/30. I went to check my porch… no package. My neighbors are not, as far as I can tell, kleptos – packages have arrived and even sat out an entire day safely.

I checked the order on Target and immediately saw the problem: despite every button I had checked, it had shipped to my default address, where I used to live. So I called Target. After two phone calls, I was informed it was not Target’s problem. So I called my old apartment manager – she checked and said no package arrived. After fishing on UPS, it looks like the package may have been delivered to the door of my old apartment. So the new tenant may well have stolen the package, either to return the items for cash at Target or maybe to go wearing my new jeans. (Theory, this may well NOT be what happened.) Either way, it was not something I could easily correct on my own.

On my third phone call, the customer service agent – who claimed to be a supervisor – listened to my explanation (and saw the notes on the conversations.) She told me that I should try contacting Target again after the 6th, which was the maximum time the package should take to arrive. So I sent an email today, and got this back:

“hello Diana,

I’m sorry to hear you can’t find your shipment.

According to UPS tracking, your order was delivered on 01/30/2013 to Minneapolis MN, US.

Sometimes shipments are marked delivered in error and show up over the next few days due to circumstances beyond our control. If possible, please wait a few more days.

Other ideas for locating your package include:

  • Double-checking your porch or garage
  • Asking your building manager
  • Checking your mailroom or receiving department if you provided a business address

We will be sure to share your feedback with our Shipping Team and we will keep working to make sure you have the great shopping experience you expect from Target. Thank you for contacting us.


[redacted] Guest Services”

Obviously, I’ve done all this – and being put off again is not acceptable. It’s also pretty clear that Target has outsourced its customer service -every person I’ve spoken to has had a Hindi/Urdu name and speaks Indian British English. Outsourcing works when you’re doing IT because the talent pool in India is phenomenal, but for customer service it’s terrible because it means a bunch of employees who feel absolutely no responsibility to a company’s customers – because I am not their customer, Target is.

That’s an interesting way to look at outsourcing, no matter where the customer-facing employees actually are. If your goal is to please the customer and the customer is Target, well, Target doesn’t want to admit that their address setup is weird and that they owe you some new pants.

If the new occupant of the apartment is a nice person and/or wears a different size, perhaps they will take the package to management or send it back to Target. Try calling, or even calling somewhere higher on the corporate ladder.

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