I’ve mentioned several times that I have a strong dislike of Target. Many have asked me why. <PULLS OUT SOAP BOX><STANDS ON SOAP BOX><CLEARS THROAT>
I first went to Target many years ago. I found it unimpressive and, personally, overbearing. It was just another retailer like Wal-Mart, Macey’s, or any other store, but they had a chip on their shoulder and something to prove. Several years later, my wife and I went there just to check it out and see what it had to offer. This is when my strong dislike began.
- Immediately on entering, we were surprised to see garbage everywhere. This isn’t garbage like “dirtiness.” No, we are talking about garbage. It looked like someone had taken a huge trash can and dumped it everywhere in the store.
- Many aisles were impossible to walk down because they were littered with product thrown on the floor. In particular, the shoe section didn’t have a single shoe on the shelves.
- There was an abnormally large number of children (like 50 kids) running wild throughout the entire store, pulling things off shelves, yelling, and being, well, little kids. I can understand some kids, but it felt like the local elementary school had dropped in for recess.
- We counted several dozen employees doing nothing, not even making an effort to control the disaster.
- When we picked up food (even canned food), we found ourselves checking expiration dates and brushing dust and grime off the food. Except for milk, every other dairy product we looked at was expired, some by several weeks.
- When we finally gave up, we abandoned our cart (the only time I have ever done that) and walked out. On our way out, we were accosted by a store manager who threatened us if we did not put the product back on the shelf.
- When I wrote a letter of complaint to Target, my complaint was summarily dismissed and ignored. The reply basically said, “Target maintains a clean and inviting environment in all of its stores.” There were no apologies, no invitations to return, no acknowledgment of our ordeal, nothing. To be honest, I hadn’t expected much, but I had hoped for at least recognition. This single act was enough to sour me on Target forever and, I might add, provided the impetus for my crusade against Target.
That is why I hate Target.
Since that time, I actively campaign against Target among my friends and family.
To be fair, I have been back to Target on several occasions and even to several different locations. In fact, I was just there yesterday. On almost each trip, I find my first opinions to be valid. Not always, but most of the time. Since my first bad experience, I have had several other bad experiences including the following events:
- When I asked an employee where a very specific item was (flashlights), he answered by waving his hand broadly in a direction across the store and stating, “That way.” He did this while walking by and without ever looking me in the eye. (December 2006)
- When greeting a cashier, she looked at me like I was covered in rotting fish, popped her gum, and ignored me. (January 2007)
- When asking for a pen to sign my credit card receipt, the pen was thrown at me. The receipt was also dropped on the counter in front of me as though I were a leper and untouchable. (February 2007)
Most of these are, granted, minor things. However, I was a cashier for six years, and I know that anyone can stand to put on their “game face” for the time they are at work, and if they can’t, they shouldn’t be working. Customer Service isn’t that hard, but it is everything when it comes to pleasing and keeping customers.
And Target, you’ve failed.
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