I’ve always had a special fondness for the stores that offer their Thanksgiving/Black Friday ad deals on their websites. We traveled out of town on Thanksgiving day, and I had to work all day Friday, yet there was one item that I was really wanting to buy.
This is the car I was shopping for. It was supposed to be a Christmas gift for my niece. When I looked it up on their website, I noticed the box is huge and it weighs 34 pounds. Not necessarily something I want to fight a crowd for. I decided to check their website, since I get free shipping if I use my Target Red (debit) Card. I’ve written before about my issues with Target in the past, but no matter what, I love Target. I like their clean stores, their (mostly) friendly employees, and the quality of merchandise they carry in their stores. I was excited to find out that the car we wanted was available online, and it could be shipped to my house for free. When we got home on Thanksgiving Day, I quickly sat down at the computer and ordered it.
About 10 minutes later, I received a confirmation of my order (see below). On the order, you can see the delivery would arrive sometime between December 6th and December 10th. Also, listed in the email is a statement that “you can cancel all or part of your order within a short period of time before it is processed…”. This is where the situation gets sticky.
The next morning, I received a call from my sister-in-law, telling me that her friend had found an even better deal on a better car for my niece. It had a bigger battery, had room for two kids instead of one, and the weight limit was a lot higher, meaning she could use the car for more than a year or so. Her friend was going to go ahead and get it since she had it in her cart already at another store, so I agreed to cancel my order and get this one instead.
I went to look up my order on the Target website, and noticed there was no link to cancel or change my order. I called their 800# and finally got through to a Customer Service Rep named “Steve”, who I can only assume was answering the phone from somewhere in India. I explained my problem, that I had ordered the item a few hours earlier on a holiday, and now this morning had decided to cancel.
“Steve” explained to me that it was too late to cancel, that the order was already being processed. I questioned how the order was being processed when I just ordered it the night before which was a HOLIDAY. “Steve” explained that “in his experience” a customer only has an hour to cancel the order.
An hour. an HOUR.
I went and looked back at my order to see if it indicated the 1 hour return period, and again– “you can cancel all or part of your order within a short period of time before it is processed…” He told me that he could in this “extenuating circumstance” put in a cancellation request, but there was guarantee it would be approved. So basically, I was either going to have a $99+ dollar charge go through my checking account, or I wasn’t. No one knew.
I asked to speak to a supervisor to see what I could to find out for sure what my options were, because if I got charged, I was going to have to wait another week for the item to arrive, then haul it into the nearest Target store (a 25-minute drive) to return the car.
After a long time on hold, I got to speak to a supervisor named “Mary”– again in a thick foreign accent. “Mary” basically gave me the same information, but this time the time period a customer has to cancel their order was now changed to FIVE MINUTES. Yes, that’s right. I had exactly FIVE MINUTES to cancel my order. So basically, I placed the order, got the confirmation 10 minutes later, and by then it was already too late.
Mary also suggested initiating a cancellation request, which at this point was really my only option. She said on Monday, December 3rd I would receive an email, either confirming the cancellation of my order OR letting me know my shipment was on the way.
I hung up the phone, more than a little irritated. About two hours later, I receive the following email:
I guess now I had to sit and wait for the item to arrive, which turned out to not be as long as I expected (Thanks Target for your quick shipping, the one bright star in this story!) I arrived home on Tuesday to a huge box sitting on my back step.
On Wednesday, my husband and I loaded up the box in the back of the car and drove in the rapidly falling snow and slick roads to Target. He dropped me off at the door, loaded the box into the cart and I hauled it inside. I had to wait in line for 15 minutes, and when I finally got to the Customer Service desk, and explained my story of what had happened, the employee told me I had two choices: they could credit the amount back to my Target debit card (which remember, is linked to my checking account) and wait 2-3 business days for the refund, or I could have a gift card in the amount of $99.69.
After much discussion (during which I was unusually cool as a cucumber), they employee finally agreed to give me the cash back since I had showed her on my Wells Fargo app that the money had already come out of my account.
Dear Target, especially “Steve” and “Mary”… I’m disappointed. Something that should have been able to be done with a simple click turned into a big mess, which thankfully was resolved by a very friendly Customer Service employee. I don’t, however, think I will be ordering from the Target website again anytime soon.