I Dream In Digital

Monday, November 30, 2009

Buyer Beware

I'm going to start out by apologizing. This is a rant. If you don't want to read it, that's fine, I understand. But I just had a VERY bad experience with Target.com and I desperately need to vent.

I placed an order on Black Friday for my birthday/Christmas present. Okay... I ordered a Wii & a balance board. I thought it would be fun to play & the fitness options looked very interesting. I placed the order around 2pm after I was unable to snag a deal at any of the instore Black Friday sales.

A few hours later, I loggged into their website to double check something on my order and no order showed in my account. I called Target.com Guest Services & got an associate in their India call center. Yes, in case you didn't know... this Minneapolis based company has a call center in India! I was told by the gentleman that there was an issue with my credit card and my account was "on hold". He took some information from me including the phone number for the issuing bank of my credit card and told me I would get a call back from an Account Specialist in 24 hours. I called the bank to make sure that my minor purchase didn't violate any purchase limits on my card. The only limit was more than 10x the purchase price so no problems there. They stated that no approval had been attempted on my account. So I waited for my callback from Target....

I did not receive a call in 24 hours so I called back. Once again, I got an associate in India. He told me that the information I was given was incorrect, that I would not get a call back for 24 to 48 hours. He took my information again and said he would forward it to the Account Specialists. I had a sinking feeling I was starting to the the "run around" so I called back again. I spoke to a female this time & thought for sure that she was not in India. But as the conversation developed, I realized once again, I was talking to someone in India. She listened to what had happened and explained that I was given incorrect information. I felt briefly relieved...until she told me that the incorrect information was that I would receive an email, not a phone call in response to my order status. I called my bank again after completing the call, still no authorization attempts. So I waited for my email from Target....

A few minutes after 48 hours from the time I placed my order, I received an email from Target.com in my inbox. I eagerly opened the email anticipating the answer as to what the problem was with my credit card. This was their response....

Greetings from Target.com.

Unfortunately your recent order(s), including (#XXX-XXXXXXX-XXXXXXX) could not be processed. If you would still like to receive that item, we ask that you place a new order. Please accept our sincere apologies for any resulting inconvenience.

Thanks for shopping with us and we hope you'll visit again soon.


Account Specialist

I was momentarily speechless. For anyone who knows me, that is a rare occasion! I checked Target.com and the Wii bundle I had placed my order for was now a higher price and they were out of stock and could not guarantee delivery by Christmas. I was furious. And a few moments later, I was on the phone to Target.com Guest Services again. I feel sorry for the poor woman who got the call. I didn't get angry, I just had a lot to say. She told me that I or someone else with access to my account had cancelled the order and that they showed my credit card had been deactivated. (The bank later explained that this was not true, they never even tried to get an authorization on my account.) The Target associate spoke with her supervisor and they would honor the price for a new order but still could not guarantee delivery by Christmas.

While I was on hold waiting for her to talk to her supervisor, I looked at Best Buy's website. I was in luck, they had the Wii & balance boards in stock. This week, you even got a $20 Best Buy gift card with a purchase of a Wii. I checked my local store & both items were in stock for instore pickup. Once the Target.com associate came back on the line, I explained that I would just file a complaint about the service at Target.com & make my purchase elsewhere. Minutes later I was out the door & in 15 minutes I was leaving Best Buy with my Wii & balance board in hand.

I called again to Target Guest Services this morning and spoke to someone else in India. They could not do anything but file a complaint or transfer me to Target.com Guest Services. So I filed a complaint. I fully expect that no one will ever contact me about it or even see it. I think it was just a waste of my time.

I don't know what is worse...that I found out that Target has outsourced it's Customer Service to India, or that Target.com failed in such a big way. I've worked in Customer Service most of my life & I understand that language has a lot to do with the expression of needs & wants, especially over the phone. I had script after script repeated to me because they didn't understand what I needed and had no way of resolving the problem, or transferring my call to someone who could. Target.com gets a big F- from me this Christmas season. I don't really think I'd buy from them online ever again. If I hadn't checked on my order, I'm sure I would have been rudely surprised after a week when the package never arrived & my chances of getting my Wii were slim to none!

Sorry Target.com but I won't miss you!