• Report: #534024

Complaint Review: Target Corporation

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  • Submitted: Fri, December 04, 2009
  • Updated: Tue, January 05, 2010

  • Reported By: The Regniers — See BBB Complaint Texas United States of America
Target Corporation
33 South Sixth Street Minneapolis, Minnesota United States of America

Target Corporation, Target.com Target.com / Amazon.com Bait-and-Switch / Holiday 2009 GPS $97.00 Deal Minneapolis, Minnesota

*General Comment: Update on my issue

*General Comment: Target GPS issue

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: One Final Remark

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: Case Closed

*Consumer Comment: In the same situation

*Consumer Comment: Hmmm....

*Consumer Comment: More to this story

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: Ok What Do I Really Care?

*Consumer Comment: NO

*General Comment: No

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: Truth in Disclosure

*Consumer Comment: Bait and Switch?

*Consumer Comment: I don't think that this was a bait & switch...

*Consumer Comment: Where is the bait & switch?

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Today I received this email from Target.com.

Dear Target.com Guest,

Last week, you ordered the TomTom XL 340S. Unfortunately we are no longer able to obtain inventory of this item from the manufacturer.
However, we were able to secure a limited supply of a nearly identical item, the TomTom XL 335S.  
This is the same unit you ordered with the exception that it does not include maps of Mexico.  
We are honoring the $97 sale price.
We are substituting this new item in place of the original item on your order.
If you approve of this substitution, no action is required and we will fulfill the order.  
If you prefer not to receive this replacement item (TomTom XL 335S), please cancel your order by visiting the My Account section (http://www.target.com/gp/myaccount/homepage.html/ref=nav_ma/184-1924241-6029034) on Target.com.  
If you choose to cancel your order, please do so by 11:30 PM PST, Monday, December 7th.

Please note that My Account section may show an incorrect estimated delivery date range until the item has shipped.
Most importantly, we will ensure that this item is delivered to the shipping address on your order by December 24th. 
We are sorry for any inconvenience and hope this is an acceptable alternative. Thanks for shopping Target.com.

Sincerely,

Target.com Guest Services
Please note: this e-mail was sent from a notification-only address that cannot accept incoming e-mail. Please do not reply to this message

----

This is basically a bait-and-switch. Because of either their lack of planning or miscommunication with the supplier the end-user/customer has to be negatively impacted.
This has already offended people on various forums and I believe they should honor their sales by either upgrading each customer to a higher model or throw in free shipping, a gift card, or other compensation.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/04/2009 04:54 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Target-Corporation/Minneapolis-Minnesota-55402/Target-Corporation-Targetcom-Targetcom-Amazoncom-Bait-and-Switch-Holiday-2009-GPS-534024. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 10Consumer 4Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 General Comment

Update on my issue

AUTHOR: Ripped off in NJ - (United States of America)

After getting nowhere with customer service sent emails to target corporate executives after doing an online search for their email addresses.  Received a response the next day and the XL 335S the day after that.
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#2 General Comment

Target GPS issue

AUTHOR: Ripped off in NJ - (United States of America)

Ran into the same issue with the online order, received the email saying they would send the xl335S, which although an inferior model I elected to take it.  Emailed them 12/27 telling them it never arrived, they responded they canceled my order and would refund the money.  Advised them I didnt want to cancel I wanted the unit at that price.  Said there is nothing they can do about it and the refund is being sent.  Great way to treat customers, will lose more than a few dollars and customers over this.
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#3 REBUTTAL Individual responds

One Final Remark

AUTHOR: The Regnier - (United States of America)

FINAL REMARK BY COMPLAINTANT:

I received my Target.com shipment today.  Inside was the TomTom XL335S not the XL340 as they showed on their website that they shipped. 

IN FACT - their own shipping waybill/packing slip that was inside the box states "1 QTY of ITEM 11219667 a TomTom Navigation System&$45; Black (XL340S / 1EM0.05202)"

Yes that is RIGHT they show they shipped me a XL340S on their paperwork but it is a XL335 box inside. 

Oh well, I am through..  I will remember this for a long time.  Watch out RR readers for this...

Regards,

CR
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#4 REBUTTAL Individual responds

Case Closed

AUTHOR: The Regnier - (United States of America)

Well, as the original submitter of this issue I must update to explain the end result. 

I have been contacted by Target via email once again that:

Hello from Target.com.

I'm writing in response to a complaint filed on your behalf by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Please know I am copying the BBB on this message.

Thanks for taking the time to e-mail us and the BBB with your concerns about the Tom Tom navigation system. Your comments are always welcome. Unfortunately, we can't offer you any additional options regarding this matter.

Since your Tom Tom has already shipped, we're unable to cancel the order. If you'd like to return it for a full refund, you may. Returning a Target.com item is fast and easy. You can return most new items with their accessories and in the original packaging, within 90 days of shipment.
_____________

Funny thing is that I never asked to cancel the order. Why would I, if I have filed complaints with the BBB and with RR.com. I have checked the status of this
and have found that they have shipped me the original XL340S. Now, does that mean that the complaints worked or am I was just "lucky". Who knows? Now I do not
get any other compensation or extra - BUT THAT IS OK, I at least get WHAT I ordered. Poor others who don't... :)

Hopefully it will come without any damage or abuse. Two questions remain:

1) Is Target a big enough retailer that they can do whatever they want and not care about people as evidenced by another comment as well as myself?
2) Why does Target really have so many issues filling orders and having policies that make Target.com and the Target stores so different, when other retailers will gladly
try to honor their online section of their business?

Well CASE CLOSED, for now anyway. I wish anyone with a similar problem regarding Target.com or this XL340S GPS good luck and do not give up.

Thanks,

CR
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#5 Consumer Comment

In the same situation

AUTHOR: briana riche - (U.S.A.)

I recieved the same email and contacted customer service after researching the tom tom 335xl. This unit is not the same, this unit just came out 2 months ago as a cheaper 340xl to be able to compete with the cheaper units that are out now for under 100. The customer service rep said nothing she could do and had to keep going back to the email to get her info and I had to correct her several times. I then got her supervisor who said the same, then went to his supervisor (operations manger was his title). He tried to act all nice and win me over by acting like he did not know much about gps and how they work and be my friend. He just kept saying they are the same and target was out of them. I ended the call and contacted a local store and had them check stores in the area. I found one an hour from my house with one in stock (exact same model) I called back customer service and got a hold of a supervisor to ask that they contact the store and let me pick that one up for the same price that i was willing to drive an hour to get it my self. They said they cannot due that target.com and target is seperate and have different warehouses. I asked then since I ordered from target and target failed to fullfill my order that they will not let me go to the store and get that one at discounted price. They said there is nothing they can do that I can either except the cheaper 335xl or cancel my order. The manager said I should be happy that i am getting it at the sale price and that they are even offering a different option as normally they just cancel the order. It seems that they do this quite often. I was also advised they know how many they had in inventory and always take more orders than they have in stock as people normally cancel orders and some credit cards are denied. It seems this time they were not ready. I would recommend everyone to contact target corp and BBB as I have. This is a Bait and switch scam and a violation of state laws. I believe the same as the first person said as there should have been some kind of compensation or upgrade NOT DOWNGRADE!! They have lost my business and I have wrote complaints on every site I can find including pissed consumer . com under target and sale items.
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#6 Consumer Comment

Hmmm....

AUTHOR: Edgeman - (U.S.A.)

"I am a business owner - I understand customers.  A few years ago I secretly assessed customer service and some companies were great to make sure they made a lasting impression - that they value each and every person.  Others just cared more for the sale and for the bottom line.  And sure companies are working for a profit or their shareholders.  But isn't nice when a business person cares about the "quality/level of service" they are giving to the end-user customer.

I can remember numerous times when I could not give one of my customers the exact service they wanted.  But when it happened I tried to do a couple of things.  First I emphatically and actively listened to the customer and then second tried to reach a mutual compromise whether through options or through concessions."


I'm a co-owner of a business as a business major and I hold down a job. I also once owned a website where customers could buy products. That said, I don't think that either of our qualifications are relevant to Target's policies.

"I do not care about the direct unit or really if they give me a free gift.  Yes, that would be nice.  But it is the simple principal.  Why can't they offer options?"


It seems to me that Target did offer you options. They found you a nearly identical model and the only difference between the two were maps of Mexico (either model was a great deal at $97). You also had the option of canceling if the other model was unacceptable to you. It's not as if Target took your money and shipped you the alternate model without contacting you first.

"Why couldn't they correctly reflect the quantity on their website and stop offering the product past the inventory threshold?"

Inventory thresholds work great for products that are in the warehouses but not every website has all of their inventory available at any given moment. That's especially true for large sales events such as Black Friday. Other companies may not be entirely sure of how much product they will need so they arrange to have a certain number of items at the warehouse and be able to pick up additional inventory from the manufacturer if needed. I have no idea what was going on at Target on Black Friday, maybe it is their fault or maybe it is the fault of the manufacturer. Who knows? The point is, they did try to work with you and I don't see this as a rip off.

"I am not sure why they chose this solution.  But I do know this.  I know that as a consumer I have the right to choose to spend money at different establishments and sure they have the right to choose to do business with who they want."

You're absolutely right in this regard. I was one of the consumers involved in Horchow's debacle over the Canon Vixia HF20 last month and I was one of the unlucky ones who didn't get the product. That situation was truly a case of miscommunication and I simply chose not to do business with them and spend my money elsewhere. I didn't claim that they ripped me off because they hadn't.

"But we as consumers need to continue to take a stand about what is right and not to just "blindly" accept things.  We need to question, ask for options, or plain just care about how we are treated.  Or maybe the next time (as time goes on) it will get worse...much like the labor unions........."

Target did try to make you happy by offering you a nearly identical product which would also have been a great deal at $97 and the only thing that would have been missing was a set of maps for Mexico. I don't know if those maps are important to you or not (you didn't indicate that they were) but the price difference between the two models is literally just a few dollars so it's not as if you're missing out on a major value.

I can understand that you would be dissapointed, especially if those maps of Mexico are important to you. I just don't believe that Target ripped you off.


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#7 Consumer Comment

More to this story

AUTHOR: Adam Hegedus - (United States of America)

I too purchased this item but the email I received was a bit different:

Dear Target.com Guest,

Last week, you ordered the TomTom XL 340S.  Unfortunately we are no longer able to obtain inventory on this item from the manufacturer.  As a result, we have canceled your order #XXXXXXXXXXXXX.   Please be assured your credit card has not been charged for this order.

We are sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.  We hope to see you again soon at Target.com.

Sincerely,

Target.com Guest Services
Please note: this e-mail was sent from a notification-only address that cannot accept incoming e-mail. Please do not reply to this message.



You see, I was not even OFFERED a replacement.  So how exactly does Target.com determine who gets the replacement and who doesn't?  How hard is it to sell what you can deliver, and not sell what you can't???
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#8 REBUTTAL Individual responds

Ok What Do I Really Care?

AUTHOR: The Regnier - (United States of America)

To all Other Consumers Responses:

Sure enough I technically used the term "bait-and-switch" in the wrong historical context.  Sure I could have swept this under the rug and accepted without even mentioning anything to the BBB or here on RipoffReport.com but let's not forget what consumer rights and other overall "power" we have lost over the years.  Case in points, labor unions are getting weaker each year, customer-service attitudes and complaints as well as outsourcing, quality decline of products, and numerous companies trying to take advantage of people.

I am a business owner - I understand customers.  A few years ago I secretly assessed customer service and some companies were great to make sure they made a lasting impression - that they value each and every person.  Others just cared more for the sale and for the bottom line.  And sure companies are working for a profit or their shareholders.  But isn't nice when a business person cares about the "quality/level of service" they are giving to the end-user customer.

I can remember numerous times when I could not give one of my customers the exact service they wanted.  But when it happened I tried to do a couple of things.  First I emphatically and actively listened to the customer and then second tried to reach a mutual compromise whether through options or through concessions. 

I do not care about the direct unit or really if they give me a free gift.  Yes, that would be nice.  But it is the simple principal.  Why can't they offer options?  Why couldn't they correctly reflect the quantity on their website and stop offering the product past the inventory threshold?  I am not sure why they chose this solution.  But I do know this.  I know that as a consumer I have the right to choose to spend money at different establishments and sure they have the right to choose to do business with who they want.  But we as consumers need to continue to take a stand about what is right and not to just "blindly" accept things.  We need to question, ask for options, or plain just care about how we are treated.  Or maybe the next time (as time goes on) it will get worse...much like the labor unions.........
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#9 Consumer Comment

NO

AUTHOR: JandJMommie - (USA)

There is no more 'customer is always right' attitude. Too many customers lied and scammed the companies and ruined it for the rest of us honest people
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#10 General Comment

No

AUTHOR: Jes0125 - (U.S.A.)

"I just want them to give me options and not say "take this or leave it".  Right!!??"

Wrong.

This is "Ripoff Reports" .com not "Company does the right thing but I want something free whine whine" .com.

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#11 REBUTTAL Individual responds

Truth in Disclosure

AUTHOR: The Regnier - (United States of America)

To all who have read the 1st comment - let's review these facts:

1) If the company "pre-ordered" or "secured" so many units from the supplier (TomTom) then they should have properly configured their website according to that number.  Toys-R-Us and other similar websites will eventually run out of stock of an item and will not able to let anyone buy beyond that threshold.  Target never informed me at purchase.  This is clearly after the fact.

2) Customer should always be treated with the "Customer is always right" attitude (even though sometimes they are not) and with most BBB accredited companies - the consumer usually is compensated with a "higher" value product not a lower one.  Or at least maybe a gift card of "extra", which at this point they have not responded.

3)  Overall does this seem right?  Would you tell someone that they purchased a product and then tell them I am sorry take "this" or leave it?  No a truly customer-oriented company would ask the customer what they want to do given a set of options, say as:

    a)  Complete cancel of order
    b)  Wait until the product comes in... (which is not what I want if I can help it)
    c)  Substitute with a higher-value item
    d)  A "gift" for the consumer's trouble.

The only one Target has chosen so far is a) as well as substitute with a lower-value one.  Granted it might not be as low as they could go but truly this is for principal as I know that I can use either the XL330S or my ordered XL340S.  I just want them to give me options and not say "take this or leave it".  Right!!??
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#12 Consumer Comment

Bait and Switch?

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

Bait and Switch like Class Action Lawsuit, and to a lesser degree Racism and Discrimination, seems to be the new "buzz words" of I am sorry to say very naive people.


"Bait and Switch" is a company advertising a very good price on an item. Then they run out of the item.  Now, up to here yes it "sounds" like Bait and Switch.  But there is a difference between mistakes and a true Bait and Switch.   In Bait and Switch the company basically downplays the item "on-sale" telling you how inferior that is and they have a much better item.  Of course this item is at a higher price.  In this case they offered them an equivalent item(minus Mexico maps) for the same price.   The user has the option to accept the substitution or cancel the order.  If the only reason they wanted the GPS was because of the Mexico maps then they may have an issue, but since one of the compensations they wanted was "free shipping" this does not appear to be the case.


Perhaps the OP should put themselves in Target's shoes the next time they make a mistake, as to what compensation they should provide.

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#13 Consumer Comment

I don't think that this was a bait & switch...

AUTHOR: Edgeman - (U.S.A.)

Generally speaking, the goal of a bait & switch is to get the customer to buy an item with a higher profit margin. For example, let's say that I was offering a laptop for $199 and when you get to my store I try to get you to buy a $599 laptop.

In this situation we have a merchant (Target) who was unable to secure additional product. I have no idea if this is the fault of Target or the manufacturer but Target did try to remedy the situation by offering a nearly identical product.

To be clear, this is a very nearly identical product. Both models have the same size screen, advanced lane guidance, map share and IQ routes. The only real difference is the lack of maps for Mexico. Either model is a great buy for $97 so it really comes down to how important those maps of Mexico really are to the OP. I doubt that Target is making any extra benefit from offering the alternate product other than trying to fulfill some orders.
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#14 Consumer Comment

Where is the bait & switch?

AUTHOR: JAFO - (USA)

They ran out...it happens especially in the chaos of BF.
They offered you a comparable unit due to the shortage.  This unit did not include Mexico maps, if these were very important to you...call them and try to work something out.

There was NO bait & switch.  When the sale began, they probably had a very large number of these units.  But there were people who bought 5,10,15 of them to resell thus reducing their inventory at a faster than expected rate.  Bait & switch involves:

A.  Never having the unit to begin with, or only 1-2, in order to:
B.  Sell the consumer a higher priced unit.

They did neither of these, even going so far as to offer you a comparable (and probably more expensive unit) for the same price.

Folks need to understand that we do not live in a perfect world and it is impossible to plan for every contingency.  The company is trying to make it up to you.  Accept the deal or don't.  You deserve NO compensation because you did not LOSE anything or suffer any kind of trauma because of this.
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