Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Let's Talk TV Part 2

I decided to take care of my Target TV problem after work on Saturday. I don’t usually work weekends, but I was helping with a Super Bowl special we were taping for Channel 44. So after a couple of hours at the station, I took something back to JC Penney and headed to Target. I first encountered a lady that had no idea what I was talking about and also did not want to pay attention to me. Her husband had come through the door and she was more interested in greeting him than helping me. Then she asked her manager for help and I felt better knowing we were about to get down to business.

The problem was the manager couldn’t refund the TV then sell it to me again because it had the same serial number. Also, I had waited too long to come back and my temporary card (a receipt) had expired. For the record, the sales guy told me to wait several days so I wasn’t just taking my sweet time. Add that to the fact that customer service would not give me my account number for security reasons and I didn’t have my card yet. So after 45 minutes of trying to figure this out, I walked away with all my receipts and no closer to solving the problem.

Unbeknownst to me, there were 2 different times on Saturday that I could have gotten the Target card number. The first was when I was about to check the mail before I left home, but instead decided to let Pmo get it when he came back from the gun show. The second was when I thought about calling Pmo while I was at Target to see if, by chance, the card had come in the mail. Which it had. And if I had had it with me, the process would have gone a lot smoother and I wouldn’t have had to go back on Sunday. But I wasn’t expecting the card so soon. I had only opened the account 6 days before. I wrote down the Target manager’s work schedule so I wouldn’t have to go through this whole thing with someone else and knew she was working Sunday. So I went in just after 2pm and everything worked out swimmingly. Finally.

Here’s something else I didn’t know. When I opened the card, I got a 10% off coupon that I could use for one day, all day. Apparently, I could have used it on the TV but, once again, the sales guy did not tell me this. Much to my surprise, I was able to use it during the return/resell process and buy the TV cheaper, $449 plus tax. I also used the 10% on a Mamma Mia DVD I’d been thinking about buying. I searched the store for something bigger, even looked at crockpots, but nothing really appealed to me. I spent way too much time looking at purses and finally decided that was the last thing I needed. My purses have their own closet.

There was one more thing at Target that ticked me off. Toward the end of my customer service journey, I walked past a display of Tostitos and dip on sale. I needed some for the Super Bowl so I decided to take advantage. The chips were 2 for $5 with a free jar of salsa or cheese. After reading the sign closer, I discovered it was a certain size chip and a 15 ounce dip. But there were several different size chips in front of me and no 15 oz dips in sight. Only 20 ounce. I had to go back to the normal chips and dip section to get the 15 oz salsa because I knew the 20 oz wouldn’t pass the cashier. But somehow I ended up with the wrong size chips and it rang up wrong at the counter anyway.

I got it straightened out, but the point is the display is so misleading. Your average Joe is going to walk by it, see the sign, grab two random bags of chips and a 20 oz cheese dip, not pay attention when the cashier rings it up, and get ripped off. How hard would it be to stack that display with the right items? How hard is it to offer a sale and then deliver it? Why do some stores make customers work so hard for a deal? We already have to make the effort to read all the ads, cut out dozens of coupons, keep tabs on the expiration dates, watch every item that rings up at the counter, and deal with stupid sales guys who tell you a promotion that’s been advertised is not available when it really is, and give you a 10 percent coupon that you could use on a very expensive TV, but fail to tell you that you could use it!

Whew. I’m exhausted.

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