Linda sent a message to Brian C. Cornell Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Target Corporation – email address that said:
Good Afternoon Mr. Cornell,
I am a faithful Target customer and also enjoyed your recent interview on CBS This Morning. I am contacting you about our experience with Target last night.
We looked at televisions onsite at Target Black Friday Weekend. Every tv we were interested in was sold out. Of course we understood, made our other purchases and left the store. Last night our tv died and we immediately went to Target.com to look for the availability of the tv's we liked. Miraculously they were available in store and showed the same discounted prices. Great! I called the store to confirm that they had it and low and behold yes they have two in stock but cannot 'match' the online price. They shared that they were instructed not to price match until after December 4th.
I have made Target.com purchases in the past that clearly stated that it is an online price. Not only did the tv not state this but it was unavailable online and could only be purchased in stores per the notes.
Here are my questions for you:
Why would the televisions not say 'online price only' making it clear for the consumer and in an effort to avoid any issues? Not everyone lives 5 minutes from a Target store and if they do not call ahead then they will be completely caught off guard when they arrive and find the regular price is what is being offered. I would think this would cause a loss of business and perhaps a faithful Target customer.
If the Target customer has to call Target each time they are interested in making a purchase to verify the price, in the event they are not 5 minutes from the store, isn't this yet another way to lose a loyal customer? In addition wouldn't you prefer that your employees use their time helping the customers in front of them instead of answering these calls? Isn't it unfair to put your employees in this position as well, to have to tell customers that they will not honor the price clearly shown on their own website?
I have been in the customer service industry my entire life and I find what happened unacceptable. I will not stop shopping at Target, I love Target but please consider realizing the importance of labeling prices clearly as to whether they are an online price only. I believe it will keep the Target customer happy as well as your employees who will not be put in these awkward positions. Everyone that we spoke to over the phone and in gchat were very nice and professional as they delivered their same response. I have to say that I found this so frustrating that I tweeted to AskTarget and I have never done complained in this manner.
We will be buying our tv from Best Buy in this case due to the price difference and what transpired last night. Yes, I realize by my purchasing the tv elsewhere it will not put you out of business but at the same time I cannot believe we are the only ones that had this experience and thought twice about making a large purchase from Target.
Thank you for your time.