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I’m Never Shopping at Target Again. Here’s Why.

I just had the worst customer service experience at Target ever. I’m never shopping there again.

Here’s what happened: on a hot (and muggy) Las Vegas day, the cashier charged us for items that she failed to place in our bags. We didn’t notice until we got home. (Naturally. We shouldn’t have to hold up the line to check our bags before we move on.) So, on a hot (and muggy) Las Vegas day, we had to drive back to get our refund.

Now, that alone was inconvenient and frustrating, but when I called Target’s customer line to file a complaint, it got really, really bad.

Customer service representative, Jorge, or at least that’s what he said his name was, didn’t apologize for the inconvenience and say that he would get a note over to the store manager so they could be more careful about bagging purchases in the future. No. Instead Jorge raised his voice, became hostile, and basically told me that Target couldn’t care less. Here’s how the conversation actually went after he heard my complaint:

Jorge: Well, that was human error. It’s not like she did that on purpose.

Me: I realize that. But surely Target trains employees to bag with care and I would like to file a complaint.

Jorge (raises voice): Well, what do you want me to do? Fire her?

Me: No. I would like you take my complaint without challenging me.

Jorge (voice still raised): What you want is to hurt a person who’s human and just made a mistake.

Me: No. What I want to do is file a complaint.

Jorge (lowers voice): What is it that we can do for you?

Me: You can take my complaint.

Jorge (no longer voice raised): Well, we don’t take those kind of complaints.

Me: Okay. What is your name?

Jorge (back to raised voice): JORGE!

Me: Thank you, Jorge, for nothing. I’ll need your name because I’m not done complaining.

Jorge (voice raised again): Don’t bother complaining. No one is going to listen to you.

And that’s when I hung up.

The thing is… Jorge is probably right. I mean, obviously someone is listening to me. You’re reading this, right? But more than likely, Target isn’t going to listen.

Coincidentally, an offer to fill out a store experience survey was on the receipt from this shopping trip. Of course, I filled it out (opting out of the chance to win a $10,000 Target gift card, because, after all, I’m never shopping there again). I expressed that my experience was unsatisfactory, relaying everything I’ve written here, and left my phone number so that the store manager could contact me.

Guess what. He did. The store manager of the particular Target store where I shopped left a very nice message on my voice mail indicating his concern. He didn’t necessarily apologize, but he did show a genuine interest and left a number for me to return his call. I didn’t and won’t. After dealing with Jorge, I’m surrendering to the notion that Target’s policy is to do nothing about my complaint – not even note it or apologize. I figure, what’s the point in calling the store manager back?

I am completely convinced that the general entity that is Target does not care about me or how bad my experience was. But keep this in mind: if Target doesn’t care about me, chances are the retailer doesn’t care about you either.

Does this mean you should stop shopping Target, too? No, not really. If your Target experience has been on-target (pun intended), then don’t alter your shopping habits because of my experience. But, do keep my experience on your radar, because you could be next.

Just remember that you shouldn’t have to put up with shitty service, no matter what store that may be. As consumers, the power is in OUR hands, not in the hands of retailers and manufacturers. You are not a slave to the retail industry. It should be clamoring for your loyal business, not treating you like a pest. A retailer that doesn’t care enough to listen to your feedback is basically telling you, “We don’t give a damn about your business.” Accept that message and move on. Take your business to a retailer that does.

I’ve been shopping Target for over 20 years, and all it took was one horrible incident with one of its customer service reps to bring that loyalty to an end. Except for the amazing designer collabs, there isn’t anything that I can get at Target that I can’t get at CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Kmart, Kohl’s, or Amazon. So, I’m just taking my business elsewhere in order to avoid another interaction with Target and Jorge ever again. I will be fine without Target in my life, and obviously, Target will be fine without my business (or my blogging about the retailer or including it in the freelance fashion articles I write, for that matter).

However, if Target continues to practice a customer service strategy of basically telling dissatisfied customers, “We don’t care,” well, I can’t imagine the retailer will be fine for long.

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