A few weeks ago, I saw an amazing deal on jeans from Target.com on one of the deal blogs that I read. After coupon codes and the buy one, get one free promotion, I could get 4 pairs of jeans for $19 with free shipping. What a fabulous deal! I figured I would give it a try, and if it turned out that the jeans didn't fit, I could always return them to the closest Target store (which happens to be an hour away--but we do go to the city once in a while, so not a big deal). Anyway, I placed the order, received a confirmation for my order of $19, and congratulated myself on scoring such a good deal. :) After all, it's not often you can get jeans for less than $5 a pair!
Well. You know how sometimes things are too good to be true? Yeah. That's what I found out. A few days later I received the shipping confirmation. Both that, and my account on their website showed a charge of $32.25 total, rather than $19. I was confused, thinking maybe it was an error. Then I checked my bank account, which was also showing an extra charge of $13.25 via Paypal (which is how I had chosen to pay when I placed my order). So, in addition to the original $19, which I had happily paid, now Target had dipped into my account for more money (WITHOUT my permission--and with no notification whatsoever, other than casually adding it onto my total on the shipping confirmation). At this point I wasn't too happy with Target. Isn't that illegal? If it isn't, it should be . . .
I decided to go back to the original deal blog post and see if anyone else had had this problem. Several other ladies mentioned that they had been overcharged and had to spend an hour or more on the phone, trying to get it straightened out with Target customer service. With reps in other countries who couldn't speak English very well. So I decided to email their customer service center instead, hoping that would be less hassle and that they could get the extra charge taken off. I finally heard back from someone, who was totally less than helpful and basically informed me that $32.25 was my order total and they hoped that helped. Um, no, it doesn't!
(And as a side note, yes, I realize that this was *only* an extra $13.25. And it still would have been a good deal for jeans. But it was the principle of the thing! Adding an extra charge after the order is placed, without authorization from the customer, is just not right! And some of the other ladies I read about had been overcharged way more than I had, which didn't make any sense either.)
At this point I decided to wait till I received my order to see if the jeans actually fit. I figured that if I had to end up taking them back, then I would just get all my money back at that point. If they did fit, I would continue to hound customer service either via email or phone and try to get the extra charge refunded. They arrived pretty quickly, I tried on a pair, and they were a bit too small. Okay, problem solved. I would take them back to the store for a full refund. We did this last night, and here is what happened:
Before we left, I made sure I had the packaging slip for the return, and I also printed out the shipping confirmation they had sent me, which showed the full charge of $32.25. Just in case there was any discrepancy. The young man working customer service at the store was very nice and helpful. The first 3 pairs of jeans scanned in with no problem, but then the 4th pair wouldn't scan at all. His computer/register thingy gave him a message to call some number about this problem, which he did. He finally got that 4th pair to scan, and he told me I would have to get my refund in the form of a gift card. This made no sense to me, so I asked why. I explained that I should be able to get my money back in the form of cash or put on my debit card, since I was returning the items within 90 days. He wasn't sure why the system was telling him this, but another rep was nearby and she asked whether I had paid with Paypal, which I then remembered doing. (It was Paypal, but transfers directly out of our bank account to our Paypal account.) She said that was why--that when you pay with Paypal, they only refund with a gift card. Hmmmm, okay. So that was fine, only a bit frustrating. At this point I wanted to be done with Target forever and not buy anything else from them! Also, the system wouldn't let him refund our whole amount (it insisted that they only owed us $31.25 instead of $32.25--so I lost a dollar). He believed us because we showed him our shipping confirmation, but there was nothing he could do about it . . . so he gave us the number for Target.com customer service in case we wanted to try to get it back that way. The person he was talking to on the phone said she "didn't have much information about our transaction." Huh? Isn't that convenient. I'm not sure it is worth it to try to call and possibly waste an hour or more trying to talk to someone in another country just to get back a dollar. But I can tell you one thing: I've learned my lesson and I won't be ordering anything from Target.com again. It's not worth the hassle!
I don't know about you, but it leaves a bad taste in my mouth when big corporations have lousy customer service (and I'm not referring to the store rep--because he was as helpful as he could be, and the whole thing wasn't his fault), and especially when they dip into my account without my authorization. I've had much more positive experiences at Walmart, Kohl's, and other stores . . . so I will continue to shop at those kinds of stores, but Target won't be getting much of my business from now on! (Well, not that they ever did . . . :))
Sorry this post got so long and rambling, but I just wanted to share my experience so that if you're ever tempted with a Target.com deal . . . you might want to think twice about it! :)