No Longer a Target Shopper

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by susiestar, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I never thought I would say that I won't go into Target anymore. I actively wrote letters and lobbied our city council to try to get a Target store in our community. I had no problem making sure to stop in at Target when in the city (90 mn away) when we had dr appts or other reasons to be there. Target has great products and I have loved their sales and their clearance prices.

    I am not shopping in Target stores for the foreseeable future. Why? I am disabled. I cannot walk any real distance due to pain and joint issues. This means I am more dependent on those electric carts in large stores. Target in the 2 large cities in my state has carts that are not just old nad beat up, but don't work and some are dangerous.

    last week I was shopping with thank you while husband was at work. It was a special trip with just thank you and I to spend $ from xmas gift certs at a bookstore and to look for a cd that he wanted that had extra tracks if you got it at Target. We were at Target at 9:10 am, they opened at 8 and had 4 cars in the parking lot. NONE of the 6 carts in the store worked. One went 6 feet and stopped suddenly. That was the one that moved hte most. One had a seat all torn up, and I was afraid that another one would shock us if we touched it. It had exposed wires in the cord that plugged into the outlet. I was afraid that if we bumped it we would get shocked. I had crocs on and used my shoe to unplug the cord because they won't conduct electricity. This cart's wire had been given some amateur fix that left areas of wire covered with electrical tape and areas between each loop of tape that were exposed.

    I asked for help and got yelled at. I went to the service desk and the lady there was too busy with a tag on something to even look up at me - then she took her item over to the person I had asked for help before and they started yelling at me from over 20 ft away.

    I wish this was new. In the last 2 years I have NEVER been in a Target store with a cart that worked properly. Usually they get me to the back of the store and then they die, leaving me to hobble up to the front of the store. Even in brand new Targets this is what happens - and it has happened in Target stores in FIVE STATES!!! I have been called names, told that I am too old and fat to shop and even told that maybe the cart dying is a message that I should start working out and stop "cramming **** into your piehole" in the words of a Target employee a few months ago. I have NEVER been treated this way in Walmart. Well, I did have a college kid who looked like Shaggy from Scooby Doo tell me that a cart had to go back to the area they were kept in when I asked him for help. He was rather busy trying to see down a girl's shirt, but when I called management that evening I got a sincere apology and hsi behavior has been VERY different since then.

    I have NEVER had Walmart mgmt treat me like I am a PITA, or any employee not be very very helpful. I have even had them be very willing to go and get a cart that had more of a charge on the battery and bring it to me in the back of the store when the cart died at Walmart. In every Walmart store I have been treated with respect and dignity.

    I am sick of this. Our WM store was one of the first supercenters. We have a newer fancier one in town but it is out of the way. Our old WM has new carts and I think about 15 of them - enough that on a Sunday afternoon when they are busy I can still always find a cart. I would not tolerate bad service, name calling, being treated like a nuisance or being shouted at from any business and I won't tolerate it from Target. I have always found the products at Target to be appealing, but not enough that I wil continue to overlook this hideous service from them.

    Especially when the ONLY response I got from their corporate office about my complaints was that I should be thankful that they provide carts of any kind, and maybe I should work on my health problems so that i don't need carts and I should understand that their employees are very busy and that they can't always provide personal service to each customer. WTH do these people think is going on in this economy? People have to be more careful about spending and we are NOT going to spend it at places that don't treat us well. This was the most mealy-mouthed bad example of an apology from a company in response to a very clear customer service complaint that I have ever heard of.

    It saddens me that Target cannot see how they are empowering their employees to destroy their reputation, but now they have made an ex-customer out of my family. I even called WM's corporate office to say thank you and to suggest that maybe they need to start an ad campaign featuring their excellent service, esp to disabled people.

    I left that Target store in tears, in pain from hiking from one entrance to the other and back again, embarrassed and humiliated after not only not being able to shop there, but also from being yelled at in front of my child. To then have their corporate office tell me that I should be grateful to be treated this way? SOOOOOOOOO not going to happen. I really hope WM does start a marketing campaign about how they treat customers with disabilities. I would be happy to help them.
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member


    Tell me if I need to duck, but... while I agree with your final conclusion for a whole long list of reasons, I don't totally agree with your logic...

    Target has every reason to lose you - and a raft of others - due to negative customer service (not just "lack of"... as in, hard to track down staff but when you find someone they are appropriate and helpful). And you can 100x that due to they way they respond to disabilities. This deserves to be a negative news story. Seriously. We don't have target here... if we did, I probably wouldn't shop there either.

    But... there are a LOT of stores that do not have carts. There is no reason to expect ANY store to have a cart... unless it is a grocery store. When my Mom became severely disabled (RA), we had to find our own answers... and came up with a variety of used equipment that we could draw on depending on the situation. A "show" at the fairgrounds meant taking a wheelchair. A trip to a clothing store meant taking the sit-down walker (you could push it, or sit in it). And so on. We had to look after ourselves, so that she would not end up in major pain and/or make her joint damage worse.

    What I'm trying to say is... yes, hammer away at the "bad" stores every chance you get, give the "in-betweens" some educating, shop at the "good" ones... and then go get yourself some stuff so you can enjoy shopping trips and other outings. It's worth it.

    (do I need to duck now?)
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am not upset by the stores that don't have carts. If you can't provide them, or choose not to, that is fine. I have a BIG problem when you provide them, and tell people how great your service is, when they are flat out dangerous or don't work. I would VASTLY prefer they just removed them. I am angry because they make substantial efforts to say they go out of their way to help the disabled, and that they provide superior service. Yes, I did choose to go there. I also chose to try to use the carts. I do try to improve the helath issues that are a problem for me, and to become able to walk longer distances and to need less help.

    I guess i didn't state things clearly. I do object to the service, and to them having dangerous things that could hurt anyoen who bumped into them (the carts with bad wiring). My biggest objection is to a corporate response that it is just fine for employees to yell at customers and call us names for any reason, esp when it has become a chain wide phenomenon rather than a single store anomaly. THAT is the problem. Customer service is the last line that stores have to differentiate themselves, and when you brag that you are so great but you defend outright abusive behavior over and over? It is a BIG problem. Especially when your major competition is working hard to make sure that they DO provide superior service and help to those who are disabled.

    If they didn't have electric carts? I would not expect them to work or to not hurt people. They do have htem, and they ARE dangerous. In fact, Target knows it because a family friend was shocked by a cart in that exact store over a year ago and the store gave them over $2000 in merchandise and gift cards to get them to not sue. Having that happen so long ago, and doing what they can to appeal to disabled shoppers iwth marketing strategies, and then treating us like we are not just bothers but shouldn't be bothering them, THAT angers me.
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Class action suit? truth in advertising suit?
    There's gotta be a hungry lawyer out there somewhere...

    Target is taking a divide-and-conquor approach.
    Where's some of the seniors organizations? handicapped organizations?

    (If we weren't living in GFGdom, we warrior moms would change the world...)
  5. Star*

    Star* call 911

    I don't shop Target anyway - but it has to do with their coupon doubling policy here.

    However - the names that you were called Susie? I wouldn't have left the store without finding a manager. Someone would have gotten their hiney handed to them. The cramming in a hole comment wouldn't have gone un-rewarded.

    I think both you and Insane have the right thoughts - You're angry and she says educate. I'd wait a little bit until your fur is down and then write a letter to Target and let them know - Take pictures maybe - and have PROOF - show them in different stores - be an advocate for the handicapped. Maybe even who knows - call it Susie*'s law - or something. That if a store is going to provide these motorized carts for customers that there be a checklist daily and nightly of maintenance for handicapped people - Use that bad for good. You are very smart - and right now - understandably angry.

    And then tell them you want a gift certificate to walmart - seriously - and a donkey.

    I'm sorry dear one......bad enough to have handicaps - but to offer a service and not maintain it? NOt very customer service friendly. I know like insane says -they don't have to offer it - it's a convenience - but it wasn't so convenient for anyone was it? And now their lack of caring and their obvious lack of concern has cost them a customer.

    Write them - but not right now. Keep the emotion out of it - stick to the facts - and get proof.

    Hugs & Love
  6. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I am so sorry Susie, nobody deserves treatment like that. the cart thing, that is ugly but how people have treated you?? THAT is what makes me nuts. I just can't wrap my head around anyone treating someone like that. I would be offering to take your list and get things for you to compare and contrast running back and forth through the store for you if that was where I worked. You could have two heads and fangs and an extra eye and I would still treat you well...who are they to judge, they do not know your story.

    Is there any way you can get your own power cart?? My neighbor has one of those and she can scoot up to a mile away and back...and that lets her go all the way to a Walmart, a Rainbow, several docs/chiro's and a dentist. She does not even have a car.

    I know they are expensive, she got hers used from a friend. Some have insurance that covers.... not sure what your situation is for that.

    HUGS to you....Dee
  7. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Susie, this is NOT how I was trained when I worked at Target. We rarely had a problem with the motorized carts, because the front-end lead made sure they were plugged in every few hours. It was on the checklist. When one had a seat issue, it was taken into the back and replaced... I had to ride one back to the back once. We were always helpful to the guests, especially those who appeared to be disabled. It was hammered into our heads that weight might be a medical issue. (Of course, our Loss Prevention guy was in a wheelchair, so we had first hand experience...)

    There is no excuse for how you have been treated. I've been treated like dirt at Wal-Mart - for trying to pick up an Rx for a kid with whom I shared a last name, but I tried to be honest and show my POA. Clearly that meant I wasn't allowed and I was trying to steal their drugs. (Antibiotics?!)

    So... I agree with IC's conclusion.
  8. HMBgal

    HMBgal Active Member

    I'm so sorry your were treated that way! And if a business provides carts, you should have some expectation that they will be in safe, operable condition. I won't shop at Walmart for various reasons, nor will I shop at Target for other reasons. It's limiting my options, but due to JC Penny's latest decision to stand by Ellen against the Million Moms who wanted a boycott of the store because Ellen is gay, along with their fresh ads and pricing policies, I'm going to give them a try. Besides, I remember them fondly from my childhood days.
  9. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Get your photos (digital and date-stamped) and if you go class action, remember that the senior organizations out there are BIG (seniors use those pretty often, too). Oh and Veteran orgs, too. Stage a little rally in the parking lot with some local media in attendance waving signs demanding that if they're going to have the carts they shouldn't be deathtraps.
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Ohh, that's so sad! And how frustrating. I can completely understand why you left in tears.
    Luckily, our Target has much better customer svc and better carts. I have taken my cousin there. (She's the one who probably slammed into you, and then the CD rack, in reverse, when you were there at Christmastime.)
    Since you are such an activist, and helped to get them into the community to begin with, I would at least write a letter to the manager and tell him/her why you are leaving. I would think that it would hurt them even more to know that it isn't just one individual who was hurt by lousy cust svc and mgmt, but community support will be withdrawn, as well.

    I would make a copy and send it to the local newspaper, as well.

    No biz, no matter how big, is "safe" in a competitive environment, which is as it should be. Shop where ever you feel best.
  11. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    This is why mother in law purchased her own wheelchair. Regardless of whether or not a store had those carts, we never failed to take the wheelchair. Why? Because there was always the chance all carts were in use (and no way could mother in law navigate the store without them by the time she bought the chair), weren't charged, or were broken. Most of the time it was the first two and it never seemed to matter if it was walmart, kroger, or kmart. I've never even noticed them in the Targets I've been inside, not that I shop there much.

    We did the same thing for easy child when she broke her ankle, for the same reason. I've held onto mother in law's wheelchair for that reason, and have no plans on it going anywhere in the future. You just never know when it will be needed again.

    You're right, it's just plain bad customer service, which in this economy is NOT smart. Might want to mention to them that they may want to think about how many potential customers simply turn and leave when they find their carts like that, because I bet 90 percent do just that.

    I'd try contacting them via letter next time, and Star made an excellent suggestion on photographic proof of the conditions of their carts.

    Our local warmart.........their carts are rarely charged, and even when they are most of them don't work worth a darn and hitch and lurch around........that is IF you can manage to find one to begin with, a rare thing. Krogers is better, but that is not to say they don't have problems. Kmart........well, our kmart doesn't get much business so there is no one to mess the carts up or run the batteries down.

    That just blows out the wazoo.

  12. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    We dont have a local Target but I imagine the motorized carts are a pain everywhere. Our walmart doesnt have a lot of them and they do break down every so often and if you get there doing a rush hour, you are out of luck. Sometimes they have a plain wheelchair but they are mostly broken down and you cant push a wheelchair and a cart.

    My local grocery store is supposed to have two carts but one must have broken because there is only one there now and the last several times I have been there I havent even seen it. Means I can only shop for about 5 or 10 minutes and I am out of there. I havent actually shopped for groceries in weeks. I spend a ton more money when I shop for each meal a day at a time.

    Everyone thinks its easy to get those carts too. Its not. Its also not easy to just have a wheelchair and then take it with you places alone. I have a wheelchair but it does me no good if I am by myself. The thing weighs about 40 pounds or so and for me to lift it in and out of my trunk is really hard on me. Then I have to pull it open and get it all settled right and put the foot pieces on it. Then I would have to wheel myself around where I need to go and I dont have a basket for it. I cant push a cart with it so I would just have to use one of those small handbaskets and get maybe 10 items total.
  14. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    We live in the middle of nothing-for-nobody-land, and I'm amazed at what we DO have.
    NO motorized anything as courtesy items, but...
    The grocery stores here ALL have a column of shopping carts designed to be managed from in a wheelchair.

    As far as running solo with a manual wheelchair... DJ - have you ever seen the wheelchair lifts?
    Not that you would actually BUY one... but your crew is creative enough at "building" stuff that... they might be able to replicate one...
  15. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    I feel that the insults directed at Susiestar by Target employees are the glaring problem in this situation. This is abuse, the other is neglect.
  16. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Well said, 3S.

    Susie, I think you should go to the media with this. In my area there is a consumer advocate who had a tv show for a long time. He now has a radio program, and yours is exactly the sort of issue he helps people with. I'm not sure if you have a similar resource in your area, but maybe our dude would be willing to take this on long distance. Or put you in touch with someone closer?

    At any rate, here is the link to his website:
  17. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Go get em Susie - Like I said - Wait until the emotional aspect wears off - and then? KAPOW. Perhaps this is something that isn't even at a corporate level??? Perhaps this is something that should be dealt with at a STATE or Federal level (and no I'm not joking) with (and I don't know whom it would be) but a director of handicapped programming?? There has to be someone in government that would like to discuss this with you, and work towards a better end.

    What I do know is that people that complain just to complain have their words fall on momentarily sympathetic then deaf ears - People who create resolutions to problems are heard. So Go and SOLVE this.
  18. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I would have no idea how to build a wheelchair lift, especially for my car. Eventually I am going to have to get one of those power chairs and get a SUV most likely. Then I will get a lift that goes on the back of the vehicle. Tony wants me to get a minivan so that the chair can just drive right on it but I dont think we can afford that.
  19. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Janet, due to your disability, any chance disability will pay for that lift........maybe if doctor backs you up based on "need"?? Just a thought.

    And yes, dealing with a wheelchair alone is hard. Dealing with it with another person to help is still a PITA, as there was no lift for it either. So it went either in the backseat or in the trunk. I know I rebuilt up my upper body strength lifting that thing in and out of the car all summer. ugh But it was better than counting on carts provided by the stores. And mother in law's chair is small, not even "normal" size. ugh
  20. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Janet, look into govt grants for the disabled. Lots of times there are no applicants for grants or little competition so it might be worthwhile.

    Thanks ladies! I was mostly worried about the safety risk, and upset about the treatment.

    I DID speak to the manager on duty, then called the store manager, then wrote and called corporate. The store manager I guess can't use phones because she hung up on me twice before I got through, then she flat out denied that the carts are in bad shape. She also flat out said that I abused her employees and they didn't shout at me from across the store, and then told me to seek psychiatric help because they can't care for every crazy person who calls them.

    Corporate said that maybe they didn't need my business as I was clearly not willing to be reasonable. All I asked was for them to have the carts in decent working order if they were to provide them, and to make sure that there were no flat out dangerous safety issues like exposed wiring on a cord plugged into an electrical outlet.

    I am sorry y'all have had probelms in walmarts. Ours is a little old supercenter, and we have a big fancy new one at the edge of town. Our little old one has 15 carts, and it was one of the very early supercenters. I have stopped at Walmart in big and little towns around here and unless it is the busiest time of day I have rarely had a real cart problem or not been able to get one. We also have regular wheelchairs at each store and if your cart dies every employee who walks past will offer to go get the wheelchair or a new cart for you - I have even had this at the tiniest oldest walmart around our area. When problems happen, which they do, and repairs need to be made, they are made PROFESSIONALLY, esp if that problem involves electricity. My nephew worked at a Wlamart for a few years back and he said that any electrical repair had to be made by someone certified and licensed to do it, and if a store had an employee with-o that training and certification who made that type of repair, then the MANAGER would get fired most likely.

    I have contacted several groups about this, and have also contacted the Director of Safety for the Dept of Labor iwth the exact date of the problems. I was very specific and she has a reputation for eating people alive for things like this. Sadly, this chain has lost my business. I like target's house brands far more than many brand names, and I like many of their clothing and houseware lines. But I won't go there again or order online. I won't in any way support an organization that puts every person in the building at risk of serious shock from a badly made repair job. If they do that on something that a customer can see, what do they do on things behind the scenes that we cannot see?

    I also intend to see what I can do about the hideous service - I want EVERYONE to know about it because it isn't one store or one city or one state. It is at least this region, and even one store is way too much. Especially when the response from the corporate office was that I was the one in the wrong and I was "too demanding" and not appreciative enough. in my opinion I was TOO appreciative for the quality of products and didn't complain more, earlier.

    OK is different from many areas of the country. People here are a LOT nicer, more friendly, more helpful by nature. It is rare for a stranger to not smile if you meet their eyes, or for someone to not hold a door for you. People here are just genuinely friendly most of the time. It is one reason I wrote off the increasingly bad service at Target for so long. Their employees do NOT smile, they do NOT help you, they tend to be incredibly rude, and they get upset if you ask for something. Not just at this one store. For a long time I wrote it off as "a bad day" or someone else being rude to them. But if I went into another store near them, the employees were unfailingly normal, meaning at least polite and mostly friendly and willing to help in any way they can. THAT is the norm, here. Several Target stores have Walmarts very close to them. A few times I have gone into WM right after being at TArget and the WM empoyees were never like the Target ones. So in my opinion there is a problem at Target. A BIG one.

    And I am done being nice or polite or tolerant of Target. I am angry and I intend to let the world know about it. I even called WM and thanked them, with specifics, and told them I think they could do a marketing campaign aimed at the disabled/senior/differently abled and mop the floor with Target.