Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Which Politician Will Target Buy?

OK. This is a personal matter. I happen to shop at Target quite a lot. For the most part, they've got good merchandise at reasonable prices.

It's Target Online that I'm writing about. It's about getting shafted by a loophole that Target Online has taken advantage of numerous times. It's about receiving an enormous package so decrepit with an item you know is so damaged beyond your belief that you're afraid to open the package. It's about loosening regulations on quality control. It's about who will Target Online contribute campaign money to ease the regulations even more?

I know that this line of reasoning is stretching well beyond the six degrees of separation, but it's all possible. When corporations start throwing unlimited amounts of money at politicians, this situation may happen a million times to consumers all over the country.

I'm in the process of moving. It's stressful. Everyone knows what it's like to pack away things you know you'll be unpacking in a matter of days. We all wish we had magic powers to zap our belongings to the new place in an instant. Where is Samantha Stevens/Elizabeth Montgomery when you need her? (I wouldn't even mind a visit from Endora/Agnes Moorehead).
I've paid particular attention to any new items that would be needed in the new place. I placed an online order with Target Online for a new writing desk. Below is what I received:

Now look at the packaging inside:

Notice Target.com's information stamped on the carton.

Finally, the condition of the "writing table":

Oh forget it, Vojir! Just return the table and quit whining over it. It's a cheap table.

But wait, there's more! Target fully expects me to box this thing up, pay for shipping, after which I will be reimbursed: sometime after the next full moon, I think. I checked with UPS: $200 to package and ship (ground) to Minneapolis. I told Target "NO WAY!" They said "NO WAY" will they take the thing back without it being boxed, then picked up (arrangements which I have to make) then reimbursed upon receipt. Period.

Will they add on the cost of my time, labor and interest accrued for the time they decide I will be reimbursed? Don't bet on it.
I checked the site page for my writing table. There was one great review. However, upon further reading, I found out that THE EXACT SAME COMPLAINTS as mine were posted by about twenty customers for the same brand/line of furniture! Target has definitely been shipping this kind of stuff out for quite a while, hoping that the consumer would just go away exasperated.

Bear with me, I'm almost there making my point. There is something that retail operations must have: quality control. But what if there were no quality control? What if companies like Target could send out items like the one above with impunity? Yes, it's a sketchy "what if" but if corporations have no conscience...

BTW: Target is based in Minneapolis - home turf to Michele Bachmann. If they throw in some slivers of the True Cross with the campaign funds, they just might be able to get rid of their whole "quality control" staff which, BTW, seems to reside in India.