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Defective product with no box

Posted Thu March 21, 2002, by Jason H. written to Target

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I would like to bring your attention a complaint I have about the exchanges and returns at your store, located at Fair Lakes (Fairfax) Virginia. Specifically, I'm writing about exchanges. I am extremely upset about this, and I hope you are able to resolve this situation.

I've been very disappointed with the purchase of a Memorex Answering Machine. This machine had a time stamp feature, but the timer advanced too quickly. I did not realize that there was a problem immediately... it wasn't until a week went by and someone left a message for me, but the time stamp feature gave a time that was in the future. I reset the time to make sure it was set correctly, and another week later I noticed it had advanced again. Since I didn't realize the problem right away, the box was thrown away. I took the machine back to the store, and exchanged it for another machine of the same model. I was told that the store would have to keep the box. I didn't like that policy, but I was under the impression that this second one would work. This machine had the same problem. I went to take it back to the store. I still have the original receipt, and the second receipt for the exchange. I was told that since I did not have the box, I could only exchange it for a similar machine. I just wanted my money back for the defective product. I can't remember who I talked to, but she said she was the manager. This was around 1pm on Saturday, March 16 2002. She said that defective merchandise needs to be in the box to send back to the manufacturer. She said if there is no box, Target cannot send it back, and the company would lose money. She said I had to go home and call 1-800-440-0680 and that I could log a complaint, but that they still would not offer me a refund.

I call the number on Sunday, and spoke to Leslie. Finally a friendly voice that listened to what the problem was. She said that for defective products, the Target store should except a return. She gave me the case number #######.

Wednesday at noon I go back to the store. The first lady I spoke to didn't seem to care much, and I was passed off to Ricardo since it was time for her break. Ricardo was very friendly. He told me the store policy that he was told that I needed a box. I gave him the case number to check into. It took awhile since he had to find out what to do with the case number, but he was apologizing for the delay. The customer service rep he talked to put him on hold while they checked into it. It seems to me that someone should know what the policy is. Ricardo eventually was able to give me a refund.

I have not yet decided whether I will return to your store again, and I don't think I can recommend you to my friends and family. In the past, quite frankly, I've been very dissatisfied with you. 6-10 times per month. $31-$50.

Here's what I'd like to see Target do about this: If the policy is that Target will not accept defective returns until someone complains from their house to an 800 number, then that policy should be reconsidered. You will lose me as a customer until the policy is revised. If this store does not understand the correct policy, local and regional management should be corrected, so the policy can trickle down to the employees. Leslie at the 800 number and Ricardo at the store should be praised for their friendlyness and attempts at helping me out; however, it should be researched why the people before then were unable to accomidate me.

Target should stand behind the products they sell, and have the customer-oriented customer service instead of the harsh stance to protect the company's bottom line.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. I look forward to your prompt response.


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