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Target Scanning Error

Posted Wed July 4, 2001, by Linda H. written to Target

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I would like to bring your attention a complaint I have about the experience at your store, located at Detroit, Michigan. I am extremely upset about this, and I hope you are able to resolve this situation.

RE: Receipt ID# 2-1181-0283-0075-5739-9 (Scanning Error)

An item I purchased at the Target store in Detroit, Michigan on Saturday, June 30, 2001 reflected an inaccurate price when scanned and the store manager refused to pay me the penalty for being in violation of the State's scanning law. I called the Guest Relations staff at Target Headquarters and spoke to four staff/supervisors who would not exercise any discretion to resolve this matter.

I purchased nine items at the Target store on June 30, 2001. Eight of the items included candy purchases. After I had left the store, I reviewed my receipt. It appeared that I had been overcharged for one purchase of chocolate nuggets with almonds and raisins. I returned to the store and went to the shelf where the item was purchased and looked at the listed price on the shelf. There was no ticketed price on the item. In fact, all the items that I purchased, as well as numerous items in the store, did not and do not have a ticketed price on them. I received the difference of the inaccurate scanned price ($2.29) and the actual price ($1.89) of the item from the Customer Service cashier. When I requested the scanning penalty (not to exceed $5.00 depending on the error amount), she eventually referred me to the store manager. I explained to the store manager what had occurred. She acknowledged that an error had been made but that since the item did not have a ticketed price on it, she legally was not obligated to pay me the scanning penalty. She then said that she probably would have given me the scanning penalty fee if not for another loophole in the law. She stated that since the item was on sale, she could say it was a human error as opposed to a scanning error. She concluded by saying this this was permitted under the law; therefore, I would not be getting the scanning penalty fee. I was stunned and simply flabbergasted by what I had heard. I finally responded that this places the customer at a decided disadvantage. Since many items are not ticketed, you either have to memorize the prices listed on the shelf or bring a pencil and paper and write down the prices. Although I was still in a state of shock, I had to tell her that what Target was doing was a clever way indeed of circumventing State law.

The next day I called the Guest Relations staff at Target Headquarters in Minnesota to file a complaint and to determine if Target management supported the actions taken by the Target store in Detroit. On that Sunday, I had a conversation with a staff representative, who spoke to me in a disrespectful manner. I spoke to her supervisor later in the day, who was quite professional and courteous but indicated that she was going to uphold the actions of the Target store in Detroit. I was very frustrated at this point and inquired if I had any further recourse. She responded by telling me to call the Guest Relations staff on Monday because sometimes more discretion could be exercised during the weekday.

On Monday, I again called the Guest Relations staff at Target Headquarters and had a conversation with another staff representative, who referred me to her supervisor. He admitted that Target was not the only store who was not ticketing items. However, the only amends that Target was willing to make was to send a letter of apology for the error made. I requested the e-mail address of the CEO (Robert Uldrich)or the phone number of his secretary. This request was declined by both supervisors. I was, however, provided his address (P.O. Box 1392-Executive Offices of Target-Minneapolis, MN 55402). I wrote him a letter on July 2, 2001.

I have been treated unfairly and perhaps illegally. I am a long-term customer of Target. I don't know whether I am being mistreated because the store is in Detroit and/or that I reside in Detroit. There is a different application of the scanning law in the suburban Target stores. I know this from personal experience.

I simply want to be paid the appropriate scanning penalty fee. I called the Attorney General's Office in Michigan after my disconcerting conversation with the Target supervisor and was informed that the application of the law by the Target store in Detroit was improper. It's hard to believe I am being denied the scanning penalty fee on a technicality.

I would definitely think twice before spending money at 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 fairly dissatisfied with you. I usually visit more than 15 times per month. I usually spend $16-$30.

Here's what I'd like to see Target do about this: I want to be paid the appropriate scanning penalty fee.

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


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