Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Target Makes Mistakes, Mis-Treats Customers and Infuritates Many Who Ordered Britax Marathon Carseats

OH the DRAMA. As if I did not have enough drama in my own personal life, I am now fighting an uphill battle with Target. I am one to get fired up when I am wronged, and this time I am beyong fuming mad. Like many Target shoppers this week, I ordered the Britax Marathon Carseat in the sale color, Granite Grey. often marks down merchandise and offers free shipping so I was totally on board with the offer to get a great product at a sale price. Assuming they were clearancing this color or were overstocked with inventory on it, I took advantage of the clearance price of $42.99 with free shipping. There was another style being clearanced- called COWMOOFLAGE, which is this black and white bold cow print, but it was marked $59.99 and I did not justify the extra bucks for the so called premium fabric. I knew this Granite seat was a bargain so in addition to ordering one for Charlotte, I also ordered two more for Jeff's cousin Heather who delivered twin girls on October 13th. This would be the ultimate baby gift considering these carseats work from Birth to 4 years and are hightly rated and usually priced at $279.99 a pop. Yippee, I was so excited. Giving generous gifts and saving money on items we NEED & MUST HAVE is a total high. This a photo of the order I placed, I have edited my billing and shipping info to protect any shred of privacy I may still have-(as if!) Please double click the image to see all the fine print about my purchase. This is my confirmation of the transaction- crystal clear, right? Written confirmation of the done deal!

Imagine my disappointment when two days later Target randomly cancelled the order. Apparently they made a pricing mistake. I saved all the e-mails about this fiasco and I will continue to hound the powers at be for some real justice. This is the email explanation that I received:

Greetings from

Due to an unexpected error, the following item(s) you have ordered
were incorrectly priced at the time of your order.
Britax Marathon Convertible Car Seat - Granite
We're sorry, but we are unable to offer this item for the incorrect
price. The correct price is $279.99. We have canceled your order for
this item. If you would like to order this item at the correct price,
please visit to check for availability.

Despite our best efforts, a small number of items on our site are
occasionally mis-priced. We do, however, verify prices as part of our
shipping procedures. If we discover that an item's correct price is
higher than our stated price, we will either contact you for
instructions before shipping or cancel your order and notify you of
the cancellation. This pricing policy is posted in the Help section

Again, we're sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused
you. Thank you for being our valued guest.


Guest Service Department

I called and filed a formal complaint with the Target Guest Relations Department, and I asked for a quote for the "story" I am writing. WHOA....All of a sudden I was no longer just an irritated customer, I was potentially going to write about this- ahhh, I was transferred to a senior specialist who then transferred me to media relations, where my call was placed on hold then disconnected. I pressed on for this and two for that before I was told that Guest Relations does not have the authority to transfer calls to the media department. The experience was going from bad to worse. I just wanted a formal statement from Target about how this happened, how it was handled- or not handled correctly, how they will make it right with their customers, and how this situation can be turned into a positive. I am still waiting for the answers from them, and after thinking it through they need to do damage control NOW to avoid the shopping Target boycott by angry patrons.

This kind of customer service for VALUED GUESTS is flat out unacceptable, especially in such a fragile retail environment. Can you believe that just weeks before the biggest retail shopping season, in a recession, Target wants to piss off the very individuals that buy gifts and toys? C'mon, what is wrong with them?

While this pricing mistake is bound to happen ocassionally I find this particular situation hard to believe since the item was listed at $42.99 for 3 days before the error was supposedly "discovered." So, how did this customer service issue get resolved? Quite simply it DID NOT GET RESOLVED AT ALL. Instead of offering a good will coupon for a future car seat purchase, or a discount on the Britax Marathons, or even a small gift card to use on an instore purchase, Target is just pretending the transaction did not happen at all. No accountability, No sense of a Make Good or genuine concern that they disappointed their loyal shoppers. From a business standpoint Target has a lot to learn!

I have decided to post all the details about the issue and let the readers decide. I documented the entire Target experience and I know this is a public relations nightmare for them, but in all fairness, when you shit on your customers what do you expect? I am now outing myself as a DE-VALUED TARGET GUEST, or DE-VALUED FORMER TARGET GUEST!

If you ordered one of these amazing and bogus deals from Target please leave a comment here and voice your disgust. I know that my measily little blog is more of a personal vent but I plan to seek some kind of tangible apology for my readers and myself. Target has messed with the wrong Valued Guest!


vicki said...

I placed a order for three of black and white bold cow print but I didn't even get a reply they just cancelled my order

Anonymous said...

I ordered two of the granite gray seats. I was excited to be getting such a good deal, and really just thought that they had them clearanced out. It was disappointing to get the e-mail that they decided to cancel my order, and did not have the decency to call and see whether I even wanted the seats, just cancelled the order like I did something wrong by ordering. It is a bad time of year to anger all the mom's shopping for Christmas.

MollieandMorgansMAMA said...

Target totally blew it this time. I am actually so mad that I am returning every single gift (Christmas)item that I purchased already, and my twins' birthday stuff since I have the gift receipts attached to the presents anyway, it will be simple. Just so you know, I spent about $470 on toys and clothes that are going back to the store tomorrow when I have a sitter.

Like you I thought they were putting these on sale because they were a discontinued color- I ordered two for the girls and truly am disappointed that they just blew me off.

Nice Post HELENE, you hit the nail right on the head, keep us updated!

Sally said...

I am pretty sure this was beyond just a listing mistake. The option to order the cow print was on their website for a few days because after I ordered one I told a few friends who are expecting and they ordered them too. This was a posting for too long to be a clerical error, and I think they should have fessed up and either honored the price or at the very least notified me of the cancellation.

I will send my friends who ordered to your blog- thanks

Anonymous said...

I found your blog through a google search and I must say you are dead on with the idea that if it was an error there are better ways to handle it,
That being said, here is another site that had similar views and between these two opinion I have to agree that Target messed up big time:

Mrs. P said...

I ordered one, I needed it badly. I am furious with Target, and I am taking them off of my Black Friday list. They used to be my first longer.

Mrs. P said...

File complaints with the BBB, if enough of us do...maybe they will try to right this wrong

dmb161 said...

Thank you for filing this story. Not only does target have a HORRIBLE return policy, they have a horrible customer relations dept. I ordered 3 of these seats thinking that since the economy is bad, there were deals out there. Boy was I wrong!

Anonymous said...

I have read some of the comments about your post from Triplet Connection and instead of posting more drama from your post I will leave my comment here for you.

Those who think this is being blown out of proportion are just not seeing the big picture. This is a service issue not a pricing mistake,

Most of us wanted the great deal on the seat and genuinly thought they were narking them down to help boost Holiday sales. By just caneling the orders they acted like it was our fault that we believed their price.

I am posting without my name because I am sure the TC drama mamas will flame me.

William & Kelly Miller said...

I, too, ordered three of the Granite seats for my trio. Silly me - I thought Target was offering a great deal in the midst of a gloomy economical mess... I have always valued Target as a retailer: good prices, quality merchandise, but sometimes questionable customer service. The questions were usually squelched by the first two qualities...until now. I'm done with them, for the holiday season and beyond. To honor there "misprint" would only be the start of winning my trust back! Just when I thought that Target saved the day, they actually made it worse!

eemaofsix said...

Count me in- ordered and canceled without even an email to explain. My order just vanished from the system as if I never even wanted it in the first place.

Terrible cusstomer relations.

lodyp said...

I also ordered 4 carseats. Target is a huge company. Multi-million dollar company. Is this going to hurt them so badly? Maybe a couple of hundred thousand dollars....but that is nothing to them. Gymboree made this same mistake last year, having numerous items on their website for $4. I ordered a huge box of things. They honored it. It was changed back on their website the next day. Do I still order from Gymboree? HUGELY. They have my respect and get my money.
I am boycotting Target for the next year. :(
Andrew, Luke and John 1-08-06

triplet mom said...

Here is the bottom line: It is not about the loss of the bargain it is about the way it was handled.

I understand what the pp said about Triplet Connection, so I too want to leave this comment with just my first name not my TC screen name...

I am shocked to see the lame comments on TC about how you should have known this was too good to be true- seriously???? They had two versions, grey and cow and both were marked down with different prices that are no where close to being a typo- from 279.99 to 42.99 is not clerical at all. I thought the price was low to help get rid of the current stock.

Anonymous said...

we are not talking about some fly by night internet scam company- this was TARGET, so I did not think I was being greedy in ordering this seat. I thought it was a heck of a deal but did not think for one minute it was NOT LEGIT.

FYI- Our son has one already and we ordered another to keep in Grandma and Grandpas car. Now in addition to disappointing us, they have lost the grandparents business too.

Just a Daddy said...

just a dad chiming in...sure it sounded too good to be true, and it was- that is no excuse for poor public relations.

glad I am not working in customer service for

Anonymous said...

I also ordered one for my new nephew for Christmas. Having worked in Internet customer service for 6 years, this was not handled well by Target! The company I worked for made pricing mistakes from time to time and ALWAYS honored them.

Anonymous said...

I live in a very small town and we do not even have a Target close by so I am always ordering from them online. I did not think twice about ordering this carseat, and I was blindsighted when my order which included $345 of other merchandise was just gone. I was soooo mad- not because they made the price mistake but because they just dumped my other stuff and made me start all over if I wanted to re-order- which I have not done yet. You are correct to say that this drama is ongoing- I am sure some people will boycott them in person.

Anonymous said...

I ordered 3 seat also and thought the same-bad economey-holidays-Target must be soliciting sales, ect. I was so esxcited and then crushed! Our town is currently in negotiations with Target on building and opening here. Not a great start to making a good impression. THis is a good reason I may not shop there. Every time I have ever came across a price error, which you never know until you are at the store trying to purchase the item, the stores always honor it. Target apparently is not HONOR worthy.

Amy, David, and baby Cambria.. said...

OHHHHHH I AGREE!!!!! Iam still mad. My SIL gave me your blog to comment on and I to Ordered one of the carseats! Im not made of money Target!! I just had a baby and thought this Is a great deal! I never got an email from them I just heard about thier mistake per others that had ordered It as well on my Board. I am Tee'd at Target and think THEY should honor THERE mistake!!!!

Amy H. said...

I ordered the Granite as well. I was irrate that Target cancelled my order. I shop at Target all the time, and was very disappointed that they did not make good on their advertised price. I have a friend who also ordered one, and in local multiples group there were several people who also got ripped off. I sent them an email, but just got a thank you for your input email. I hope you can encourage a resolution!!

Manda said...

I wrote about it at my blog, I emailed Target (and got a bogus response that I'm going to respond to AGAIN), I'm officially boycotting Target, I'm reporting it to the BBB, and I'm seriously considering contacting the attorney general about it. Target messed with the WRONG chickadee this time. De-Valued Customers, UNITE.

waiting for miracles said...

I am on bedrest and I ordered one and took it off my registry at both Target and BRU. Then, I canceled my Target Registry all together. I do not have energy to deal with the powers that be at Target. However, I am glad enough other people are fired up- I will live through them and steer clear of Target for a while. Bummer, huh?

Anonymous said...

Target sucks!!!!! They do NOT value their customers. They choose to screw them when they just want to. Their return policy is terrible and would/could not keep customers. We had an extremely bad situation with them over carseats that were purchased from baby registery that needed to be returned. Absolutely most unprofessional group of excutives I've ever been in contact with. I delivered at 29 wks, my babies were extremely small and the carseats would not work for them. Their answers were they would grow and be able to use them eventually. Seriously, I will never give that company another penny. And at any chance I have, I let others know how they treat customers.

Stephanie said...

OOH I am MAD TOO!! I don't know exactly what to DO about it, but I will be anxious to hear what, if anything they do to resolve this.

(FYI You have no clue who I am LOL but a friend of mine is on your trips board and told me you were pissed too!)

Anonymous said...

I too ordered the seats. 4 granite and 4 cowmooflage. With triplets, two cars and a grandparent carting them around we would never have been able to afford all these seats. Instead it would have been, rather now is a future of constantly installing and uninstalling carseats. I have filed a complaint with the BBB. Also I do know of Mothers that have received the Cowmooflage one(s) they ordered at the 59.99 price. Discrimination doesn't wear so well on Target.

cindy said...

While I truly believe that someone may have made a mistake, I the real mistake is to treat the customers as if they should have known better than to think the deal was for real. Shame on Target

Anonymous said...

Thanks for reminding me I needed to go to Target today!

Sarah said...

My friend Erin directed me over here, and I have to say that I 100% agree w/ you!! I'll be boycotting Target this holiday season as well. They need to do some MAJOR damage control, STAT!

Anonymous said...

Seriously, what is up with the prices anyways! I mean, when I got my son's car seat (granted it was 19 years ago) they were like 40 bucks or something. I can't believe they are ALL like over 200$for a measly car seat! No wonder the aliens don't put their kids in car seats!

Amy said...

Unfortunately, I too was screwed by Target. I thought I purchased 2 Britax graphite carseats, only to find the order was cancelled while I was checking its status. I immediately asked my husband to call and find out the situation (unfortunately I find that men get farther than women in the service department). They told my husband the same bullshit they told all of you. AND I happened to get Target's explanation of error letter for the cancellation WHILE my husband was complaining to them - coincidence? I think they said to themselves, "oh here's another complainer. We better cover our asses". Whatever the case, I'm saddened that one of my favorite stores has treated me so shitty. God knows they've made plenty of money from my family! Shame on them!!

Anonymous said...

I ordered a carseat also. I am very dissopinted in Target. I will just do my Christmas shopping at walmart. This is horrible because I just switched from walmart to Target in October. I liked Walmart but its just so crowded.

Anonymous said...

OK I admit I was being abit greedy and first ordered one for my daughter and then another 6!!!.

I have contacted Target on several occasions and they did offer me a $25.00 gift card!!. Yes I was one of the lucky ones to be offered anything. But I refused it.....I wanted my order(s).

I have filed complaints everywhere and you know that PS3 that's on their website...the one for $589.99 (the one I was going to buy my son for xmas) well...guess what...I am still getting one...but NOT from Target!! Not a chance am I buying ANYTHING from there ever again.

Also some seats were shipped at the sale the midst of confusion. So some people actually got there orders at the sale price.

But I am still trying to pursue it and if I don't get it. Well I will buy my Britax from NOT Target...anywhere else even if I have to pay more.

With such bad economic times and their sales being would think they would want to keep their customers.

Hands up who thinks Mickey Mouse is running target?

Karen said...

I assume you got their email offering a $25 e-gift card. I'm of two minds about it. I don't think it's sufficient and I think that it's really obnoxious that it absolves them of all guilt and further action if I use it. On the other hand, at least they did SOMETHING. So I dunno if I'll use it or not.

It does really piss me off that some of the seats DID ship at the sale price, but not all. But then again, I ordered the seats thinking, "this is probably a mistake on their part - probably too good to be true. I doubt the order will go through and I'll only believe it when I see it." I wasn't in the least bit surprised when the order was cancelled two days later, it was more or less what I expected. (That doesn't make it right).

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