Friday, December 4, 2009

My Target Rant

I have to admit I've been on a bargain hunting binge lately. If I see something that's a really good deal and it would be a good Christmas present for MC then I'm all over it. Lately, some of the best deals I've found have been on children's DVDs.

On Sunday Target had an ad that showed Night at the Museum 2 on Blu-Ray-DVD-Digital the 3 disc copy for $15.99. After the sale this copy will be sold for $39.99 so this is a real bargain. We don't have a blu-ray player but when I can buy the Blu-Ray DVD pack for the same price as the DVD then it just makes more sense. I'm sure we'll eventually join the pack, cave to the industry's pressure and buy a Blu-Ray.

Anyway, so here's what happened last night: A friend and I make what I said would be a quick trip to Target. We walk straight to the movie section and I look everywhere for the Blu-Ray copy of the movie. There were plenty of copies of the DVD but none of the Blu-Ray and this has happened on several occasions at this Target and its starting to frustrate me. I find a salesperson after looking around for one and she walks over and checks the same shelf and says "We're out." And there in the spot where it should be is a price of $24.99 "as advertised." As advertised where?

We walk back up to the front of the store and check the current ad. "Am I wrong?" I ask my friend, and when I am wrong, she's usually the first to point it out. But she agrees the ad says its $15.99. So I still want to take advantage of this good deal and she's in no hurry to get home, we head to another Target.

We find the Blu-Ray copy and walk it over to a price checker, because they're sign also says $24.99, and it won't scan. An employee approaches us and points to the $24.99 sign and says with some sarcasm, "It's $24.99."

"No, the ad says its $15.99." I say.
"Well you must be mistaken, do you have the ad?" she asks.
No I wasn't carrying the ad with me, shouldn't the store keep plenty of copies of the ad around to reference, why is that my job? So I ask to speak to a manager. She calls a manager on her walkie-talkie, says she's on her way and walks off. While I'm waiting I see her talking to the manager and she's trying to hide the fact that she's talking to her. I guess she's talking about my inability to read the price tag or ad correctly.

I explain to the manager the problem and she walks over to the electronics counter and pulls out the ad. We look at it together and she says well it says Blu-Ray low price...what low price? And I ask her well if you were looking at the ad what would you think, she just shakes her head. I don't know sign language so I'm not sure what the head shaking meant. "Well I feel like this ad is very misleading even deceptive. Are you going to sell it to me for $15.99?" I ask.

"No ma'am. The ad says Blu-Ray and this copy has three discs, DVD-Blu-Ray and digital. (Now I'm even more frustrated with the situation."

"Well, I explain, you only have the three disc copy so that's how its packaged and it should be $15.99."

By this time its very apparent that I'm not getting anywhere and she's adamant that I'm wrong. So I ask for the number to corporate so I can file a complaint about the misleading ad that I'm sure has also caused confusion for other people and she directs me to guest relations. (Guest relations? I didn't realize Target was a part of Disney)

On the way out we stop at guest relations and I ask for the number. While the girl searches for the number a store manager stops to assist her and asks if there's anything she can do to help. So I explain the situation to her. Now she pulls out a big binder with the Target ad and all of their competitors. She checks the ad and says well the picture in the ad isn't showing a Blu-Ray because if it was it would have Blu-Ray on the packaging as the real ones do. Alright, whatever. But she checks the Wal-Mart ad and offers to match their ad if that will make things right. (No it doesn't make things right. I've driven to two stores, had to deal with multiple employees that treated me like I'm incompetent and will still be paying almost $5 more than what I expected to pay.) I say sure I'll buy it for $19.96.

As we're walking to the car I continue to vent to my friend about how ridiculous I find the situation. I drive her home and drop her off. When I get home I hop on the Internet and Google coupons for Night at the Museum 2. I starts clicking on the sites and find at least three forums where people bought the Blu-Ray copy at Target for $15.99. One of the people that commented said it was also listed online for $15.99.

And you know what, they're right, which means I was right. So after about twenty minutes of figuring out how to print the pop up window with the description and price, I have proof. Now I have to go back up to Target, show them my proof and get a price adjustment. There was a time when I wouldn't go to this much effort for such a small amount of money but not only is the economy bad but its the principal. How many people read the ad the same way I did but then paid $24.99?

When I saw that I was correct I felt both furious and vindicated. For the principal of the matter I'd like to drive back to the Target that's not close to my house and show all three people I spoke with the "proof" that I was right. Its not so much about being right as it is that the advertising was misleading and the store should have agreed and given me the price on that alone but on top of that they were also wrong and probably have and are overcharging a lot of people.

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