A ‘Moving’ TARGET
I personally want to thank each and every one of you who made the effort to sign and support the Groubal petition on TARGET: http://www.groubal.com/target-gives-the-cold-shoulder-to-online-orders-of-lotr-trilogy-blu-ray-on-black-friday/ I also want to take this occasion to express my apologies; for failing to achieve the just remedy I strived for on your behalf. Although Groubal was not victorious this time around, be sure that we will not stop our efforts going forward to campaign on your behalf for the causes worth fighting for.
Now the facts: TARGET did post an advertised price of $7.99 for the ‘Lord of the Rings Trilogy” DVD in their Black Friday promotional advertisement; that went live on target.com Thursday morning. Several customers (no way to post an accurate count here) believed it was one of the best deals available and immediately made their online purchase for this product. Furthermore many also received an email confirmation certifying this transaction. Lastly, TARGET did in fact honor this price in many instances for both online and in-store purchases. However in little time it became clear that this promotion was in fact nothing more than a significant pricing error and the advertised price should have read: $74.99. We all make mistakes and from all that I have been able to glean, this situation was clearly an operational error with no ulterior motive whatsoever to mislead the consumer; period.
What happened next: Apparently Thanksgiving weekend came and went and many received no further notification regarding their online purchases. Then on Monday, November 27th 2010, Target issued an email stating that there was “…an unexpected delay (asking customers) to approve this delay so that we can continue processing your order.” The original petitioner felt that once again their purchase was reaffirmed and that the DVD product would ship at the special Black Friday discounted price; but with just with a little delay. Then (in the next day or two) many received an email cancellation notice from target.com that read as follows:
“Hello from Target.com,
Unfortunately, due to the high demand for the following item it is no longer available from any of our sources.
Please note that this item was listed in our 2-Day Sale ad as “quantities limited; no rain checks.” We have cancelled this item from your order and can’t say for sure when it might be back in stock. If you are still interested in purchasing the item, which would be at the regular price, please check back every once in a while to see if it’s available. To view the current status and the costs associated with your order, please visit My Account;
Because you only pay for items when we ship them to you, your credit card has not been charged for this item.
Thank you for being a valued Guest. We hope you visit us again.
Guest Service Department
Groubal’s Reaction: Angry consumers nationwide started posting this issue on several internet sites and eventually it found its way to become a Groubal petition on Friday, December the 3rd 2010; and today has over 400+ signatures of support. Groubal began contacting TARGET’s corporate offices the following Monday to make their executives aware of this rant and extend an offer for their response. Although we weren’t able to actually speak with anyone, we left messages and sent several emails to insure this issue would get on their radar.
Finally on Friday, December the 10th 2010, we received an ‘email’ response which is now posted on the original petition. Since Groubal felt that TARGET’s answer was inadequate we continued to reach out until we could actually have a real conversation and that did not occur until this morning, Tuesday, December 14th 2010. Groubal’s stance is simply this: “…if a merchant honors a price for one, they should honor that price for everyone…”! If the circumstances are that additional inventory is unavailable, then acknowledge your customer with a merchant voucher along with an apology and a thank you for their patronage. This action is not only good business but more to the point it is the ‘Right thing to do”.
My Opinion: I’ve said it before and it bears repeating again, we are all living in very challenging economic times. Many people put in long hours shopping online during the holiday season to stretch every dollar they have to spend. When they find a deal and pull the trigger; their expectation is that a contract has been signed and agreed to by both parties concerned. Furthermore when they find (and purchase) a gift, they feel they can now stop shopping elsewhere; this is simply human nature.
As many of you know, the Groubal channel was created to give consumers a voice that will be heard by many. And we believe that if there is a ‘silver lining’ in this cloud, it is the fact that many of your opinions have now been noted throughout the ether.
Groubal stands and applauds you all for your efforts because; change will only come when the noise becomes loud enough that it can no longer be ignored!