Have you ever had a bad customer service experience? Ok, that’s a stupid question. Let me try NARROWING down that question: have you ever been so upset about a bad customer service experience just for the simple fact that the people on the other end make you feel so stupid, when they are the ones not getting it!? Well, I have a doozy for you!
On January 23rd, I went onto the Target website to see what sort of clearance comforters they had. I am re-purposing my old bed, and updating everything. I found the perfect comforter for a killer deal ($11.63 for a queen size comforter/sham set with 5% off and free shipping because I used the new Target Red Debit card.) The entire checkout process was simple, painless and quite uneventful. But once I clicked submit, and the order was sent into Target’s system, it all fell apart.
Just 6 hours after submitting my order, I got a lovely, colorful email from Target saying “A shipment is coming your way soon!” Little did I know at the time that the company used humor in their emails to lessen the blow. I opened it, reviewed my mailing address to make sure everything was correct and then clicked on the handy “track shipment” link that appeared in the email. The link opens to UPS’s website, and up pops the following error.
Being that I am a person who ships items regularly, I know instantly it’s saying that the package hasn’t been picked up by UPS, and they haven’t scanned it into their system. I decide that since it’s the same day as the order, I will wait until the next afternoon and check the status again. On January 24th, I pull up the email and click the link again – and I also go the extra step of manually copying and pasting the UPS tracking number from the email into the UPS site myself to make sure the link isn’t sending me somewhere it shouldn’t. Both times, I get the same error message above.
After patiently waiting ANOTHER day and getting the message a THIRD time, I decide I have had enough. I pick up the phone and call Target’s customer service department. And the events that transpire take me through several emotions, beginning with humor and ending with complete dismay. Hold on to your panties, here we go!
I called customer service and got a rep that appeared to be from another country, because (no offense to them), I couldn’t understand half of what they said – and because the long delay between what each of us was saying made for more frustration because we kept cutting each other off. The rep pulled up my order, and proceeded to explain that this was not a Target error, and that I needed to call UPS. So, still confused and wondering if this was really the case, I decided to amuse myself and call UPS. The UPS rep said this was not their error and it appeared the package was never handed off to the UPS driver, which is EXACTLY what I had suspected all along. I decide to wait a few minutes and compose myself before I call back to (in the nicest way possible) explain to the rep that the issue was Target’s and not UPS’.
I call Target again, and I get another rep who seemed very excited (I am being sarcastic) to hear from me. I explain the issue again, from the very beginning, since no one at Target apparently has the ability to notepad accounts so the next rep has a good idea of what is going on. The rep told me the same thing. So, I got upset and ended the call.
I decided the third time is a charm, and I do enjoy being beaten down occasionally, so let’s call back again! I get a rep, and instantly ask to speak with a supervisor. I am quickly told that I have to provide my order number so they can attempt to assist me. After laughing for what seemed like an eternity (in my head of course), I provided the order number and for what seemed like the 15th time, I explained the same issue. After getting the same confusing answer, I ask to speak with a manager. After a brief hold a “manager” that seemed even more confused than the rep took over the call. Every time I would talk, he wouldn’t say anything, and I was left saying “hello? hello?” until he finally acknowledged me. The “manager” proceeds to tell me that there is a system update going on, and he can’t help me at all. I am told to call back in 30 minutes or so. I hang up, yet again deflated and sick of getting the run around. All I can hear ringing in my head is the same comment over and over: “if you don’t get your package in two weeks, call us back and we can figure out what happened and where it is.” Umm, what!? That is not how this is supposed to go.
So, I decide to take another approach. I tweet about my disappointment. I mention Target, hoping they might reach out to help me get this handled.
To my complete surprise, they reply to my tweet, provide an “Incident number” and ask me to call customer service. I pick up the phone, and call, hoping all my prayers have been answered…YEA RIGHT! More fun ensues!
When the new rep answers the phone, I provide the ticket number. Basically, this ticket number does nothing for me, as I have to provide the order number and (for the millionth time) explain what is going on. Only this time, the rep offers to “dig deeper into the issue” (whatever that means). He then explains the same exact information that the reps before him tried to unload on me, except he adds one extra doozy! He explains that when the label is created by Target, it takes 7 days for the shipment to show up in the UPS system so I can track it. Ummm, huh? Who? Where? Why!?
Basically, you are now telling me that by the time I receive the item (since ground usually only takes about 4 days), I still will not be able to TRACK it for 3 more days!?
Clearly, this makes no sense and people are just saying whatever lame, random lie they can think of so I will hang up and stop pestering them. Well, anyone who knows me knows THAT is not going to happen.
So now, Target has become my latest blog post about “Things That Annoy Me.” Let’s see if they actually read this and do something to make things right.
I won’t hold my breath.