Thursday, July 12, 2012

Buyer Beware: Target does not stock replacement parts

Consumerist reader “Steve” had a bad experience recently with Target furniture. He bought a Smith & Hawken patio set at his local Target store, and when he dove in to put it all together, got as far as a table and one chair when he discovered something was wrong.  It seemed that for the second chair, the box included two right arms instead of a right and a left.  So obviously, an error happened at the factory, and Steve hoped that Target would make it right.

Unfortunately, they didn’t.  First Steve had a frustrating call with Customer Service, during which he discovered that Target bought the Smith & Hawken name once they went bankrupt a couple of years ago... which means they contract out all the manufacturing and don’t keep any replacement parts on hand. Customer Service advised him that his only real option was to return it to the store where he bought it. Of course, Steve then had to take apart the table and the “good” chair so that everything would fit in his car.

At the Returns Desk, Steve spoke to the manager on duty who offered him a discount on another patio set… except that since was the end of the season, very little was left in stock.  Furthermore, the manager made it clear that Steve HAD to return the set,  and couldn't just walk out of the store with the defective set “for free”, and that the set would end up being labeled for the dumpster (which was puzzling, as Steve hadn’t asked to do this and had no interest in the defective set anyhow).

In the end, all that Steve got for his troubles was a $20 gift card. I suppose that if Steve really wanted a replacement set, he could have tried to find it on Target.com (like the one shown here).  But after this bad experience, he probably felt it wasn’t worth the effort.

1 comment:

john patinson said...

Actually I read it yesterday but I had some thoughts about it and today I wanted to read it again because it is very well written.
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