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Random Musing of the Day: Annoyed at Target

Jan 12, 2014   [permalink]

It's funny how when stores make "errors" it seems to always be in their favor...

Maybe I'm just in a crabby mood. These are small things, to be sure. Yet it's that this is symptomatic of a culture of producers cheating consumers. And aren't there stories about folks killin' each other in days of yore for using false weights and such?

Certainly not the end of the world, but it irks me when stores try to boost their profits at your expense. Today Target gets two raspberries. Or rather, blueberries.

First irk: Bought a package of Naturipe Farms blueberries, net weight 6oz. "Net weight," you may recall, means "the weight of actual goods, excluding packing materials."

I probably should have noticed in the story — my bad — but when putting this away we thought it felt a bit light. For grins, I wanted to see if our gut instinct was right. Indeed so.

5.9 oz with packaging, the packaging weighs 0.6, so that's 5.3oz net weight. Almost a whole ounce short. Maybe a freak thing. Though don't you envision that they weigh the packages on the conveyor line to assure quality control? So maybe their scale is off 12%. I know, it's not a huge amount of money. Still, if I'm paying an extra 12% on everything I buy because the seller is lying...

Okay, Target isn't directly to blame for that. (Though I do expect them to keep an eye on what they sell, and make sure it's meeting specs.)

Rather, Target irked me because they wouldn't honor a $5 gift card promotion they had on the front page of today's Sunday newspaper ad. We bought exactly what the ad called for. Their system just didn't want to pony up. The checker gave us a hard time about it, at that, arguing it wasn't the right product. Well, yeah, it was... Duh. Same exact thing as in the picture and description. The shelf had a big promo thingie too. (I doubly hate it when a clerk argues something where they're obviously wrong.)

Went to the customer service desk, they looked at it, yup, totally agreed it was as shown in the ad. But they couldn't figure out how to create the promised gift card. Sigh. So, after waiting........ for a manager, who also agreed it was their error, they made good. Okay, but it took a fair bit of time to get what we were due. Nothing extra for the hassle of wasting our time for their error. (You know how I feel about that.)

I suppose it all feeds into an unease I have about Target's practices, such as how they seem to sell an awful lot of items near or past their expiration date. Nip a little penny off you hear and there. (I hear you say "don't shop there." I wouldn't if they weren't the closest grocery store. It doesn't seem right to waste a bunch of gas instead. Kind of a small no-win thing.) Then there's the plumber who rounded up an extra 15 minutes the other day. On top of sitting in the truck for awfully long periods of time. Yep, been one of those weeks.

Ultimately it's about trust. Society is built on trust. Trust is absolutely critical to civilization. Charge a fair price and deliver what you say. When greed erodes trust, it's a nasty downhill slide.

I suppose the only antidote is for folks to keep them eyes open and call 'em on it when they aren't on the up'n'up.

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