I hate shopping. [editor's note: no really- she hates it.]
And I especially hate it on a beautiful summer day when I could be doing a whole lot of anything else.
Nevertheless, sometimes you have to go buy a few things, and in North Adams if it isn’t Wal-Mart or The Dollar Tree then it’s a trip to Target.
My husband and I like to call these outings a “date.” This is supposed to make us feel happy and in love instead of miserable and filled with dread as we consider if we have enough gas to drive the 15 miles to the store, or whether we could have postponed buying laundry soap and toilet paper just one more week.
This trip would be brief. Rod would go in his direction and I in mine. Zip, zip, meet at the register and done. And it went just that way.
Once at the register Rod gave me a Visa gift card that he wanted to use toward the purchases. There was $10 left of the original $25. We ran the card and the cashier blandly stated, “It says the card’s no good.”
While I can tell you 100 things wrong customer service-wise that this cashier did, I won’t bother. I will say the one and most important thing she did not do was say, “I’m sorry, there seems to be a problem with the card.”
After we insisted on a manager who basically did the same as the cashier we started to get annoyed. In the Bunt family this means the female present (me) becomes disproportionately angry given the situation at hand. Basically, I almost screamed customer service skills to the entire front of the line at the store.
There was ten dollars on the card and now the manager was telling us that not only was the card not working, but it was because Target did not accept “this type” of Visa gift card. The fact that Target sells Visa gift cards did not seem absurd to anyone but me and Rod.
Finally, we just paid $10 cash and the rest by check and left the store. I mention the payment method for a reason. Rod was paying out of pocket for a specific item, but more importantly we made it vividly clear that the portion meant for the card was ten dollars, and that even when paying with an alternate method we still first paid ten and then the balance. This is relevant.
The ride home was us ranting about the assholes of Target and how I hate everyone and we must move immediately. This was actually fun and in Bunt world not an unusual conversation to have. Rod knew I would be searching Target’s website and contacting customer service the moment we got home so I was getting giddy and in a good mood.
I know how to look for things on a website. I work on them all day and I was in customer service for several years so I know how to play this game. I know who reads the angry emails and how they respond, so I am well aware of what to say and what not to say.
Angry, ranting lunatics are entertainment. Crazy threats will get the attention of all the representatives but that’s about it. Do not use all caps; do not use exclamation points and do not tell anyone how important you are because you or someone you know is a lawyer. Armed with that knowledge and a glass of Pinot Noir, I started searching for the Contact Us tab.
Couldn’t find it. Oh, I found lots of ways to contact all sorts of departments but none having anything to do with customer relations, service, feedback, human resources or anything that sounded remotely like what I needed.
I settled on an email to the Investors. I thought, what the heck, maybe whoever gets the email will give a damn or pass it along to the right department.
In the mean time I was still confused about the Visa card.
I called the number on the card and found out that the cashier and the manager had been running the card through at the total cost of our purchase, and therefore getting insufficient funds as a reply on the computer. We must have told them both five times each that it was only ten dollars on the card. How stupid and inept for one person- but for both of them? C’mon!
More important than their ineptitude, however, was their rude and indifferent attitude.
Finally, I did find an address (thank you, Google) and I now have two emails floating around out there in cyberspace. I expect nothing will happen but I write anyway.
Some people go on shooting sprees, I write.