Friday, April 20, 2007

I hate Target and Pottery Barn Kids

I have registries at these two baby-industry behemoths - there's no BRU nearby, so I went with these instead, despite bad things I'd heard about Target in particular. I now regret my insouciance.

Okay, so I had a pretty extensive registry chez Target. One item on there was a frame into which I could snap my carseat in order to create a stroller. This is a pretty essential item, right? Well, I saw that someone had ordered it back in early March, but I'd never received it, nor was there any way online to see who ordered it or check its status. Weeks passed. I still didn't receive it, and as I am an avid thank-you-note writer, I started to feel bad that I hadn't even sent the gift-giver a thank-you note. On PBK, you can see who ordered things for you, so you can write the note even if the item is back-ordered.

So I called Target this week and ended up in customer-service hell. Their policy, which they repeated to me over and over regardless of whether the question I had asked pertained to this or not was that that for "privacy reasons," they can't tell you who has ordered things for YOU, off YOUR registry, to be shipped to YOU. They also told me the buyer had been quoted "2 to 6 weeks" as the time it would take for the item to be shipped. When I pointed out that that window had now closed, they said that it was still showing "2 to 6 weeks" - ie, if you ordered it today, that's what you'd be told. I asked when it was REALLY going to show up, seeing as how I needed the frame in, oh, a few weeks, and they insisted there was no possible way to find out. I said it could say "2 to 6 weeks" forever and never arrive. They blamed Target's marketing department for this, as that department is in charge of inventory updates. I said I didn't care about Target's internal problems and asked whether someone at Target, which is obviously a big buyer of these products, could call the supplier. They said no. They said the only thing I could do is have them email the gift-giver and say that I no longer wanted the item, allowing the giver to cancel it. I said I'd think about it. I then called Graco, the supplier of the frame. In a call that lasted two minutes (in contrast to the 40+ I'd spent trying to go up the chain at Target), they told me that Target's distribution center would receive the item in two weeks, but that I could get it right now from BRU, which I did. It has already shipped. I then called Target back, asked them to email the mystery gift-giver (explaining that Target wouldn't tell me who they were) about cancelling the item. I also described my ingenious idea to call the supplier myself. Wow!

Anyway, meanwhile, one of my husband's relatives generously offered to get us a Pottery Barn Kids glider. She wanted us to order it ourselves and she'd pay us back. I did so a couple of weeks ago and was told it would take 5-7 days to ship. Meanwhile, I never received shipping confirmation. So I called today to find out the status, and they said it wouldn't even arrive at the manufacturer until May 10, at which time it would be at least 5-7 days to ship. Obviously, that doesn't help me, either. I'd like to cancel it, but I think most gliders are really ugly, and I'm not sure I can find one locally that appeals to my rigorous aesthetic requirements.

I resent the false inventory representations that are occurring out there on the Internets. Fist in the air, Target and PBK!!!!


Mary Ellen said...

How frustrating!

Jane said...

Give 'em hell, MM!

Reminds me of your adventures with Qwest...

Emmie said...

My mom will join you with the fist shaking at Target. She's told their customer service people off several times now, as every time she buys something off my or my sister's registries, they do not take the item off the list despite her clear instructions to do so. She's even called their help line to have things taken off when she's followed up online and seen that the item remained on the list after her shopping trip, to no avail.

As a result, four times now another relative has ended up giving us the same item as her, while the item remains marked as unpurchased on the registries.

Regarding the PBK chair--I agree with you, most gliders are hideous to me and I thought theirs were the only ones I could ever like. But we found one at La-Z-Boy that is just as nice, if not nicer, and it came in 4 weeks. We could have had it that very day if we hadn't wanted a specific fabric that they did not stock. The style is called Louise if you want to check it out online.