Target Customer Service Sucks

Normally I am a big fan of Target, I mean as much as one can be a fan of a big box store.. I’ve blogged frequently about my Target finds, baby and otherwise. But now they are on my shit list.  Remember these adorable ministar fur lined boots?

I bought them a little over two months ago and Jasper has worn them nearly every day since then.  So the other day Jeff noticed that they were SUPER tight on Jasper, his poor little toes were completely squished. I was surprised because they used to be really big (we bought the XL size, 18-24 months) and Jasper NEVER grows out of things before the age range due to his small height and weight percetile rankings.  But I chalked it up to his recent insane growth spurt and just resolved to find him new boots.

Fast forward a day or two and I take a closer look at the boots lying next to each other and notice this:

baby winter boots


I inspect the little tiny size tags and see that one is an XL (18-24 months) but the other is a M – 6-9 months!! My poor little guy’s left foot has been squished into a shoe that is several sizes too small for two months now and I can’t believe I only just noticed this.. not to mention Jeff, my parents, his daycare providers who have all put these shoes on him and taken them off again numerous times.  Credit being overtired, overworked or just distracted, but somehow this just went under my mommy radar.

My first thought was how much I LOVE these boots and that I would be really upset if they were no longer available, so I was relieved to find that they do still have his size online. My second thought was that since I was going to Target anyway that day that I would return them to the store and get a credit so I could order the correct size online.

Imagine my surprise when I got to my local Target and Jean the “customer service” manager flat out REFUSED to take them back.

“They are used, there is nothing we can do with them” he insisted.

He treated it not like it was Target’s mistake for selling me two mismatched shoes in the first place, but as if I were returning them as a whim, like I had just decided after wearing them for a while that I wanted to return them because I didn’t like the color or something.

He took NO responsibility for them being packaged wrong (a manufacturer default if I ever heard of one) and completely brushed me off.

I was PISSED, and I still am. What sort of customer service is that? Had he run my license he would have seen I am not some sort of serial returner of used Target products, I am a busy mom, a frequent target shopper who was sold a defective product. All I wanted was a replacement product, not even my money back.

Screw them.

Ok, rant over.   I feel better just having gotten that off my chest.

Hope you all had a great Valentine’s day. Jasper and I were sick the whole weekend (now there’s a shocker).  In fact the whole Target trip was instigated by the fact that I ran out of Puff’s plus tissues –  and at the rate I was going through tissues (about 1 a minute!) that was a dire situation.  I had actually run out the night before and my poor nose had the chapped red soreness to prove it.  I was searching around for some sort of lotion to apply so as to tide me over until I could refill on Puffs when I spotted Jasper’s Weleda Diaper Care….


Yes people, I put diaper cream on my nose.  Don’t knock it until you try it! :)

Pin It

Wall Display Templates for Photographers

You might also like

Jasper’s New Pumas Deal Alert! I was ready to splurge on these puppies at full price ($34.99) but then asked the...
Mommy Necklaces 40% Off! Kimberly alerted me to the fact that if you become a facebook fan of Mommy Necklaces, you can order...
Sara’s Baby Shower Quick health update: I called my OB to say, yo, I'm anemic, what should I take? They had the bitch from...
Jasper’s First Birthday Party – Finally! Here it is, made it as a video because there were some things that I had pictures but not video of and...
Jason Segel says:

Ariana, I found you website after a terrible experience today at Target, very similar to yours. Called CS, got the rep with about a 60% grasp of English, so no help there.

My next step is a letter to corporate, then a BB filing. Won’t help anything, but it’s the right thing to do. There’s a word for selling someone a product under a false pretense, and it’s not a polite one.

All the best from flyover country.

Bryon L Harvey says:

Well..this is the first and last order I will ever place on Oh..forget about trying to call their HQ in the states..there is a reason you are transferred to india: They don’t wanna talk to you.

It’s been almost a week..and my order hasn’t even left their warehouse (if they actually have one). The only email followup I have got was there was a delay (it only took them five days to send this) and I should have to wait at least another week..if not even longer.

My second and last call to “customer service” told me the lie it had shipped the day before…which..of course..was a outright lie.

Thank you and target parent. I’ve never been a fan of your stores. This seals’ll never see me in another one of your stores ever again. What a joke.

fc says:

The places you spend the least money give the worst customer service from my observation. I do understand that people who work at target get minimum wage, but that doies not give the people who work there to act sh*tty. Even though i have a card i will rip it up as soon as the balance is paid off.

Harrison Reed says:

I work at Target, at the customer service desk. Here is what I would have said:

“Ma’am, I understand what you’re telling me, but you need to see this situation from my point of view. I’ve looked at your return receipt and noticed that you purchased these boots two months ago. I won’t lie to you when I say that I have some doubts that you didn’t realize that these boots were two very different sizes after putting them onto your child for two months. They are very clearly worn, and I really couldn’t accept them in a return.”

To which you would reply:

“Yes, but it is Target’s fault that you sold me a pair of boots that were different sizes.”

“There are a number of reasons why the boots could have come like that. It most likely was misplaced by another customer. Did you have your child try them on before you bought them?”


“As far as a return goes, this would be like you trying to return a couch that has stains on it and is broken, and telling me that the reason for the return is that it wouldn’t fit through your front door. I’m very sorry that this happened, but the only thing I can do is offer you a discount on a new pair. Would this suffice?”

“no. *expletives*”

“Then please take this $3 appology coupon and have a nice day, ma’am. Can I help the next guest please?”

Rebecca says:

Grrr on Target. I’ve had similar problems there. Have you filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau? I did that about a year ago regarding a local salon that said my gift card was expired but there was no expiration on the gift card. Ugh. I filed an online complaint and the corporate office of the salon sent me an apology and a new gift card.

If there’s another Target in your area, you might try going there to ask about the problem. I find that it often just depends on which manager you get. Some are more reasonable than others.

Jo says:

Target is the worst. I simply don’t shop there. They assume criminality in it’s customers. Anyone who likes Target or defends them just hasn’t been screwed over YET.

ariana says:

Kristen, yeah – my target is the same way.

Liz, those are fantastic, thank you!

Liz says:

I just found out about an etsy shop called wooly baby. The wool shoes/slippers made out of recyled sweaters look amazing!

Kristen says:

Oh gosh, I have a love/hate relationship with Target. Love the store, hate the work ethic. Have you noticed at Target they’ll have like 6 workers, incluing what looks like a manager, standing around talking near the entrance, but only 2 checkstands open?!?! One of my biggest pet-peeves. And after Jackson’s birthday I went to return a present and the customer service person made me call to get the purchase number. Um, isn’t that YOUR job?!?

ariana says:

Fiona, I couldn’t have said it better myself! I’m not sure if I have the energy.. it doesn’t help that I don’t have the receipt either. The crazy thing is that when I escalated the issue to corporate, they basically said it’s up to the store manager about the shoes and how worn they are. So, essentially, I’m SOL. There’s no recourse if you try to go up the ladder and they refer you back to the unhelpful person you have the problem with to begin with!

Fiona says:

Hi Ariana

Really sorry you had this problem, and also really sorry that some people just are not getting your issue here.

Indeed this IS about a point of principal. One week or one year – they are still worn and the initial problem still remains – you were sold a product which was not appropriate for the stated use. OK you didn’t notice. Not a crime…I mean as if you would when at the time you bought them – they both did probably fit him. How is a little boy of Jasper’s age meant to know one is bigger than the other? Do we all go around putting the soles of our shoes together and checking them to see is they are the same size? No we don’t. And do you know why? It’s because it is the very least we expect, when shopping for shoes, that we are given a pair that are the SAME SIZE!

I know when I buy shoes – the shop assistant at the till checks that they are the same size. Target obviously has crappy shop assistants who can’t be arsed to do their job properly. I used to work at Marks and Spencer when I was a student. This shop had a bar coding system whereby if one shoe was scanned the till would not move on until the corresponding shoe, OF THE SAME SIZE was scanned too. This way mis-matched shoes just could not be sold. If it made you feel better you could write to Target’s management suggesting such a scheme.

Now I am British and live in Germany, so I am unfamiliar with US consumer law – but I do know that the USA (certainly from a British perspective) is renowned for its excellent customer service, which is why I find this so surprising.

Is there not an ombudsman you can contact regarding this? We have what is called ‘Trading Standards’. Surely there is something similar in the US which you can contact. If you have something like this they will be able to tell you your rights and may even take up the case on your behalf.

Did you buy on your credit card? Again – unsure whether this is just a British thing but when we buy anything on a credit card we have additional protection which is linked to the consumer credit act…if the product is faulty or mis-sold and the company in questions will not refund or replace you can contact the credit card company and ask them to take the issue up on your behalf. I have done this a couple of times when I knew I was well within my rights and got my money back.

One poster said “That’s the price you pay when shopping in a big box store– you’re certainly not going to get the TLC that you would get from a mom & pop shop.” No idea about the terminology used here but I assume ‘big box store’ is something like a large store which is relatively cheaper than a boutique store. I have an issue with this comment. It should not matter where you shop…this is not about TLC, this is about basic standards – and basic standards and consumer rights should be the same everywhere. Whoever would be satisfied to be treated like this just because of the type of store is obviously has way too much cash to spare and enjoys being treated like an imbecile by a huge store who probably turns our huge profits every year.

This is not about them being worn – did some people not read your post? The issue here – one last time – is about them being – for all intents and purposes – FAULTY.

I can not believe that some people here are at odds with this. You would think people liked being treated like shit in a store. Un ******* believable.

I hope you get this sorted. I would pursue this if you have the energy…and I completely understand if you don’t.

Wow….now I had to get that off my chest.

All the very best.


Maddie says:

They DO suck! Hope you guys feel better soon :-) P.S Thanks for your nice words! P.P.S You put diaper cream on your nose! haha the things we do!

Kristin says:

I am and thank you!

Kristin says:

Okay haters, lovers and all… it happened and she just tried to get a pair for the mistake. I agree with ally that they where prolly just switched in the store by another customer…that happens a lot with shoes (more than one would think…how many lop sided kids are there anyways?!?)

But the point is that it happened and Ariana needed to vent and we are here for her. I made the mistake of shoving my three month old sons foot repeatedly into a shoe that his size but had the paper stuffing still in it from the store…he cried and still pushed the damn shoe on thinking he was just being crabby about the shoes. I did this for a week. Until I saw a little white in the corner of my eye and went “Oh my freakin god! He will never walk cause I screwed up his toes!!!” not really but…crap this happens and we are not perfect. So this being said we can vent and it’s okay!

We will all make mistakes. We will admit it. As long we are not Target.

ariana says:

Well said Kristen! BTW, congrats on Cameron – hope you are enjoying motherhood :)

ariana says:

Shane, exactly. It wasn’t even so much the no, but his whole attitude.. completely dismissive. There’s a reason why no one wants to touch Target’s baby or bridal registry with a 10 foot pole! On the other side of the spectrum is BB&B.. best return policy in the world and I had a fantastic registry experience. You can tell that the corporate culture there is customer first, in stark contrast to Target.

Esther, from the looks of things your twins are THRIVING! Such gorgeous hazel eyes they both have. You can’t even tell from the pictures that they are off the weight charts.

Esther says:

Ariana, my twins were born on Aug 24th at 36 weeks. They were a month early and were 4lb6oz and 18in in length. At almost 18 months, they are still very very skinny. We are not on the charts yet for weight! We are in 12-18 months clothes although waists are always an issue :)
We’ll wait until Friday to see how Jasper has grown! He looks wonderful, though. Gorgeous eyes and hair…:)

Lisa E says:

I have heard bad customer service stories from Target! They don’t value their customer like other retailers. I personally haven’t experienced it, but i know several who boycott them. I don’t like that they only have a 90 day return policy. If they valued you as a customer, they would apologized and took them back and gave you store credit or you money back. Too bad Lowe’s doesn’t sell shoes:)

Shane says:

This an example of where the CS person views only One way to deal w/ the situation. when there are likely more. If it were me in Ariana’s shoes and the rep said ‘they are pretty worn but it’s also clear there is a problem. how about we give you a discount off a new pair. You got some wear out of them – bummer for your kid to have the wrong size. But we’ll get you the right size.”

I’d consider that keeping the customer’s view in mind and TRYING to find a solution.

ac says:

you need to go higher than the cs guy…you need to call the corp cs. That is what i would do. dont let your self fall through the cracks…seriously, the next blog i want to see you write is one on what the corp cs said. Or hell, call good housekeeping and see what they have to say about it…they can help you fix your prob.

♥ ac

ariana says:

Why is it different? If after a week they show signs of wear (scuffs usually appear the second you wear them outside) they clearly can not resell them again. So after two months they can’t either. Except now they have an unhappy customer bad mouthing them. Clearly they don’t care, but if they DID have stronger CS they would care. Just look at all the companies reaching out on twitter, facebook etc. to disolve disputes. Many companies DO care, even if they are large.

I think the problem is that OBVIOUSLY if they were shoes for me I would have noticed that they were two different sizes by the way they felt. But on a baby it’s not so easy. I just don’t think I should be penalized because I’m a distracted sleep deprived working mom…should I have noticed earlier? Yeah, maybe. But I shouldn’t have to have noticed to begin with.

Ally says:

It’s not hating… There are, from what I can see, 2 posts that politely disagree with what you had to say. I am a subscribed reader and generally love your posts. I just think it’s unreasonable to expect a store to take something back that’s very, very clearly worn. I mean look at the pictures you posted. That’s the price you pay when shopping in a big box store– you’re certainly not going to get the TLC that you would get from a mom & pop shop. If you really think they were being unreasonable, bite the bullet and don’t shop there again. However, I’m willing to bet you (and pretty much anyone else, myself included) would go back eventually regardless of their policies because it’s just too darn convenient. Also, you made a comment to Megan about taking them back within a week– yes, I bet they WOULD have taken them back within a week even if they had been worn. A week of wear and tear is much different than 2 months.

ariana says:

Well the “corporate” customer service was as useless as the store customer service manager. Basically it’s up to the manager’s discretion about “how worn” the shoes are. SO FRUSTRUATING! In the meantime, my mom found the shoes in LA, so at least I have a replacement pair. Not that I feel particularly good about giving Target my business at the moment. grrrrrr.

ariana says:

Good idea Shane! They are “Bobux for Ministar” i.e. specially made for the answer is 50/50 :)

Shane says:

Who is the manufacturer? Assuming it’s not a Target brand, it may be worth one attempt to send them an email or phone call to share the experience.

ariana says:

Sigh, so many haters coming out of the woodwork today.. so Megan, if I noticed after 1 week and they were still clearly worn and they didn’t take them back would I still be to blame? Why is it any different? What if it were one day and he wore them outside and scuffed the bottom? Why does the time elapsed make any difference? The fact that they were worn does not change the fact that THEY SOLD ME A BAD PRODUCT TO BEGIN WITH. I’m not blaming them that I didn’t notice sooner, I’m blaming them that they sold me a defective product in the first place.

ariana says:

Esther, exactly! By the time it comes around to “boots on” it’s full on operation we-are-already-late etc.

Jasper was 19 inches at birth, which is very much on the short side for a (post) full term singleton boy. He’s been in the 10th-20th percentile for height ever since. I honestly don’t remember his 15 month stats! But I THINK he was around 31″ and 25 lbs or something? He’s always around 20-25th percentile for weight, which I suppose is fine given his height. We have our 18 month appt. this Friday – my sense is he will have gone up a few percentage points in weight, he’s been eating a TON more lately but not height. When is your twins birthday??

Samm Ivri says:

I had heard about their terrible customer service. I wouldnt give up though! Ask to talk to a manager. i think you can get what you want.

Megan says:

Sorry, but I don’t agree. They are clearly worn, and I don’t think Target should have to pay for you not noticing for the last 2 months that the shoes are completely different sizes. I would just buy a new pair of boots yourself and be done with it.

Esther says:

Sorry to hear about this, Ariana. I don’t know if I would have noticed it right away, either. I have twins and getting them dressed can be challenging when we are trying to get out of the door! They are the same age as Jasper…will be 18 months in a few days.
I am so curious, since you often say that Jasper is shorter-what are his stats? Would you mind sharing? My twins are tiny, just 18lb and maybe 31-32 inches, I believe. But we’ll see at the 18-month appointment.I am very amazed, though, he advances Jasper is with his language skills…:)

heartartz says:

Sorry it was not a case of the switched boot.
That would have been too easy a solution.

Again sorry Target treated you bad.
Thanks for the warning.
From now on (especially with Target) I will thoroughly check to make sure I get what I thought I bought before I use it!

kari says:

agree… target has the worst customer service / return policy… found this out after the baby shower when they would not let me return anything since i already had one return without a receipt that year!

jbhat says:

WTheck?? Time to talk to the manager’s manager. So WHAT if they are worn.


Joelle says:

I would log a complaint on the website. That is unacceptable.

Shane says:

Agree. Target in store customer service and their general return policies are poor. Especially around baby registry type stuff. If you don’t have receipts they have pretty bad policies about the amount of items you can return. We actually pulled a bunch of stuff off of our baby registry and put it on Babies R Us because of the Target return policy.

Lynn says:

Agreed. Target’s customer service does suck. I had problems with their one-hour photo service on NUMEROUS occasions and when I finally did complain, they blew me off, as well. Like, oh, we don’t really care if you don’t want to shop here anymore. I wrote a letter to corporate (I was seriously fired up) and got promised 2 $2 off coupons. They sent me an empty envelope! No joke. I emailed them again about what a joke they are and they finally sent out coupons again. Like $4 off made it better…geez, not even what I was after (I wanted their one-hour system tweaked–like a phone call when their printers were down would have been a nice start.) Corporate’s response was to complain to the manager, in store. Which is what I *thought* I was doing in the first place! Argh…a year later and I’m still po’d…oh well.

ariana says:

Sadye, what a great idea, I totally forgot about my lanolin.. haven’t pumped (thank god) for ages! :)

Sadye says:

I use Lansinoh under my nose when it’s chapped! (also on my lips, it makes the BEST lip gloss!) I plan to always keep a tub around even when I’m done breastfeeding.

Ally says:

That is weird… but why would they take them back after being worn for 2 months? It’s not like you noticed after a few days, or a few weeks.

From their side, maybe you had bought 2 pairs of the same boots, worn out both pairs, and now wanted another pair for free? That’s such a huge size difference, maybe they couldn’t see how you would not notice for 2 whole months…? I could see how it might seem sketchy to them. Also, heartartz had a great suggestion– maybe the boots got switched. That seems more likely and that certainly would not be Target’s fault.

All in all, I don’t think a 10 or 20 dollar pair of kids shoes is worth getting so angry over.

ariana says:

They didn’t get switched. Jasper is only ever at daycare (where no one else has the same shoes) or gymboree (where he doesn’t take his shoes off). I’m not saying I shouldn’t have noticed before, but by their own reasoning, had I noticed 1 week as opposed to months later they still would be “used” and they wouldn’t have taken them back. Plus, the manager didn’t as how long ago I bought them, he only said they were used! I don’t think it’s an unreasonable expectation to have when you buy something that they should not be packaged incorrectly. To shift the blame entirely on the customer is not only wrong, but a bad business practice. OBVIOUSLY it’s not the $20 which we can afford, it’s the principle of the fact that they are not taking any responsibility for their own error in selling me a defective product in the first place.

heartartz says:

Wow that is so weird with the shoe sizes being so different. You are such a wonderfully conscientious Mother, I cannot believe you did not notice.
Is it possible some other child at gym or day care (or anywhere else J might have taken off his boots) has the same boots and one of each child’s got switched?
I would go with that possibility…that somewhere out there another child has one big one small.
I am so sorry about Target not being cooperative. I have never had a problem with them. I worked in retail during college and I know sometimes these things happen.
Glad you found another pair of matching boots.
Get well soon.

Claudia says:

I totally agree. Their customer service sucks. I had a situation when trying to return a product because they didn’t want to give me all my money back. Turds!