12/14/11

For 5 years I've been telling you that TARGET SUCKS, read this and tell me they don't suck!

(see the Update at bottom of this post)

The Consumerist.com  (http://consumerist.com/)  had this with a link to the facebook letter, the below is about 50% of the letter, it was to long for the whole thing on this blog.  I did look up the address of this store:
Target Store Mayfield Heights 
11285 Som Center Rd
Mayfield Heights, OH 44124
(440) 995-9300 
and I phoned and asked to speak to Shelly, she was not working today and the LOD was to busy to come to the phone.  Perhaps someone already told them they were famous? 

So use the links to see the original - and remember people 'TARGET SUCKS!'

see:  http://consumerist.com/2011/12/target-doesnt-want-your-group-of-school-kids-to-spend-thousands-of-dollars-at-its-store.html or the Cleveland Plain Dealer article at:    http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2011/12/mayfield_heights_teacher_says.html
or the Facebook entry, if it is still up, at:
https://www.facebook.com/notes/sandy-bean/an-open-letter-to-targets-mayfield-heights-store/10150449747549146

An Open Letter to Target’s Mayfield Heights Store
by Sandy Bean on Monday, December 12, 2011 at 7:36pm

Dear Sir or Madam:

For the past five years, three colleagues and I have taken a group of approximately 25 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students—part of our award-winning student council group—on a philanthropic experience that, for these students, often changes their point of view on life. You see, many of them come from homes where they do not want for much of anything

This experience of which I speak benefits one such worthy organization, a place known as Providence House. Providence House (PH) is a Cleveland-area crisis nursery. They help children ages newborn to six at risk for imminent abuse or neglect. Often, these children come from homes with terminally ill parents, parents with drug problems, or homes where money is scarce the homelessness hangs over their heads. Some have never had a birthday party.

What is this “trip”? Well, each December, right before Christmas, the council learns about Providence House. Then, they work to collect money for PH through a variety of school activities. They generally raise somewhere in the neighborhood of about $2000. We then take this select group to our local Mayfield Heights Target store, where they shop in small groups for items PH needs.

Ok, so back to the customer service and community relations issue.

As a courtesy, I phoned Target to let them know we would be coming, as we have done the week of our visit in years past.

The conversation was quick. I spoke with a woman named Shelly. She was rude and did not mince words. I identified myself as Sandy Bean, with Mayfield Middle School, and explained that we would be bringing a small group in on Friday for our annual Providence House shopping trip. I explained that we would once again need a lane opened for our purchases, and I wanted to know what else they would need from us. Of our purchase order charge account was in order, etc. The conversation went something like this.

“Well, you can’t come in. The schedule is made and I just don’t have the cashiers. I need at least two weeks’ notice. Sorry,” Shelly said, curtly.

“We usually spend over $2000… Would you prefer we head over to Wal-Mart?”

“Hold on.” When Shelly returned to the phone, I was told, “Nope. Sorry. We can’t accommodate you.”

I told her, “It has never been a problem in the past, and we have never given two weeks’ notice before.”

“Well, actually, it has been a problem, ma’am, because we can’t check other guests out when you’re here.” She replied, with a definite tone rising in her voice.

“So, we can’t spend our money there on Friday?”

“No.”

“Okaaayy…I suppose we will go somewhere else then. Thank you,” and I hung up.

I was completely caught off guard. I had called for a heads up, and they wouldn’t take the money that we had worked so hard to raise? That we had already deposited into our account so we could pay with our Target account set up just for this purchase? Was this the same Target that gave the kids popcorn and soda the past few years?

Let me get this straight: My organization has spent over $12,000 with you the past five years, during FIVE shopping trips.  We have never called more than a week in advance. The second year, we *forgot* to call in advance. We were greeted with a smile, and we accommodated accordingly.

We arrive at about 8:45 am. The store is normally empty. We are gone before 11. It takes one lane, one cashier, and about 30 minutes for us to check out. We pay with one charge account. The students stand at the end of the lane and sort into carts, then take it out to the bus to load. How does this stop other patrons from paying? Come on. I’ve worked in retail.

• For five years running, we have never gotten a call or a letter from the Target store to discuss any problems with the students, the check out process, or anything else related to the trip (we have written thank you notes every year, mind you, and our names and address are clearly written on the letter). If there were ever any issues, we did not know about them and could not rectify anything.

• This year, I call Shelly, and rudely and in no uncertain terms, she tells me that our money is *not* good there? And that we are a problem and should go somewhere else? My 24 student leaders are more of a problem than the general populace, pouring in and out of there each day?

You have got to be kidding me. I am appalled. I have no desire to take my money, the council’s money, or anyone’s money to this store ever again. We plan to go to another store, and continue to go to another store for as long as this project exists. I may be one person, but I am a person who gets to make a lot of fundraising decisions, and who gets to bend the ear of many parents and city leaders, who respect and value my opinion. You can bet I’ll be telling everyone who will listen that Mayfield Middle School Student Council’s charity money is no good at Mayfield Heights Target without two weeks’ notice, and that our students had to take their work for Providence House elsewhere.

Sincerely,

Sandy Bean
Mayfield Middle School

If anyone has any tips of another clean superstore we can visit between Mayfield Heights and downtown Cleveland on Friday, 12/16, please message me. I will not take the students to a Target store, and I will tell them exactly why.

===================================================

Target did some PR repair and Wal Mart jumped in with a nice offer, here is the link to the Consumerist.com's update on the matter:  http://tinyurl.com/6r9mmn3

The Grinch who changed his mind about Christmas
Target Apologizes To Rebuffed Students; Walmart Ups The Ante With More Cash,
By Chris Morran on December 14, 2011
(details at above direct link)

Through 5 yrs of reporting on Tarbutt screw ups I've never had even half the look ins as this story generated.  I see it has gone instantly viral all around the world.  Talk about 'bad publicity' you really couldn't do more harm to a brand that this one moron in Ohio did.  Nice going Shelly, hope you enjoy being unemployeed over Xmas!

* Who Looks At This Blog?

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