I’m heartsick about this. Really I am. Yet it’s time to sever my relationship with Target forever. Forever is a strong word, and I’m not sure I’m up to the task, but I’m going to try my utmost to stay out of Target (except for an occasional popcorn/medium drink special) for the rest of my life. Why the change of heart from a person who’s been an avid Target shopper and fan for many years? Three words: poor customer service.

A couple of months ago a daughter-in-law gave me a gift card to Target, and I purchased a $19.99 curtain rod and a magazine with the card. The next day my husband took the rod out of the package and attempted to install it. However, he realized that it was 48”, not 48” plus like all the other rods I’ve ever seen or purchased. In other words, it had no “give” and did not fit the window. Two days after the original purchase I took the rod (in its original packaging) back to Target, but it had since been reduced to $9.99, and I was told that without the receipt that would be the total amount I could have put back on my gift card. But wait…no, that wasn’t to happen either. Why? Because within the last twelve months I have returned two items to Target without a receipt. The fact that both returns had been gifts “cut no ice” with the customer service representative.

I was given a number to call (customer service), and although the person with whom I spoke was pleasant, she was quite firm in reiterating what I’d been told in the store. No one can return more than two items without a receipt within a twelve month period. I tried to reason with the customer service representative by telling her what a terrific customer I was…to no avail. “What should I do? Give the rod to Salvation Army?” I asked. “Sure,” she said. “If that’s what you want to do.” That’s what I did. I hope someone is enjoying my daughter-in-law’s birthday gift to me.

I’ve had my Target Visa bill drafted from my checking account for several months, and in September, I decided to reduce the monthly amount. Imagine my surprise when I got a call from a Target credit person letting me know that my payment was overdue and that I had been slapped with a big late payment. Why? Because it takes a month for the auto-payments to be set up. This is true despite the fact that I already had the draft in effect. We talked, and he agreed to waive the late payment if I would agree to make a payment before October 5. I caved in and made a payment since Target didn’t draft my account in September, thus putting my account in arrears. Why was I penalized for Target’s failure to draft the account? It gets worse. When the payment was drafted on October 5, the amount was $25 higher than the agreed upon amount, and I still can’t figure out why.

If I’m looking at this the wrong way, please straighten me out. In the meantime, there are several other places to shop.