‘Twas back around January that I wrote about the out of stock crisis at the local Walmart at my Everglades retreat, and within a couple months first dailykos.com and then the Main Stream Press we’re all a chatter about WalMarts missing merchandise. Well, looks like the disease has spread to Target… Here’s my missive to management:

“I’ve been a Target customer since store #3 opened in Crystal, MN in 1962, and I’m a shareholder too. I bought a $250 cell phone from Target 2 years ago along with a 3 year extended warranty because I knew Target would stand behind it. That phone is now dead and probably beyond repair. I called the number for service and was told they’d get back to me when they found a place to fix it.  Over a week later and I haven’t heard a thing from them, so I traveled over 60 miles to the nearest Target store. Said Target store pretty much blew me off, about the only thing they did was let me use the phone to call the extended warranty vendor again. After an extended discussion, the extended warranty call center  offered only to e-mail me a return label to send the dead phone to a service center over a thousand miles away, without even verifying that that service center can repair the phone. So I wait the couple days they said it would take to send the e-mail, another near week for shipping to the service center, at least the 7-10 days they said it would take for the service center to evaluate the phone, and then how many more weeks after that? Truth is, a 2+ year old cell phone is pretty much unrepairable and you might as well give me a credit for a new one, and I gladly would have bought a new cell phone and more at Target today if your company had done that.

Sorry, but this is no way to treat “guests”! I’m going to have to go out and buy a new phone, can’t wait more weeks to have a working cell phone. From my point of view as a shareholder, this confirms for me that Target has now totally and completely lost touch with their customers and will go the way of Shoppers City, Wards, etc.. As a customer, I know anything I buy at Target may break and become an expensive doorstop, and Target won’t do a damn thing to fix it.

For those reasons, after over a half century, our business relationship is ended. I’ll be dumping my Target stock when the market opens in the morning, and I’ll never set foot in a Target again.”

Cell phones are a necessity for us travlin’ gearheads, and it’d be nice if a company with stores (mostly) all over the continent (Target has but 5 stores in South Dakota) would cheerfully provide and service them for us. But having charged me for an extended warranty, Target passed the repair responsibility on to a company whose major function seems to be delaying repair or the more likely replacement.

Target, was nice knowin’ ya, but goodbye. For good.