Sweeping the problem under the rug that isn't there.
November 26, 2012 6:51 AM   Subscribe

Recourse filter: I probably have none, but thought I would check with the hive mind. I purchased a rug online from Target that was a GREAT deal ($150 for a 9x11 wool hooked rug). I received the email that the item shipped but noticed that it wasn't updating in the UPS system after 2 days. I called UPS & they said they hadn't received it from the shipper. UPS told me to call the shipper. I called Target and they said to wait it out. They tell me to wait 5 more days. 2 days go by and it still hasn't updated so I call UPS again & they tell me that they haven't received it yet. I call Target again (at this point it is past their listed latest estimated delivery date)- they tell me to wait again until the 21st. On 21st, the 6th day after it should have arrived the item is listed as sold out online.

I call to say that I still don't have the item. They again tell me to wait a couple more days. After a couple more days & no rug I call again. Sorry, it was lost in the mail. We will issue you a refund. I state that I don't want a refund, I want a rug. I propose they honor the sale price on a rug of equal size, quality, & value. No deal. I point out that had the representative at my first point of contact taken ownership at that time and noticed there was a problem, I simply could have & would have reordered the item. I have been scouring the interwebs looking for a similar deal but can not find one.
Is there anyone I can contact to remedy this situation? It has been several days since this happened and I thought I would be able to let it go, but I can't. I feel as though I am being penalized for the inaction of the representatives. Any thoughts or am I just screwed?
posted by MayNicholas to Home & Garden (24 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I think the refund is the fairest option. You should take it. They don't seem to have a rug to give you.
posted by discopolo at 6:58 AM on November 26, 2012 [3 favorites]

Well, they've offered to give you your money back so you're aren't really screwed at all. It sounds like they were already out of rugs when you ordered yours and their system hadn't properly updated the website yet. This has happened to me before and my money was refunded and I went along my merry way. There are a lot of rugs in the world. You'll find another.
posted by something something at 6:59 AM on November 26, 2012 [9 favorites]

Sometimes things happen. They have no rug to give you. What is it that you want? You are correct, but they can't conjure a rug out of air for you.

Ask for a credit and a $20 gift card if that will smooth it over for you.

Don't call customer service. Write an email to the CEO of Target, Greg Steinhafl. Call to Target HQ in MN at 612-304-6073 and ask for the email for Greg Stenhafl. They'll give you one, send your complaint directly to him.

In every company there's a department of people who handle "Presidential Complaints". Your email will be routed to one of these folks who will call you to discuss your issue. This person will talk to you in soothing tones, will agree that they are idiots, will try to source that very rug for you, and failing that, they will offer you a $20 gift card for your trouble.

You'll have the satisfaction of an official apology and a gift card. And that's about it.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:01 AM on November 26, 2012 [6 favorites]

Or just take the refund and tell yourself that it was actually a crappy rug.
posted by holgate at 7:05 AM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

Escalate, escalate, escalate. If a supervisor or manager at Target customer service can't help you, then contact Target's corporate office. They may not have a rug to sell you, but they should give you something for the headache they caused.

On preview, seconding Ruthless Bunny.
posted by inturnaround at 7:05 AM on November 26, 2012

I know they can't give me that rug, I want a similar rug for the same price. I figured there wasn't anything more I could do/ person I could speak with, but I thought I would ask. I did ask to speak to a supervisor, but that did nothing. I have sent the corporate email. I have sent multiple emails to customer service (always getting a response from a different person). Oh well.

On a side note- anyone want to hunt the web for a 9x11 wool rug in reds, yellows, & browns for $150. :)
posted by MayNicholas at 7:09 AM on November 26, 2012

My only other thought is that you ask for a rain check. I don't know that they do that for online purchases. But if they get more of those rugs in, it guarantees that you can buy it at the sale price. (Definitely get your money back in the meantime)
posted by vitabellosi at 7:12 AM on November 26, 2012

I am definitely getting my money back, no matter what. That is already in progress. No rain check- I checked.
posted by MayNicholas at 7:14 AM on November 26, 2012

I know they can't give me that rug, I want a similar rug for the same price.

But they're offering you a refund. So take that refund, and then use the refund to buy the similar rug for the same price.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:18 AM on November 26, 2012 [2 favorites]

Try Overstock.com. IANAL, but I know enough law to know you have no legal recourse here other than a refund. You can try being the squeaky wheel, but it sounds like you've tried that.
posted by crabintheocean at 7:20 AM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

You know what you want, which is the most important thing in negotiating a customer service resolution. Keep telling them, of course the refund will happen, but I'm very disappointed because I wanted the rug at that price. Pick another rug, and ask for a big discount. They can't sell you rugs they don't have, but they screwed up your order and gave you bad information, and if you make it easy for them to make you happy, they might do it.
posted by theora55 at 7:26 AM on November 26, 2012

overstock.com has amazing rugs!
posted by katypickle at 7:29 AM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

I tried overstock, amazon, walmart, kmart, sears, macys, jcpenny etc... Nothing remotely close for the quality & price. All I can find at that price & size are the thin acrylic rugs.

I did give then an alternative rug that was the same original price as the rug I ordered, it wasn't marked down as far as the one I ordered, but I said we could split the difference. No deal- we are not authorized, our system doesn't allow, blah blah blah.
posted by MayNicholas at 7:32 AM on November 26, 2012

Here is the rug in question, but a smaller size- which is more expensive that the larger version:

posted by MayNicholas at 7:35 AM on November 26, 2012

I suspect what has happened is that someone put this rug online for the wrong price. Some poor data-entry schmo made a typo; this wasn't supposed to be the most fabulous sale price ever. They probably shut down all the sales of that rug, instead taking a loss on them. Thats why no rain-checks would be offered.

Also I've had great success with overstock.com rugs, especially with flat rate shipping.
posted by fontophilic at 8:15 AM on November 26, 2012 [2 favorites]

What you want is called specific performance, and you probably can't get it.
posted by exogenous at 8:57 AM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

Can you get the information on who the rug was made by and try googling for the manufacturer? Also, don't forget to look on ebay.
posted by Vaike at 10:56 AM on November 26, 2012

You could sue them for loss of bargain but it seriously is not going to be worth it. Taking Ruthless Bunny's advice seems like the best option if you want extra compensation. Or you could save yourself even more time and just take the refund, which is what I would do.
posted by grouse at 11:23 AM on November 26, 2012

This varies depending on where you live, but you may be able to get a bit of satisfaction from filing a complaint with a consumer protection bureau, which might be an office of your county district attorney's office, or your state attorney general. If this was just an isolated mistake, no one is going to care. But, if it's part of something like a "bait and switch" pattern, and other people are filing similar complaints, you might be pleasantly surprised. If a company offers goods for sale at a particular price, they do have a legal obligation to have those goods available at that price. Large companies have gotten into trouble for that sort of nonsense before -- I don't remember their names because they are not in business anymore, because that nonsense is illegal.
posted by Corvid at 12:25 PM on November 26, 2012

I had almost the exact same experience with Target Online, but with a wool tapestry throw pillow. However, instead of the item never shipping/target claiming it shipped, the order was cancelled after three days. Target claimed I had exceeded the number of items per customer for a high demand item. (Apparently that customer limit is less than one). However, the item was still listed on the website after it was cancelled. So I had a friend order it for me, and the same thing happened, cancelled after a day or so for exceeding the limit. Last I checked the pillow is still there on the website.

I don't know what is going on with Target, but it sounds like their entire online system is in the crapper. They have demonstrated that they have a poor order management sytem, why would you trust them to send you another rug? Take the refund and your business elsewhere.
posted by Maude_the_destroyer at 12:28 PM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

I filed a complaint with the BBB last week and they are investigating, but I doubt it will do any good. I guess I was hoping someone had some magical knowledge about getting a big company to listen up. I grew up with both of my parents working for a Target-like chain store that is still around but floundering. They said just keep after them, someone will get the message and remedy this, but I imagine Target is just too big. I'm not looking to take legal action or anything. I just want a nice rug for the price I would have gotten this one for.

Stupid me pitched our old rug when I got the email that this rug had shipped, so now I just keep staring at a bare floor. Ugg. Oh well.
posted by MayNicholas at 1:57 PM on November 26, 2012

I have that exact rug and I bought it about 2 years ago at Tuesday Morning. I have seen it there since I bought it. I'd check there, if you have those stores.
posted by bluespark25 at 3:53 PM on November 26, 2012

Tuesday Morning here doesn't have it. But thank you for the recommendation.

Here is the UPDATE: I received an email from 'corporate' that they received my email and although they do not price match on clearance items, here is a $75.00 gift card for your inconvenience & sorry about the situation. That is basically meeting half way on the price difference of the other rug that I like. I am happy with that. Now as long as my refund hurries up and gets here & the 'new' rug isn't sold out by the time it does, we are in business... assuming I don't go through this all over again with the 'new' rug. In case you are wondering why we would take the chance ordering from the again as opposed to going elsewhere- two words: gift. cards. We only have them to Target, so they have to get used.

I will update again when the whole situation is over.
posted by MayNicholas at 9:05 AM on November 28, 2012

2nd UPDATE: Still awaiting a portion of my refund- they sent me an email on the 27th that there was a delay. As of yesterday the second 'replacement' rug that I had planned to purchase has increased in price by over $100. Just my luck. I have emailed them and asked if since they delayed a portion of my refund could they please honor the previous price of the replacement rug until I receive the missing portion of my refund. (The original rug was purchased with 1/2 gift card & 1/2 credit card- I am waiting for them to send me a new gift card)

I will update again when there is a resolution.
posted by MayNicholas at 9:28 AM on December 3, 2012

« Older Custom Internet Poster Printing?   |   Looking for noisy, spacey, atypical guitar pedal... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.