Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Overnight Shipping or Urine Soaked?

I'm sad to report that Target has wronged me. I'm easily in Target on a weekly basis and I truly do heart Target. They do a brilliant job of knocking-off higher end clothing and design stores, while keeping the cost down. I'm always able to find exactly what I'm looking for and many, many others things that I'm not. And if I'm not able to locate the exact size or color of an item in a store, their website has never let me down. Target is my perfect store. Or, it was.

I'm going to a baby-shower on Friday and the mom-to-be is registered at a handful of places, Target included. It was a no-brainer. During the last snow storm, I decided I would save myself some hassle and just order her gift online. The gift arrived as scheduled yesterday and it seemed it was another perfect Target experience for me. It was perfect until I opened the outer packing box and was kicked in the teeth by one of the worst smells ever. It took me a few seconds, but I soon realized that this smell was the same one as the subway and rail stairwells - piss. I immediately dropped the box.

Within minutes I was on the phone with a Target online customer service agent. Surely, they would want to know about this. I mean, at this point, I felt like someone had wronged me and "my Target". I relayed my story to the agent and she didn't even waiver from her script, "I'm so sorry that you had this experience. We will be happy to reimburse you for your shipping and you are able to return the item to any Target store for a full refund". What? Didn't she hear me? I just said that I got an item shipped to me soaked in urine, and she is happy to have me just return it to any store? That would require me to actually touch this box again. After re-iterating the pee detail a few more times, she still didn't sound surprised, but did attach a $5 voucher to my account. Gee, thanks.

So, today I trucked the box of piss over to the Target store to return it. My husband thought I was crazy, "Why would anyone want you to return that? No one wants to have to handle that". But I was determined that Target needed to know that this occurred somewhere in their packing and shipping process. I was certain that an actual live person would have a reaction closer to mine and maybe let someone important in the Target company know. I placed the clean outer packing box on the returns counter and quickly warned the girl that I received the item inside with what appears to be urine on it. She didn't blink; she didn't even look at me. It was as if this was not the first time she's seen this. She opened the box, despite my warnings, "I don't know if you want to touch that". She said so matter-of-factly, "I need to touch it to scan it". And that was it, a second later she was handing me my refund receipt. I was so confused, I couldn't even bother any longer. Did I miss something? Is this normal to expect that sometimes you will just receive a package that has been pissed on? I must have missed something somewhere when I was checking out online. Was there a check-box under shipping preferences that asked if I wanted overnight shipping or soaked in urine?

I can't say that I will stop shopping at Target. I actually shopped after I returned the item. But I will say this has opened my eyes to a very strange, but apparently common phenomenon. I won't ever open a packing box the same way again.

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