My wife got some Target coupons for $5 off $25 in her email, and we were more than excited to go do our grocery run there this weekend. We had 2 of them and being cheapskates that we were, we were going to split up at the counter to get our $10 off $50. So we shopped and more than filled our cart. When it came time to pay up at the counter, we were told that they do not accept those coupons anymore due to fraud. Both of us begrudgingly paid and left.

Shady Target Bait and SwitchNow don’t get me wrong, we LOVE Target. We love their Archer Farms line of products, and we love the affordable yet stylish clothes there. Once I picked up 5 pairs of summer shorts no kidding. However, this episode left a bitter taste in our mouth. It’s a total bait and switch. How can you NOT honor an email coupon? The idea is great. Send your customers email coupons; they send it to their friends some of whom may or may not even shop at Target thus introducing them to this wonderful store. So yeah, Target loses $5, but they have so much more to gain. By back peddling on their offer, not only have they pissed off their loyal customers but also new potential customers who try Target for the first time thinking they were going to take advantage of this coupon. Our grocery run just now was more than $130. Was a $5 coupon really going to break their bank? Just when we were slowly buying more from Target and relying less on Jewel. I guess it’s back to Jewel.

Let’s talk about 2 companies that do it RIGHT. Take Bed Bath and Beyond and Linen and Things. These 2 companies REGULARLY mail 20% off paper coupons to our household. The wonderful thing about both of these companies is that they will honor the OTHER’s coupons and their own regardless of the expiration date. They know that if the customer is at the counter with merchandise in hand ready to spend their hard earned money on them, and they jip them on this little gesture, the customer can just as easily switch to the competitor the next time. So they take the long term customer service view and say we’ll do right by you even if it’s a slight hit on us because you’re here and not at my competitors.

Now I’ll still shop at Target. I just love their Archer Farm chips and granola bars too much. I think they’ve come a long way as far as positioning themselves as affordable and having good quality. However, if more episodes like this ensue, it will definitely makes us think twice.

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