***I just wanted to let you all know what kind of a response I have had from Kmart. Anyone want to guess? If you guessed, “No response at all,” you would be absolutely correct. Not even the typical “We are so sorry, let’s get our ‘specialized team working on it!” So please share, comment, tweet, whatever, because now I am fighting on the principle alone. Maybe Kmart doesn’t care if they lose ME as a customer; after all, I don’t have a lot of money and therefore am not going to really put a dent in their business. But maybe they will take note if an entire GROUP of people stands up and says something? I don’t know-but it might be interesting to find out.***
Those of you who have been here for any length of time have heard my various diatribes about Wal-Mart, I am sure. I hate Wal-Mart; I *try* really hard to not ever shop there, although admittedly there are occasions where I am left with little choice. After all, I live in a rural area where Wal-Mart is the only store of its type nearby, and it isn’t exactly convenient or cost-effective for me to drive 45 miles to, say, Target. That said, whenever I have to spend money there, it makes me feel slimy and ashamed and I try to avoid it if at all possible.
I have now, however, found a store that I hate even more than Wal-Mart, albeit for different reasons. Let’s talk a little bit about Kmart, shall we? I know nothing about Kmart’s business practices, don’t know what their employees make or how they are treated, none of that. No, my hatred is purely personal. See, I was watching The Television and saw that Kmart offered layaway, so I happily got online and read about it and thought, a-ha, this is a GREAT idea for Christmas. Initially, too, the process was pretty easy; I went through the items I wanted, chose the little “Layaway” Icon, and happily did the majority of my shopping. The first snag came when I started the checkout process. First, you enter in your payment information, and it tells you how much your layaway downpayment is. No problem. However, as soon I hit the submit button, I found out that over half of the items in my cart were NOT, in fact, eligible for layaway (and yes, I DID check more than once to make sure I was shopping in the layaway section; I am not entirely stupid), and my card was debited for them immediately, PLUS the downpayment for my layaway order. Like, within minutes. Ok, I thought, I am not thrilled about THAT, but I can make it work somehow (reminding you all that it was debited out of my checking account). $164.90 later…still, they were Christmas presents, right?
Then, three days later, I got an email from Kmart Customer Service telling me that part of my order had been canceled-not from my items on layaway, but the items for which I had paid. I called the customer service number and even though I was on hold for 20 minutes, I got to talk to someone who was very helpful. “Oh, we are sure sorry about that, but you will get the amount of the canceled items credited back to your account within four business days.” I gave them a week to credit my account back, giving them the benefit of a couple of business days, before contacting them again.
Now, it is December 8th (remember the initial order was placed AND PAID FOR on Novmeber 1st), and two phone calls (one where I was put on hold for so long that I ended up hanging up) and ELEVEN EMAILS LATER (it might actually be more-I think I inadvertently deleted a couple of them before realizing I might need them), I still have not been credited for the items canceled by Kmart and paid for by me. I have repeatedly asked for the contact information for the Customer Service Supervisor, as well as the corporate office, and that request has been ignored every single time. I have been told at least five times that this is NOT a typical Kmart shopping experience and they are so sorry AND that their “Specialized Team” will be contacting me, and that has not yet happened (Oh, I also asked them to cancel my layaway order, since clearly there were too many problems for me to trust that my payments would be applied to the order or that I would get them. They told me that I would have to go TO the store to cancel it. So I said I just wouldn’t make the payment, no biggie. Turns out it is a good thing I didn’t, as I got another email saying that some of the items on my layaway order were no longer available).
The thing about this that pisses me off so much is that I am being placated (unsuccessfully) and now ignored. I have invested a considerable amount of time and energy attempting, quite simply, to get back that which I am owed. No more, no less. Why is this so difficult? I feel, to put it bluntly, screwed. I can see that during the holiday season, maybe they are a little behind and can be forgiven a day or two delay, but this to me is unnacceptable-and no matter how many times I TELL Kmart this, I am still not being given my money back. Maybe to them it isn’t that big a deal, but to me, it certainly is. I don’t care if this is not a typical Kmart shopping experience, this is MY Kmart shopping experience, and frankly, it is THE worst experience with online shopping I have ever had, hands down.
Now, why I am I telling you all this, you might ask? Because I need a favor. I know I have a lot of readers who never comment, and I generally would not ever ask them to comment-doesn’t matter to me either way. But all of you who read and don’t comment, could you make a comment today, wherever you are, just so you can be counted? I am going to send Kmart Customer Service a link to my blog letting them know how many people are aware of this particular experience and who might then think twice about patronizing their store. Maybe they don’t care about one little person in poduck Idaho, but bad publicity has a way of getting around, right?
So make a comment, please. Share this with your friends and ask THEM to make a comment. If any of you are so inclined, you can also email Kmart customer service on my behalf; their email address is firstname.lastname@example.org, and my order number is 175285915. I am not sure what I hope to accomplish; at this point, I think I should be given all of the items originally ordered for FREE, or be given a gift card or something, but really, if I am lucky I am going to get my money back. Still, I just want them to know that we little people kind of need our money back if we don’t get the item(s) for which we paid. That’s it.
So; thanks in advance! And hey, long live Target!