August 10, 2018

dear target, don't do that

Dear Target,

First, please understand that I am still committed to our long-term relationship.  I fucking hate Wally World and boycott them whenever possible, and I love you for having cheap Quest bars and good dog toys that are mostly made in 'Merica.  We're good.  We're tight.

I just want to bring up the whole Target Photo thing.  We need to talk.

It's like I don't even know you right now.

I ordered a print of my kid yesterday through your web site.  I uploaded a high-resolution copy of him in his natural habitat (staring at his phone with a vacant expression, because I think it's important to have accurate snapshots of one's kids on an office desk) and you asked me what size I wanted, and I told you, and I submitted everything, and you gave me an order number and told me to pick it up today and pay for it at the closest Target store.

I walked into that store this morning and asked a cashier where the Target Photo area was located, and she pointed to the customer service desk, and the person at the customer service desk pointed at something in the corner that looked like a yellow, boxy version of Robot B-9 from Lost In Space but turned out to be a Kodak photo printing machine.

"So I just key in my order number and it spits it out?" I asked her.

"Yeah, just use what they sent you, put it in under Online Orders," she replied, and walked away.

It only took one minute and fourteen seconds before I had to ask her for assistance.  "Where is the Online Orders section?  I've looked under all of these categories and I can't find it," I explained.

"Oh, it's right here, under Other Services, then Services, then See Additional Options, then More Services, then Other Orders, then Online Orders.  See?"

She flew through those choices, then hurried off again, and I set about typing in my order number from the e-mail Target had sent yesterday.  This was done with some difficulty, as this machine's screen utilizes the modern, cutting-edge technology of resistive touch, last seen in PalmPilots, placing it somewhere between current cell phones and God etching shit on stone tablets with lightning bolts on a mountain top.

I finished hammering in the number and used my elbow to bear down on Next.

"That order number is not found.  Please check your order number and enter it again."

It was correct.

I punched Next again.  They could have at least provided a courtesy stylus.

"This printing unit is experiencing a connection to store issue.  Please ask for assistance."

I very inappropriately wedged myself behind the machine to check for network connectivity and jiggled a few cables.  But in the end, the same down-trodden customer service associate ended up inside the cabinet beneath, pulling out servers that belonged in War Games and looking at blinking lights.  "Everything's working perfectly," she said, in direct contradiction to all proof otherwise.

I shrugged and told her I'd try Walgreens.  She looked relieved.

Target, is this your idea of Target Photo?  Is this what you're representing to be a service offered by Target to customers, with an online interface, convenience, seamless integration of technology, and exceeding point-of-sale standards?  Because you know what?  The kid in my photo is younger than that Kodak machine.  He gets his driver's license soon.

1 comment:

  1. Because Target knows how to put the fun in dysfunctional photo booth thingy!