You may have heard the news, that Target was offering offer free two-day shipping on hundreds of thousands of items (no minimum order size), from November 1 to December 22 — to keep online customers from defecting to rivals like Amazon or Walmart. Thus, began my seemingly simple search to order two HP print cartridges from Target.com.
On Monday, November 26th at 12:43 PM EST, I received my order confirmation. With their prominently featured two-day shipping, I was hopeful the cartridges would arrive by Wednesday the 28th, but the confirmation said, “Arriving by Thu, Nov 29”. The 29th would work out fine, though my printer seemed to think it was Valentine’s Day, as it started printing mainly in pink hues.
On November 30th at 2:46 PM I received an email stating that my order had finally shipped, again featuring the “2-Day Shipping” mantra that I continued to read about. Using this UPS tracking number provided, I quickly checked on the shipping information. UPS expected the package to arrive on December 7th. I thought it must have been a mistake, as UPS has always shipped my Amazon packages in two days, without issue. The package arrived on Thursday, December 6th, ten days after the order was placed.
I tried to contact Target by calling their support line, but the 15-minute estimated wait time persuaded me otherwise. Then I sent in an online customer service form, and finally I tweeted to them. Unfortunately, none of these yielded a response. This experience, my first Target.com experience, reminds us that it is easy to promise and hard to deliver. It appeared the shipping was standard ground shipping as my order sat around in a myriad of locations on its lethargic quest to arrive at my front door. And the four day lag in processing the order seems like a lengthy delay when compared with other online retailers.
Will I order from Target.com again? That’s very unlikely, as Amazon has consistently delivered in 2-days, and in many cases, 36 hours. And Target’s customer service experience was really poor in this instance. Target.com missed the target completely, missing their opportunity to make a good first impression.