Target - Stores, Target, Balboa Ave., San Diego, CA trouble with Eureka Vacuum purchase

Posted on Friday, August 3rd, 2001 at 5:03pm CDT by a79d8b31

Company: Target

Location: SAN DIEGO, CA

Category: Stores, Shopping

At this point, what do I expect? Exactly nothing. It is abundantly clear to me that Target's return policy seems to supersede their understanding of a need for reasonable customer service. I never asked for a full refund on a relatively new appliance, only to be offered a reasonable and fair solution to my problem. I trusted Target to sell dependable merchandise, and stand behind their reputation to do so in dealing with a manufacturer who produced less. The $200 I spent on a useless vacuum is a fraction of what I spend each year at Target. But, regardless of amount, the message is that my patronage is of little value. I won’t ever them with it again. And, I will take satisfaction in relating my experience to others at every opportunity. If you're interested in the details, read on. On November 11, 2000, I purchased a Eureka Vacuum (model 4685, serial 0037021130) from the Target Store on Balboa Avenue in San Diego, California. About four weeks ago, I began to experience problems with the machine and sought assistance following the manufacturer’s warranty directions. I took the machine to an authorized warranty servicer, Midway Vacuum on Garnet Boulevard in San Diego. The machine was overheating after about ten minutes of use. The motor gave off a burning smell and the suction ceased completely. The servicer informed me that the product had too small of an air intact for the size of the motor and the many filters only exacerbated the problem. Though he agreed it was evident I had carefully followed the manufacturer’s directions on filter cleaning and replacement, he convinced me that I needed to completely replace all filters. I bought new filters believing this would solve the problem. The next time I used the vacuum it overheated and the vacuuming action stopped. I contacted Eureka customer service for directions to a more reliable repair shop. I was directed to La Jolla Sewing and Vacuum Center on Pearl Street in La Jolla, California. Without any knowledge that I had sought prior service, the repairman in this store responded to my description of the vacuum’s problem with, "I’ll do the best I can, but you have to realize this vacuum is going to continue to have this problem – it’s poorly designed." The next day, I contacted Target manager, Bob Kostlan, to see what the store could do help me resolve my dilemma with this machine. Mr. Kostlan cited the store’s 90-day return policy and referred me to the regional offices. At the regional level, I spoke with Teresa Bane. Ms. Bane was most solicitous, appeared to understand my frustration, and offered to use her vender influence with Eureka. She followed through on her promise quickly, providing me with a contact at Eureka who was supposedly prepared to assist me. I never spoke to this contact at Eureka. She was one of many customer service operators and, over the course of my conversation, I was handed off to three others. It was finally promised that I would be contacted by someone at a higher level of authority who could assist me. Though I was given the contact’s name, Rich Grimer, no one would provide his phone number or address. I had to wait for Mr. Grimer’s call. Mr. Grimer did call within the promised 24 hours. However, I was out and he merely left a voice message, "Your machine is top of the line and state of the art. Tell the repairman that. If you want to report him for poor service, here's the phone number." Mr. Grimer did not leave his phone number. To this point, I had invested what seemed to me an excessive amount of time, energy and patience. I was not of a mind to act as an intermediary between Eureka and the warranty services. I contacted Ms. Bane again. Once again, she was very understanding and suggested I speak with Target corporate customer service. After relating my problem to the initial corporate contact, I was transferred to a supervisor, David First. To this point, in all my conversations with anyone regarding this problem, I had been treated with courtesy and professionalism. Mr. First began our conversation implying that I was wasting his time, this was the store policy, and that was that. When I asked if there were ever circumstances which warranted exceptions to policy, he said no. When I questioned the responsibility Target felt towards it's customers, I was cited the store 90 day policy. When I asked to speak to Mr. Firsts supervisor, I was initially told there was no one. Upon consideration, this was changed to Mr. First's supervisor not being available and there was no one else at any level within the organization that I could speak to. At my insistence, Mr. First did give me the Mr. Ulric's name and the address to which this has been sent. At no time during the conversation did Mr. First ask or allow me to relate my problem. Throughout the conversation, he continued to interrupt and talk over me. When I pointed this out to him, he responded that he didn't need to know my problem. "The policy was the policy." Once again, I called Ms. Bane. She said she'd get back to me with an appropriate contact at the corporate level. That was four days ago. I have not heard from her.


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