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The Target Price Match Policy: We’re Saying It But We Don’t Mean It

This week, Kmart is having a $.99 sale on CARS diecast singles – and in theory, Walmart, Target and TRU will price match. There seems to be no issues at WM, show them the ad and they will sell you diecast CARS singles for $.99. TRU does not seem to have any “Themes 2013” cards at all so of course, they can’t really price match what they are not selling. Most price match attempts at Target seem to have run into a roadblock that you can only price match ONE ITEM per DAY per HOUSEHOLD.

Target in theory has a “Price Match” Policy but they really, really, really don’t want you to invoke it?

Well, let’s lawyer up and go to the legalese.

target

The main statement seems pretty self explanatory – so far so good.

I have lifted all of the info here it directly off this page at Target.com. Everything in italics and red colored is a direct copy from Target’s website.

Price Match Guarantee

If you buy a qualifying item at a Target store then find the identical item for less in the following week’s Target weekly ad or within seven days at Target.com, Amazon.com, Walmart.com, BestBuy.com, ToysRUs.com, BabiesRUs.com or in a competitor’s local printed ad, we’ll match the price.

Price match may be requested at Guest Services prior to your purchase with proof of current lower price or by bringing in your original Target store receipt and proof of the current lower price.

Does not apply to CityTarget stores; see details below.

Looks pretty straightforward and but when you read further down, you can see where Customer Service goes off the rails …

Price Match Guarantee: the details

 The item must be the identical item, brand name, size, weight, color, quantity and model number.
 Limit of one competitor online price match per identical item, per guest.
 Price must be valid at the time the price match is requested.
 Retail price must be shown on the website or print ad. Online prices will be validated by a Target team member.
 Competitor online items must be in stock at the time a price match is requested.
 Competitor catalogs can be matched as long as the catalog displays a current date, retail price and meets all other competitor ad match qualifications.
 If item is not available in a Target store, a rain check will not be issued to match the online price or competitor’s print ad.
 We reserve the right to verify a competitor’s advertised price and the availability of the item.
Details do not apply to CityTarget stores; see details below.

You noticed that according to Target’s restriction, it says NOTHING about the other actual (brick & mortar) stores item pricing but that the ONE PRICE MATCH PER CUSTOMER policy applies ONLY to Target’ COMPETITOR’S ONLINE products pricing. Legally, if you are not invoking an online price to price match, it reverts to the main clause above …

“… competitor’s local printed ad, we’ll match the price.

Price match may be requested at Guest Services prior to your purchase with proof of current lower price or by bringing in your original Target store receipt and proof of the current lower price.”

THERE is NOTHING in this clause about any restrictions of in-store purchases!

Which makes sense – if you have a large family, what’s the point of a price match when you can only buy one container of orange juice? And of course, if you’re “LOCAL” competitor is operating under the same “local” overhead costs (electricity, rent costs, taxes, etc …) and can offer a lower price, that Target store in theory should be able to match that jar for jar, package for package … it makes sense that an online competitor without the same overhead can offer a lower cost so Target doesn’t want to give out a price match for multiple quantities but local to local competition, Target’s offering is fairly simple – Target will price match for however many you want to buy today right now in the stores.

So, clearly, customer service is confused by Target’s OWN policy that says NOTHING about local ads price match quantities.

While there are dozens of other restrictions listed, the only other restriction that applies directly to this situation is:

What qualifies as proof of a price?

 For printed ads: please show us the entire printed advertisement. Photos, photocopies, or mobile phone versions (of the ad cannot be accepted as verification of a competitor’s printed ad.

Which certainly makes sense and is an easy thing to offer.

And again, of the massive list of restrictions, there are NO other clause referring to quantities other than if you are invoking a price match to a competitors online pricing but if you carry in the local print ad, that does NOT apply.

So, some of you may want to go back to Target and point out they are reading their own policy INCORRECTLY.

You can also write to Target at the CONTACT US page or call them.

Good luck!

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26 March 2013 Retail 20 Comments

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