A Bit Off Target – A Twisted Customer Service Tale

I love Target.  I had to state that right out of the gate.  Because, its the ones we care about the most that we should be most interested in helping to improve.  And, that’s the context in which I relate this little diddy.

Driving home from some random errand on my honey-do list last weekend with my son, he wanted to stop at Target for lunch.  (please hold the critique on the dietary choices I allow my kids to make).  Target has a lunch counter that serves pizza and other such delights. 

We made our selections.  And as the cashier began to ring it up, my son spotted a golden ticket!  Another child, who’s parent was clearly as health conscious as I, was drinking from a twisty straw.  A TWISTY STRAW!  Everyone knows sugary drinks taste a thousand times better through a twisty straw!

So, with the cash register reading $13.85, I asked for a twisty straw (two, if you must know).  But, here’s the kicker.  I was told that you can only get a twisty straw with a kid’s meal.  Curious.  I inquired again.  I got the same answer.  So, I looked up at the kids menu choices.  The most expensive item on the kids menu was less than half of what was currently on the register.  Soooo….I alerted my customer service cousin to that fact.  And, the response was: “I know it doesn’t make sense.  But thats the program”.

So, I ordered a kid’s item, pulled a five spot out of my wallet and got change along with my twisty straw (only one). 

I slumped into my chair and as my son reveled in the joy of his roller coaster drink experience, I pondered.

How off target was this experience?  Nine dollars lost in revenue.  A befuddled customer.  And a policy that was followed to the letter.



  1. You must escalate this! Send an email to Target corporate. I would bet that this is a customer service disconnect where the reps are not reporting to management and management/execs have no idea this is going on.

    Someone in marketing thought it was a good idea to add a twisty straw to kids meals. The intention of the promo was to be a value-add and get kids more excited. I'm sure they weren't counting on a poor customer experience and losing 2/3 of the sale. Somehow it was the promo that got twisty.

    Two obvious solutions: throw in the straw, or charge 10 cents for anyone not ordering off the kids menu.

  2. You can reach me at through my web site if you need the Target CEO's email address.

  3. They could make plenty of extra money upcharging the straws and selling them solo. Seems like a dumb move on their part.

    Ann Fritts

  4. just zip zip zip then inhale hahahaha

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  7. nice zip ..

  8. its okay zip it til your breath is gone 😀

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