I went to one of my local Targets on February 9th, and found part of one case of the Geonosis wave on the pegs (no Scorch or Utapau Trooper of course). And as I was putting the remaning figures in my cart, I noticed that all...every one...of the bubbles had been smashed on the tops at the corners...both corners. It was obvious that this was done intentionally as there were three cases of the Hoth wave in pristine condition on the pegs with them.
So I called over an associate, and pointed this out to her. And of course, she was flabbergasted and incredulous at my theory of them having been damaged on purpose. She did promise to be vigilant about watching for whoever might have done this, but I got the impression that she was gaffing me off.
Then, this morning, a buddy of mine called me to tell me that the other Target near me has ONE case of the Geonosis wave and about 4 of the Hoth wave. When I got there, there were no figures on the pegs except for Bib Fortuna, 6 of them. I checked the scanner and it told me there were some in the stock room. So I politely asked for some assistance and one of the rudest women I have ever had the misfortune of meeting came off on me as if I were some miscreant begging for her home. She checked the scanner and told me it said there were none in the stock room. I double checked and it said there were none after telling me at first that there were some. This I cannot explain.
To most of us, this is the normal dance between Target associates and Star Wars collectors. And this is not what floored me...what floored me is when I told this lady about the damaged packaging at the other Target, she told me that the corporate policy is to do whatever they feel is necessary to counter the problems caused by collectors and that damaging the packaging was one of the things they do. I asked her to clarify that what she was telling me is that TARGET EMPLOYEES ARE THE ONES DAMAGING THE CARDS AND SHE SAID YES.
I still found this hard to believe and so I told her to give me the corporate number and she was perfectly willing to give it to me to verify her story. I called the Target where I found the damaged bubbles first and asked to speak to the manager who gave me the following information. Some of which we all know, some of which was news to me. She told me:
1) Target policy on selling collectibles is no more than 4 per person. No new news there.
2) Target employees are not required to go into the stock room to hunt for specific collectibles (read: Chase Figures).
3) She told me that she knew of no corporate policy to damage cards and that I should call the other store and report it. The interesting thing to me is that the store that denied the policy is the one where the packages were damaged.
4) I called the other Taget and basically got the same story from their manager.
5) Both managers stated that under the circumstance that there are no figures on the pegs, the emplyees are required to refill them, but not if a collector requested it.
The thing that bothers me the most about this is not that they won't hunt for chase figures, or run off immediately to re-stock a shelf that a collector points out is empty, that is just common sense. The thing that bothers me, is that the anti-collector attitude is so deep that they will damage the product to thwart collectors, and go so far as to not even do normal re-stocking of product when it is a collector who points out the necessity (and I have no idea how they determine if a person is a collector or a parent buying for their kid, they have never asked me).
Then I called the corporate Guest Services to register a complaint about the damaging of the packages. And after telling the first person about it, she connected me to a "specialist". During the conversation with the "specialist", he told me that there has never been another complaint of this type before so the only thing that will happen is that it will be logged in and reported to the store with the name of the lady who told me they were doing it. But they did tell me that the fact that she was rude would be dealt with immediately (and I barely mentioned that in passing and told them that wasn't even what the call was about).
So I have decided that I am going to completely stop shopping for my collection at Target. Not even the exclusives (and this hurts because I have dreamed of a Shock Trooper on a #41 sculpt). Further, I am going to find every reciept that I have bought Star Wars figures with in the return period and return them all for a refund (I will not damage the cards...but it is tempting). They will still get my money, however, as I can't stop my wife from shopping there.
I am not calling for a boycott and I have chosen to post the corporate number on this thread SOLELY TO MAKE IT EASIER TO BE ABLE TO REGISTER LEGITIMATE COMPLAINTS ABOUT SERVICE OR STORE POLICIES. I have further decided not to publish my reference number from Target as I do not want SSG to be looked on as the place that some Target boycott started. I am going to say, however that I am disappointed that with all of the posts that I read about problems at Target on various websites over the years, that I would be the first to actually send up a complaint.
Anyway for anyone who wants to register any legitimate complaints, the number is 1-800-440-0680.