How Target Screwed Me on 200+ Boxes of Swiss Miss

I have been debating for the last month whether I should write this or not. I haven’t done much with Target and the Swiss Miss deal where I could get the boxes for free was my first time really shopping there.

I came across a Target that had just gotten in a large shipment of the Swiss Miss boxes to fill up an entire end aisle. A quick count showed they had about 200 boxes. I had coupons for about 300 boxes, but not wanting to clear them out, I asked to talk to the section manager. I explained about penny experiment and that I wanted to buy 300 boxes of the Swiss Miss, but didn’t want to deplete their current stock. I asked if they would be willing to make a special order for me of 300 boxes.

They readily agreed and promised to have them in before the sale price went up. I asked if it was OK for me to buy some of the 200 they had in stock, but they said they would prefer I not since they were doing the special order. I said no problem.

The day before the sale was set to end, I received a phone call saying that it was a hectic time of the year and they had not placed my order and they were planning to get the Swiss Miss in a couple of weeks. To make a long story short, I ended up not getting any of the Swiss Miss even though they had promised — I was upset to say the least since I had told the food bank that I would be getting it for them and they had planned to make it part of their Christmas boxes for those in need.

Although greatly disappointed, I still think I did the right thing. If I hadn’t explained, I could have purchased 200 boxes for the food bank, but that would have left nothing for others who wanted to take advantage of the deal. It’s just sad that doing the right thing ended up meaning that the food bank lost 200 boxes of Swiss Miss.

I was able to get 40 boxes from other Target stores before the sale ended at a cost of $0.00 after coupon, but unfortunately that was all I could obtain:

swiss miss

The 40 boxes of Swiss Miss hot chocolate were worth $65.60 and cost for $0.00. Readers and I have now donated over $29,000 worth of food to local food banks. If you would like to participate, I’d love to have you join. Not only will you be able to help your local food bank, you will learn to save quite a bit of money on your own grocery shopping.

This entry was posted in Coupons, Penny Experiment and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to How Target Screwed Me on 200+ Boxes of Swiss Miss

  1. Chris says:

    I understand your frustration and disappointment. This incident can be a real learning opportunity for all of us, though. For instance, it can purify your intentions in doing this project in the first place. Because really, regardless of the post title, did Target really screw you out of the hot chocolate mix? Or is it the food banks and poor people who lost out?

    It’s good to see this post in the sense that those of us trying to do this and aren’t experts can see that sometimes deals totally fall flat for the “experts” despite our best efforts. It’s also a lesson for those of us who take it personally when deals don’t work out as they should.

    It also a lesson for us not to give food pantries a heads up on deals we propose to get until we actually get them so we don’t disappoint.

    Guess what, Jeffrey … you’re human. But it’s OK. When things like this happen, we learn what we need to and move on.

    Happy New Year. It’s all good.

  2. Cayenne says:

    What do you think about sending this to Target? Maybe if you let someone up the ranks know, they’ll make good on it. It doesn’t save the xmas bags, but it’s still winter, and the kiddies always love cocoa.

    You did the right/thoughtful thing by not wiping out their supply — no good deed goes unpunished, right?

    At the end of the day, THEY dropped the ball by not placing the special order. Bare minimum, management should have offered a raincheck to be valid even after the sale (even if you still missed xmas), OR offered to get them in from another location.

    If I were the person responsible for dropping the ball (or the manager they report to), my work ethic and sense of accountability would have demanded that I find SOME way to get you the product OR a raincheck. That seems like a no-brainer. It’s like they dropped the second ball while they were out looking for the first ball they dropped.

    I think you should press ’em a bit — and if they claim they can’t make good on the Swiss Miss (though they should — even though they’ll have to eat the loss — since I’m sure the manufacturer wouldn’t care at this point), see what they CAN do. Other food for the food banks, 400 recyclable grocery bags (if you still need those), etc…

    Of course, I talk a good game, but I have zero tolerance for confrontation, so I get screwed over all the time, and just shrug my shoulders and silently fume. But, you know, if you HAVE the spine for it… :]

  3. Tina says:

    I agree with Cayenne. I think you should definitely complain to someone at corporate. It never hurts to ask/complain politely when you feel something wasn’t handled well.

    Then again, I am typically not afraid to speak up (to complain or to complement). What’s the worst that can happen? A person from corporate Target tells you, “Sorry. That’s too bad. We can’t do anything for you…”?

    The best that could happen? Well, more food for the food bank.

  4. I would have been on the phone to corporate as soon as I found out they had not ordered the hot cocoa. And, I would have felt no qualms about taking 100 of their cocoa in stock to begin with. At that point they would have ordered more for their customers.

    Explain upfront to corporate that you are not complaining on behalf of yourself. You are complaining on behalf of people who needed the food basket/box. You are complaining on behalf of people who trusted you. Point out that all those people know how Target did not follow through. In other words, you are not the only person in town who knows of the promise reneged.

    Also, use the words “in good faith.” “I asked in good faith about ordering more cocoa….etc.” “I trusted your employee.” “My faith is shattered.” “His word is now what stands for your store.” Believe me, these kinds of statements said with absolutely no exasperation and no ire will get you a ton of chocolate. The employee who just did not have time should be reprimanded. Oh, I would make it a call and not a letter, but that’s just me. I get results.

    I understand why you said Target screwed you out of this product. “You” now stand in the place of and for those who will be the recipients of the cocoa. I got it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *