Ewwwwwww. What’s That Thick Greasy Goo Oozing Out of the Package Target Sent?

The Ex-GF drives a tough bargain. She likes to get as much as possible while spending as little as possible. One of her favorite stores is Target. But based on her recent on-line experience with Target, I suspect that may change.

A while back, the Ex-GF decided she wanted a kind of pub-table with some bar-chairs. So she ordered the whole thing as a set from Target.com. The chairs arrived by UPS. We assembled them. A day or two later, a large box arrives. Since I work from home, I signed for them, and put it aside. A few hours later, when the Ex-GF arrived, she noticed that there was stuff oozing out of the box (on to the carpet). More specifically, a thick, greasy, goo. And not just a little bit, either. We’re talking gobs of thick, greasy goo. Perhaps stupidly, we cut open the box to see where it was coming from. (O.K. she was the stupid one.) It seemed to be emanating from the table itself. Even if it’s the stuff that should be applied to the table (and its greasy enough to make me wonder), way too much was slathered on and not given a chance to dry.

The package was placed on the balcony. The next day, Target was called. We were told we had to send back the table and the chairs. But the chairs had already been assembled, as they had arrived days earlier, in another shipment. The Ex-GF demanded to speak to a supervisor. The supervisor decided it would be OK if we simply sent back the table. But, the Ex-GF noted that since neither we nor Target knew what the stuff oozing out of the box was, we had no way to know how safe it is to ship. What’s the flashpoint on this gunk? She was assured that Target would assume any liability if the UPS truck caught fire. Yeah, that’s very nice, but its getting warmer and we like our UPS man. We don’t want to see him dead, at least not over a pub table.

So, the Ex-GF wanted to know if we could simply take the gooey pub table, wrapped in a garbage bag, to a Target store. The answer: Yes. But we would have to return the chairs too and when it is returned, we would get store credit. The problem is, the pub table and chairs were on sale and that means to buy a replacement now we would have to spend about $100 bucks more. (A replacement was not available in the store for this on-line only item.)

The Ex-GF was finally given a phone number of someone else (Michelle) to talk to from Sedgewick CMS (an out-sourced claims management company) There was some back and forth, but basically, to get another pub table, we have to repackage it and ship it out. They were not interested in seeing pictures of the goo, and were not concerned with the safety of sending back the oily ooze of unknown flashpoint through UPS. In addition, since we (make that since the Ex-GF) destroyed the package, trying to figure out where the ooze was coming from, we would be hard pressed finding a box that would fit its awkward dimensions. Plus, it would cost us in time and money.

So, the table sits, unassembled, wrapped in plastic, next to the kitty litter box out on the balcony. I guess we’re going to unwrap it and try to dry up the goo. (Hopefully its possible, but the thing has been there for two weeks and the glop still has the consistency of snot.) I’m sure the Ex-GF will continue shopping at Target, but she’s going to do it a lot less. And I’m guessing it’s going to be a very long time before she buys anything from them online.

So what’s the moral of this story?