Wednesday, December 10, 2014


We wanted to talk a little bit about customer service in today's modern retail setting. This topic came to light "en masse" the other day, when one of our real life "4Boys" started to receive malicious emails masked as "delivery notices" from Target Stores.

Most of us well remember the 2013 Christmas shopping fiasco when 30+ million people had their identity stolen via a hacking attack at Target Stores. Not only was it worrying to their millions of customers, but it also has a major impact on their holiday sales, as people were afraid to return to the stores, as they hard prior to the attack. Not to mention that Target tried to cover it up, to secure their holiday sales, and profits.

So, when one of our 4Boys started to receive these emails in his inbox, he was concerned that someone might have his information, and also that Target Stores should be concerned about new attacks, and hacking this holiday season. He was simply assuming they had taken extra precautions to assist their customers with these privacy issues this year.

So, with every good intention, he used Google to find the Contact Us phone number of Target Stores to report the continued phishing emails, and to advise them of this new potential threat.

THESE IS NO DIRECT NUMBER AT TARGET STORES FOR CONSUMERS TO REPORT HACKING, PHISHING, or other MALICIOUS web problems associated with Target Stores.  Even after 30+ million people had their information stolen from them, via Target Stores credit card processing system.

So, he had to use their general information phone number only to put on hold for over one hour, and having to listen to annoying announcements about Gift Cards, Sales, Promotions, Deals, Discounts, etc. Every crap piece of junk verbal spam they could fill on their "on-hold" announcements was there to be heard over and over again. Not even some decent crappy elevator music. After an our hour, he decided to simply give up. What he was hoping for, was to report this email issue, and even find out if Target Stores had a ready security department in place to assist its customers. Sometimes, and this is true for most banks, if you receive some malicious email, you can forward it to the bank (Bank of America has one, since I have used it before), and they will try to find he source and close it down before it can be abused. This is important especially for older people, who easily walk into these email traps quite easily. My Mother for example !!

So, with all that in mind, he emailed them, and told them of his concern. He had to fill out forms, and contact information, and answer why he was contacting them. As though, it is important why a customer contacts a retailer. But, in fairness, they are a big chain store and certain matters should be addressed by different departments. Within a day he received a generic letter about how sorry there were about his shopping experience, although he had never been in the store. Then they proceeded to tell him if he would email them the malicious email, they would be grateful. However, they did not send a return address to send this email. Then, they politely said thank you for shopping at target, and wished him a Happy Holiday.

Why do we write about this... Small Mom & Pop on-line retailers spend piles of money, adding badges proving their security, and that it is safe to shop at their store. These badges of trust cost small web stores many hundred's, if not thousand's of dollars per year, per store. Yet, the public hardly ever hears about hacking attacks at smaller web stores, as most of us are protected by the hosting company that services our web sites. We hope you will take a minute and give a look to small web stores, of every type, and for every product. We all work hard everyday. And if a customer has a problem, you can usually get satisfaction from us all within hours. We small retailers cant afford to lose a good customer by ignoring their needs or inquires. And if we left them on hold for hours at a time, we doubt they would buy from us again.

Our 4Boy got another email from Target Stores after 48 hours, 1 hour on hold, and 2 emails from him to them, asking for assistance. They asked him to send the email, which he had given up on, and deleted. So thank you Target Stores. There will be many more decent citizens, some old, some young, who will open this malicious email, and by doing so, will have a less happy holiday, then is suggested in your useless letters, or on-hold telephone announcements. At 4Boys Gear, we answer all requests, and try to do our best to make our customers shopping experience as positive, pleasant and safe as possible.

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