Is this THAT uncommon?

I’m not exactly sure what the right forum is for this question, so I’ll put it here & thank the Mods to move it if need be.

My wife & I recently spent 2 weeks in California (note: we now have been in every state except Alaska & Hawaii, and they’re next!). While we were there we dropped some film off at a Target
to get developed. A week later we were sitting at home going over our other pictures of the trip when it hit us: D’OH!:smack: We forgot to go back and pick up those prints!

So I figure, no problem. I’ll call them up, pay for them over the phone via credit card, and they can mail them to me.

Yeah, right! You would think we called and asked them to send us pics of their grandmas privates! Even the manager freaked out. They had never, ever heard of a tourist having so much fun they forget something. And the idea of “mailing” something was, like, totally foreign to them. I had to all but beg to get them to agree to it. I had 5 different employees, including the photo department manager AND the head store manager tell me this is the most bizarre thing they have ever heard of. I know people in California, but all of them way to far away from this particular store to go get the prints (talking hundres of miles).

I’m the first to admit it was at least an 7 on the “DUH” scale. But is something like this THAT uncommon?

By the way, 2 weeks since they received payment and no pics yet! Now we have to start more phone calls!

What’s film?

I’ve never heard of it happening, but I can picture (heh) it happening. I’d be too embarrassed to tell you the types of things I’ve forgotten.

Thinking you aren’t exaggerating about the personnel’s reaction, I’m surprized at their reaction. I do imagine that it’s a pain in the butt for them to mail it to you; however, they must mail things from the store, so maybe not.

If it’s uncommon, it shouldn’t be a big deal to mail them to you. If it’s common, I can see how they’d get annoyed.

Well, it’s never happened to me in the days when I used film in my cameras. I take a lot pictures when I’m on vacation, but I just toss each completed roll into a bag. When I get home, I take the dozen or so film rolls to one place to get all the pix developed. Nowadays, I just transfer the pix from my digicam to my computer whenever convenient. BTW, this is not to say I haven’t done a lot of forgetful things when I travel. I’ve left shaving cords, slippers, and (ahem) underwear in hotel rooms.

This is no B.S.: Back in March I was traveling on a business visa in India. I threw a pair of underwear into the garbage can of my hotel room because, well, they were old and it was time for them to go. That was in Mumbai (Bombay). After some traveling through the country we got to our destination in New Delhi. Waiting at the hotel for me was a package! Guess what was inside! The housekeeping staff at the hotel in Mumbai couldn’t believe anyone would throw out their clothes! They tracked me down via the travel service we used!

And all I want now is my developed pictures!

Store manager: Hmmm, ok I can see how I am going to charge this guy for his pictures, standard procedures cover that. Then I have to charge him for a mailing envelope, ok we sell those so that isn’t a problem. Now I have to mail him the pics… hmm we don’t sell stamps so charging him for the postage is going to be tricky. We also don’t have a postoffice in the store so I am going to have to take his envelope to the post offce on my lunch hour and find out how much it is going to cost to mail it, then I have to let him know and somehow charge his credit card for the postage. The way our system works is that I can’t sell him something unless it is part of our inventory, so this is going to be tricky. Oh yeah, who is this guy anyway? A voice on the phone is all he is. How do I know he isn’t trying to steal the pictures of a legitimate customer and then that customer is going to come to claim their pictures and I am going to have to explain how I sent them to some voice on the phone on the other side of the country. I’ll probably lose my job. Yeah, I can’t wait to do this deal.

I have no directly helpful information to add to the discussion, but it does remind me of a general gripe I have about dealing with the drones of our consumer society. What is it about working for a store that turns people into, well, non-people. It’s like they are no longer members of the human race or something.

I mean, even if no Target customer had ever requested that their prints be mailed to them, why should this perfectly reasonable request be met with such bafflement? It’s not like you asked them to walk them to your home, or send them by stagecoach. I hate crap like that. Reminds me of that famous scene from some Jack Nicholson movie (Five Easy Pieces?) where he tries to order just toast at a dinner, but has to end up ordering a tuna sandwich on toast without the tuna to get it.

A couple of months ago I needed to find a store in an unfamiliar neighborhood. I stopped at a gas station, bought something, and asked if they had a phone book I could look at. The first attendant said Sure, and led me inside. He told the second attendant (his boss, I think) that I wanted to look at a phone book. The second guy nervously pauses then says they have no phone book. Of course he’s got this look on his face that says he’s lying.


Just because he’s never had a customer ask to see a phone book he instinctively thinks it will lead to some kind of trouble. What a moron.

It’s like all retail service people have been trained that if a customer wants something unusual it must be baaaad! Tell them no, tell them no!

Oh, please. This is not that difficult and I’ve made similar requests many times with no problem at all. One time, my husband saw a vest in a store in D.C. while we were there for a wedding. When we got back home, in order to surprise him, I called the store, vaguely described the vest (remember, I had never actually seen it), and had the clerk ship it to me. They got my credit card information and had absolutely no problem doing it. The vest was there within a couple days. I’ve done this with dresses, books, yarn, etc. I’ve never been refused and nobody’s ever acted at all put out.

Most stores, even little ones, have regular UPS pick-ups. If not, they just throw it in the regular mail. Some have put the postage on my credit card, others have told me not to worry about it.

As far as being able to identify the caller as the true owner of the pictures, he should just be able to ask for the receipt number to verify that. Or, failing that, ask the caller to describe a couple pictures.

A contrary experience: a couple of years ago I was on holiday in Garda, Italy. Towards the end of our stay I dropped a couple of films I’d shot into a 24-hour processing place there. When I went back to collect them, the assistant apologised profusely (as best she could in English) – they hadn’t been able to develop the films yet (I forget what the problem was). Could I come back tomorrow? Unfortunately, we were leaving the next day, so I couldn’t. She immediately asked for my address so that she could forward the photos on to me when they were ready.

Two days after we arrived home, there were the photos in the post – along with a couple of postcards of the town and some nice souvenir tourist leaflets and maps. As far as I remember, they didn’t even charge me for the postage.

Well after all WI is a looooong way from CA. What with snail mail etc. you may expect them to take a month or more.

OTOH Contact Targe via their web site and file a complaint if possible,
Otherwise write a letter to corporate management with all the sordid details.
This post certainly shows that the local store management is not “On Board”

From time to time someone will need their pet’s medications mailed. I think I know one possible problem. Somebody has to stop at the post office to get the package weighed for determining correct postage. In my situation, there is no way to reimburse the employee for their time. Could be the same thing here; what employee wants to be “on the clock” when they have punched out for the day?

A huge Target store surely has a postage meter on the premises. They must mail out dozens and dozens of letters each week and they almost certainly don’t buy stamps for them. They have a meter and a scale. If they have anyone with an ounce of brains, they have a supply of the free padded envelopes provided by the post office. Nobody has to “go” to the post office to find out how much the package weighs or what to charge. They have an entire suite of administrative offices and probably have a mailroom employee. They definitely have a purchasing agent. I can understand the request being somewhat unusual but when even the manager can’t figure out how to mail a letter, someone at Target headquarters should be told.

As far as cost, mail is very cheap. It wouldn’t cost more than about $2.00, at the most, to mail a 36-print roll of pictures. Cheaper if mailed parcel post. Target can easily eat that cost, or simply charge the credit card if it’s too much of a loss for them.

Daffyduck, if doing something outside of the norm is that problematic, the Target folks can always ask that a self-addressed stamped envelope be mailed to the store (the postage can be estimated). A photocopy of the receipt can be enclosed (or faxed) for order verification.

Alternatively, it’s not the worst PR in the world for Target to just throw in the postage. Doing a simple thing to help out a well-meaning customer goes pretty far towards positively promoting the corporate reputation.

Also, getting to a mailbox or the Post Office is not that big of a deal. During a slow period, you can just send a trustworthy employee on company time. Buy that employee lunch later on as a thank-you.

Just saw vetbridge’s post. Hey you guys without postage meters and scales in your business locations, you gotta get with the 21st century! :wink: It’s WAY easier having one in the office. You have to rent a meter but you can buy a scale, with an electronic chip that tells you exactly the cost for any type of package imaginable. Or sign up wtih Check out the USPS site - you can do waybills for Priority Mail and Express Mail electronically and pay with a credit card. If you have a meter and run a strip with the postage, you can drop packages in a box; if you are using stamps, you do have to bring it to the post office. Meters are cheap - you can get the Pitney Bowes Personal Post meter for $19.75 per month. Even if you dont’ want to spring for a meter, get a scale - it will pay for itself very quickly.

We send maybe one package a month. Often it is for a client who just doesn’t wanna bother to get dressed and drive a coupla miles. I have a gram scale that I use to weigh birds/etc but the thing is I do not want to make it easier to mail packages. My concern is that we will mail more stuff if it is easier. Getting someone credit card number, processing it, etc for $8.00 worth of pills plus postage is not gonna generate big profit. :wink:

Why couldn’t someone do this during the course of a regular work day, while on the clock and before punching out? Leave the vet’s office and come back?

It is what sometimes winds up being done, however 15 minute drive to the post office, 10 minutes there, 15 minutes drive back is close to an hour. Most people would object to a surcharge to cover an hours wages for a receptionist. Plus it leaves the office short handed for that time. Plus there are concerns from an insurance point of view if the employee has an auto accident while on the clock. :frowning:

Vetbridge - you can use the meter for letters too. Maybe you don’t have enough to make it worthwhile, or you know for sure they are all $0.37 in weight. As far as charging them, they have to pay for the medication, right? You can just add the cost of the postage on to that bill.

Don’t mail carriers pick up outgoing mail when they drop mail off? I mean, in general; vetbridge’s situation may well be different.

:smack: I forgot to add: I had faxed them a copy of the receipt we got when we dropped the film off. Also, I had the prints sent to the billing address of my credit card
to help alleviate any worry of fraud that Target may have had. Though that issue never came up.

In fact, they sell them, or at least cooking ones that could be used for the same purpose. I’m pretty sure I bought my actual postage scale there (back, three or four postage rates ago).