Is this THAT uncommon?

And as far as it being a problem to charge the customer for the postage, way back when I ran a camera store (1980s, yo), we had a series of misc SKUs available to us for non standard things. So, yeah, imho a manager could work around that problem too. Easily.

Bizaar bunch of buggers there.

I’ll move it to MPSIMS.

Hope you get your pics.

samclem GQ moderator

Well, where in California are they? Surely one of us is close enough to it to run and get your pictures and send them to you. If you were in Yosemite, you might be close to me; drop me an email.

When I worked in a mail room, there was a delivery in the morning, a delivery and pickup at around 1PM, and a pickup at around 5PM. We’re talking about a department store here so it’s possible they just get the 1PM delivery and pickup.

TimeWinder: they might sell the scales but the meters cannot be sold, per USPS regulations. They can only be leased and remain the property of the Postal Service.

I can see how thats a problem for you. I work in a small business (2 staff! It’s a actually a ‘little and wee’ business), and we do post-outs for all sorts of things all the time. It’s a second-hand bookstore, and we sell a lot of stock over the net We’re helped however by the fact that Australia Post has a website where you can calculate the postage pretty near exactly, provided you have a simple set of scales. We use this in-store so that all we have to go out for is actually sending the item off.

(This can be fun as well as handy - I now know, for instance, how much it would cost me to send certain small children of my acquaintance to certain less-than-comfortably-habitable areas of the globe. And to send my cat to Omsk.)

Do you know if your service has such a feature? That may save some time for you.

However, as regards the OP, many moons ago, when I worked part time in a department store here, I was in our photo-lab a fair while and I must have done this 69 jillion times*. Sorta. It was at least once a month someone had left town without collecting their film - we sent it to them no hassles. Inside Australia we threw in the postage, but had to charge for anyone overseas.

We also had several elderly customers who left their credit details on file with us, posted their film in, we developed it, sent it back and all was well.

So yeah, your experience baffles me - :confused:

Any sign of your pics yet?

*Caution: some estimates may be exaggerations.

Um, why? Why and to whom would a Target send “dozens and dozens” of letters weekly?

My retail store – not Target, but grocery – uses the USPS for basically 2 things:

[ol][li]Notification letters to checkwriters on returned checks.[/li][li]Gift cards and letters mailed out in response to customer complaints / compliments.[/ol][/li]In the case of the first, they are sent certified for $4.42, for which we have all the supplies and stamps in-store; for the second, we buy a book of stamps out of our inventory for postage use. I cannot remember the last time that we sent out one of the second. We send approximately 20 bad check letters / week, but in the past month, nothing else has been mailed out.

Everything that’s bound for another store or for any corporate division gets put on one of our (daily) trucks bound for the local distribution center, where it is routed to either its destination store or office. We basically run a private postal service piggy-backed on our distribution network, so we wouldn’t pay the USPS to do it for us. I would assume Target operates similarly.
Ahem. Speaking to the OP, I can’t imagine any sort of difficulty in processing this. We do photo processing, and on the very rare occasion that this happens, we bill the customer’s CC for the processing and eat the cost of the shipping and packing and paying an associate to run to the post office and mailing it. Certainly none of this sputtering surprise.
Also, vetbridge, couldn’t someone just do it on the way home and then call the office and get punched out then? That’s how we have to do it sometimes, for instance when taking returned checks to the state attorney’s office for prosecution. There’s got to be some way to manually enter a time into your payroll system.

I blame it on the fact that Targets in California are hellish compared to the rest of the world. There was one in the mall where I used to work in New Hampshire. I really liked it. I’d go there and buy food sometimes on my break. I bought my graduation dress there. I really liked it. I’ve been to several in the few weeks since I moved out here, to pick up various odds and ends. They’ve had nothing I wanted and everything was over priced.

Both stores that I’ve worked at would have tried to help you. And I’m sure they have a postage system to send stuff out, as they sell books and magazines, which have to be mailed back to the publisher if unsold.

So could the Target store in the OP do this with pkbites’s pictures? Route it through the local distribution center and somehow get it to a Target near his home where he could then pick it up?
Seems like it would take a while (a week or more?), but it would eliminate the need for all the confusion over trips to the post office and reimbursement for postage costs.

You want a story about problems getting a film developed? You want a story about the wierdly unhelpful ways of some department stores? Ha! With all due peace and respect to pkbites, you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet…

Check It Out

In somewhat related news…my sister was in town and took some film to Walgreens. They have overnight developing on sale, so we made that choice. Normally, the Walgreens I usually go to will do it sometime in the evening or early morning, officially they aren’t ready until 2:00. Sometimes, if they aren’t busy with 1 hour, they will do it right then, tell you to come back in half an hour and still only charge you for the overnite development. So, thinking that the pictures are probably ready, and since we were in the area, my sister and I go to get the film at 12something. The photo guy can’t find the pictures, looks around and finds them in the back and proceeds to call a manager. They have a discussion, pointing to the picture label, and then to us, and there is alot of nodding and head shaking. I am thinking that my sister maybe took some inappropriate pictures and the police are on their way (not really, but the discussion looked that serious). Finally, the manager says, just give 'em to 'em. The photo clerk looks mad and confused. The manager explains to us that the photos weren’t supposed to be picked up until 2 and it was only 12something.

Huh? the pictures were ready, we were there, they weren’t busy. I told them that we could leave and come back if it was really that big of a deal…

yeaaah, customer service.

Don’t see why not. On occasion, we get misrouted items from banks or other items to the wrong store, and we send them back via interstore mail. I see no reason why we couldn’t do the same with pictures and such.

Also, in reference to gfloyd’s post regarding the return of unsold books and magazines – I believe that our local Targets use the same vendor we do for printed matter. We have a third-party distributor come in and stock our books and magazines and handle all returns and such, similar to Coke, Pepsi, some breads, and chips. IIRC Target does too, so they don’t ship back the books at store-level. Even if they don’t use a vendor to do it, I find it unlikely that they would handle the shipping back to the manufacturers at store level. I don’t know of any retail chains that do that; rather, they send it all back to the corporate distribution center, which can get much better shipping rates on sending palletized products back all at once, instead of as individual shipments in envelopes and boxes from thousands of locations nationwide.

The LEAST they could have done was to offer to send it priority mail. Then they wouldn’t have to weigh it, whatever fits in the envelope ships for $4 and the customer gets it within 2 to 3 days. Put the $4 on the customer’s charge, and be done with it.

We had a similar experiance at Suncoast once years ago. My husband wanted a certain movie, but they were out of it, so he special-ordered it. They called to tell us it was in a few days later. We went to the mall that night to pick it up, but the cabinet where special orders were kept was locked and the other assistant manager had gone home with the key, so they couldn’t get it out for us. They were very apologetic about it. My husband wandered back to the comedy section, found four copies of the same movie he had ordered and came back up to the register with one and asked, “Why can’t I just take this one?”
“Oh, no, you can’t take one of those. You have to take the one in the cabinet that we checked in for you.”
My husband just looked at the guy for a moment, then said, “Fine. Cancel my special order. I’ll buy this one.” And that’s what we did. Ten minutes of paperwork later, we had our movie. :smack:

Lesson: If it makes too much sense, don’t try it.

xbuckeye, could it be that the clerk simply didn’t know if the order was complete or not? It’s possible that the person in charge of the order went on break, left it on a counter somewhere, and didn’t leave a note about what progress had been made- figureing she’d be back well before two. This would explain the clerk not finding it, puzzling over the label and consulting a manager.

BiblioCat, at the video place I worked, special order was handled entirely seperately, using a different inventory system. If anything was a little bit different (like the edition, format, etc.) then a simple switch-out would be impossible (the store copy would look like it was stolen and the special order would not ring up). Since they couldn’t open the cabinet to make sure, and the inventory systems may list the same movie in different ways, they couldn’t switch. They probably didn’t immediately cancel the order since the paperwork is lengthy and ten angry waiting-in-line customers is a bigger risk than one angry having-to-come-back one.

Finally, pkbites, this is likely a problem with shopping at a place that pays their workers minimum wage. It’s not so much that they are incompetent, as that the turnover is too high and the job too bad for the managment to trust the employees not to rob them blindly. Franchises like this have strict rules, and often only the top-level store managers (who may run several stores and only show up a few hours a week) have any discretion at all. I’ve worked places where it was impossible to open up my drawer if I forgot to give someone the right change. Making discretionary credit card charges would be impossible.

I received the pictures today! In good condition. Some terrific shots of my wife & I at the Hollywood sign, Golden Gate Bridge, touring vineyards, etc…

But it took almost a month to get them!