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Why did Target keep an unhappy customer on hold for six hours?

People shop at a Target store during Black Friday sales in the Brooklyn borough of New York in this file photo taken November 29, 2013. The hackers who attacked Target Corp and compromised up to 40 million credit cards and debit cards also managed to steal encrypted personal identification numbers (PINs), according to a senior payments executive familiar with the situation. REUTERS/Eric Thayer/Files (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS CRIME LAW)


Be honest: Aren't you glad the festive season is finally over?

But no matter how wretched your holidays may have been, be grateful you didn't have to spend six hours on hold with a retail store's customer service department.

As documented on, an Arizona woman spent six hours – that's one-quarter of a day – on hold with Target customer service while trying to track down the location of her boyfriend's Christmas present.

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According to the report, Katie Johnson purchased an iPod Nano from the Target website in early December and was promised a prompt delivery date. Johnson believed the Apple product would arrive just in time to put it under the Christmas tree.

Except the iPod never showed up. After querying the delivery service UPS, Johnson discovered that the gift had actually been sent to her address, but was taken from her doorstep by an unknown third party.

UPS also told Johnson that the responsibility of replacing the gift was with Target, who were supposed to file an insurance claim and replace the stolen item. Pretty straightforward, right?

Not even close.

Johnson phoned Target to apprise them of the situation. Since she was calling a few days before Christmas and not long after the recent credit-card hacking scandal, she was prepared to spend a long time on the phone.

As she told local TV station KTVK-TV, Johnson spent just under six hours on hold with Target and kept the proof by taking a screenshot of her cell phone.

Johnson also said she has repeatedly attempted to contact the company through tweets, e-mails and phone calls, but so far has only received an automated email response, which begins with, "I'm sorry to hear you can't find your shipment…"

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The net result: Johnson's boyfriend never received his Christmas present and Target appears to have lost a loyal customer.

"It disappoints me because Target is one of my favourite stores and it makes me not want to shop there now because of this situation," Johnson told KTVK.

Target says they are working directly with Johnson to resolve the situation.

But Johnson, bless her heart, recently attempted one last-ditch attempt to lay claim to the purchase she already paid for by going to her local Target store in person.

"I even went into a Target store…They gave me the same number I was on hold with forever and I was, like, not doing that again."

Live and learn.

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