Major Screw-up or False Advertising? Why Target’s Failure To Fix An Incorrect Computer Ad Should Concern You.

The question inquiring minds want to know is did they know and if so when? If not, then how could they miss it?

I was advising a friend who wanted to purchase a computer. She opted for a netbook due to its size and functionality. Since she wanted one immediately, we needed to determine if we would be able to find one locally or have to order it online. After a quick search, I found Target sells a variety of electronics.

I went over the features with “A” very carefully after we discussed the intended use and her overall needs. As I was comparing models, I noticed how the technology had improved the capabilities of netbooks across the board as well as lowering the overall price even further  compared to 2010. We selected the AOD257-13685.

Target ad —

When I spotted that listing I did a double-take. It touted not only a dual-core processor [which means the user can run numerous programs simultaneously without slowing the computer], but 2 gb of memory for less than $250. Finding a netbook with 2gb memory preloaded out the box at that price point is not likely. Dual-core wasn’t available for machines this small.  It didn’t even appear in a Mac before mid-2006! It was akin to spotting a unicorn.

The pace of technology does lead to improved functionality, while the market commands lower pricing tiers. Consumers want to be assured they are getting the most bang for their bucks these days. As an example, my netbook purchased in 2010 had just been manufactured and came with a $329 price tag. It was a great deal at the time. As the demand and push for such items continue to grow, the prices will continue to decrease.

I recommended the purchase enthusiastically. After checking Target’s site for availability at local stores, we headed out to buy it. Or so we hoped…

After tracking a unit that was in the store’s backroom, we were finally able to get the netbook. There was a little more drama in how we had them search for the stock, but it did at least prove the accuracy of it having been listed as available.

When I looked at the box I noticed the parameters were much different than what Target had advertised. The netbook has only 1gb of memory – not 2! While it was still a good deal, I was concerned Target had prominently featured it with the wrong specs.

Amazon has it listed correctly. Note that it ships from Target!

“A” purchased the netbook, while I continued to do research. How could this mistake happen? Not to mention the fact a review from an irate customer alerted Target of their error on Jun 30th.

Going to the Acer company website, you can clearly see the listed specs for an Acer AOD257-13685. It lists that model as having a single-core processor, but later versions must have been upgraded. The reviews on Amazon would probably reflect the same customer outrage expressed on the Target product page if people weren’t getting what they thought they’d paid for.

In this economy some folks are being very mindful of their purchasing choices. Others may think they’re capitalizing on a great deal. While the $250 price tag is very reasonable, the disappointment in finding such a huge disparity cannot be ignored. It could leave a negative image of the Acer brand as well.

Surely someone at Target could have notified the proper staff of the error so they could make the necessary adjustments. Quickly. When a customer leaves a note on the website on June 30th and I catch the same mistake nine days later to realize nothing had been done, it speaks to incompetence and a lack of internal communications. Doesn’t anyone fact check? Or read their own site?

Companies need in-house marketing and staff solely focused on handling all initiatives internally instead of parsing the work out externally. Someone remotely familiar with the product would have noticed that mistake. No local staff could explain — or correct the discrepancy. That’s up to the head office to fix. Errors of this magnitude are too important to ignore.

6 Replies to “Major Screw-up or False Advertising? Why Target’s Failure To Fix An Incorrect Computer Ad Should Concern You.”

  1. That sucks. I don’t wantto speak on intentions, but as consumers we have to be wary of fine print,and clearly, deals that are just too goodtto be true.

  2. Oy, that stinks!! No they did not get y'all all excited about something when the funds are tight these days. Haha, that gets me upset, and I'm not even the one who purchased it!

    This is why I always buy straight from the manufacturer when I can. Cutting out the middle man can lead to better communication.

  3. That is messed up.And don't even get me started on Acer!I have a flat screen tv from them that I only had a few months that is now sitting on the floor way upstairs not being used.The tv only gets the blue screen.I thought it was something on my end but found out that there is something wrong with the tv in itself.
    I bought it as a sell item and I cannot regret it more.I cost a little over 200$ and I thought I was getting a deal before holiday

    I ALSO have a small Acer portable dvd player and guess what?It wouldn't work straight out the box and apparently there was supposed to be some sort of code on the box that was NOT there so I was not able to get the money back for it.

    You'd think I was purchasing this stuff from some knock off store but NO I got the dvd player from either circuit city or best buy,I think,definitely some electronics store.I got my tv from Meijer.

    1. That's too bad. If you used a credit card you should have buyer's protection from lemons. There's nothing wrong with the item purchased in this instance.

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