HAMILTON, OH – In what eyewitnesses have described as a daring display of bravado sprinkled with a dash of arrogance, suburbanite Max Baker informed the staff behind the Guest Services counter of his local Target that as of 5:42 p.m. Thursday afternoon, he would no longer be purchasing goods from any of Target’s over 1,700 locations.
Though official company policy prohibited the workers from releasing details of the encounter, customers were able to fill in the details of the story. Baker, who lives in Hamilton, used his rather loud voice to fill in all those nearby as to what was occurring, whether they really cared to know about it or not.
Piecing together the various reports of the incident, Hilaritan’s Expert Investigation Unit, “Ask Me, Steve!? with Tony Partridge,” believes that the events played out as follows (all times EST):
5:27 p.m.: Baker enters the Target store gets on line to return an item. He is carrying a bag with the return item concealed. Two customers are in front of him at this point.
5:29 p.m.: When the customer in front of Baker is called to the return counter, 89-year-old Estelle Henry realizes that she forgot the item in her car. Before proceeding outside to retrieve the item, Henry engages the cashier in a small dialogue about how being old changes things, and that the cashier should enjoy her youth. Baker rolls his eyes and muttered under his breath, “You have got to be kidding me.”
5:30 p.m.: While Henry is outside, cashier Heather Rodriguez calls Baker up for his return. Three customers are after him on the line at this point. Baker informs Rodriguez that he wishes to return his bread box.
It was purchased back in April for a wedding that he and his wife attended in July; however they misplaced it over the summer and were forced to give another gift. It was only recently discovered and he wants his money back.
File photo of Max Baker.
5:31 p.m.: Rodriguez informs Baker that the return is over the 90 day limit, and that he can only receive a store credit for the lowest price that the item has been over the last 90 days. Baker informs the cashier that since he has the receipt he is not accepting anything less than the $21.29 he paid for it.
5:32 p.m.: Rodriguez scans the item and finds that the lowest price in the last 90 days was in fact $11.99. Baker refuses this and demands to speak to a manager. Rodriguez pages the manager.
5:33 p.m. – 5:36 p.m.: While waiting for the manager, Baker loudly informs customers on line that “This is ridiculous!” and that “Target is ripping me off!”
5:37 p.m.: Manager Billy Nolan enters and receives a recap from Rodriguez on the situation.
5:38 p.m. – 5:40 p.m.: Baker gives Nolan his account of the story, which includes 19 uses of words that violate Hilaritan decency standards.
5:41 p.m.: Nolan nods his head understandingly and sympathizes with Baker, but informs him that they cannot do a full refund because the receipt is no longer in their computer system. Nolan offers to make an exception and refund the $11.99 in cash instead of store credit, but that is all he can offer.
5:42 p.m.: Baker refuses what he sees as Nolan’s attempt to show pity, and informs loudly for all on the return line to hear, that Target will regret this and that somehow he will get his full return, and that he will never shop in another Target again for the rest of his life. Before leaving, he informs all customers and workers alike that Nolan will never accomplish anything in his life and that all the workers are miserable losers who will never amount to anything.
While informing his household through a press release over the dinner table later in the evening, it appears that Baker’s attempts to make this a house-wide policy may be met with some resistance, as Baker’s wife informed him that “we need to replace the throw rug and I’m not driving to Wal-Mart all the way on the other side of town just because of this.”
At press time, the Target Corporation had yet to release any statement about how their business plan may change as a result of losing Baker’s business.
However, as of 12:30 p.m. Friday afternoon, Target’s stock price was trading at 30 cents above Thursday’s closing price, to now be trading at $53.10 a share.