Target, Trust and Thanksgiving

May the Odds be with you on this Holiday! As a consumer, I lost faith in Target. I only go to the Target located in 21 Broad St, Stamford, CT 06901-2309, that too to buy my Starbucks coffee. Don’t get me wrong, like any sensible consumer; I do like a good bargain. But I would avoid buying from Target until the miracle happens – Target taking Assertive actions by instilling proper security measures for its customer data. And I personally don’t think Target is planning on doing it anytime soon. Here is a simple (probably irrelevant) example on why Target is refusing to work on gaining customers trust. Remember: TRUST and CARE goes hand in hand.

On Nov 17th 2014, around 12:55 PM, I was getting my warm cup of Caramel Brule from the Starbucks located inside Target (21 Broad St, Stamford, CT 06901-2309). Whilst I was passing the Parking meter on my way back, I heard the meter gurgling in its electronic voice to a customer, who just inserted her parking ticket,

Your parking fee now is $ 3,883.00, please pay by inserting cash or Credit card” This voice stopped me on my tracks. Then, like any other Good Samaritan, I stopped and took a picture of that unfair parking fee, and then helped the lady to remove her parking ticket from the machine. I see a comical, yet, nervous expression on the customer’s face. I am glad to mention that she successfully pulled her parking ticket back from the cognitively challenged machine without becoming a victim (yet again) by Target!

IMG_2929

Glitch happens, some might say. But for Target, everything should be perfect (almost) considering it (allegedly) “missed” warning signs in Epic Credit Card Data Hack. Target’s responsibility as a corporate citizen is to make its customers feel safe again by being forthcoming about:

  1. What actually went wrong?
  2. What measure are they (management) taking to make sure:
    1. The data is safe
    2. Not to repeat the incident in future
  3. Why it happened?
  4. A small infomercial on how Credit Card Data are being used, and by whom and what purpose?

Cashing in on Customers ignorance will take you only so far. And in the Information age we live in, cashing on customers’ ignorance won’t last long.

Enough about Target, let us talk about the wonderful, merry month we are in and its Specialty: It is November – which means, it is Thanksgiving, followed by DATA GIVING, commonly known as Black Friday. Now, if I am giving you a valuable data about myself, I obviously trust you. I trust that you:

  1. Keep my data SAFE
  2. Use it diligently and with CARE
  3. Use it to understand me MORE, so you can HELP ME better.

Now, even though it is only three points, I know it sounds like a nagging spouse’s task list for most corporations. Well, it shouldn’t be.

Target lost its customers TRUST; but didn’t lose much of its customer base. According to Washington Post, as of February 26th the massive cyber attack has already cost the retailer $17 million. And all Target did immediately was to pacify its customers by offering 10% discount.

Funny, that my data is only worth 10% of whatever your product value is? And where is Target’s crisis management team? Does Target have one?

An article written by Rachel Abrams, Nov 19th, New York Times, states that After several quarters of troubled earnings, Target beat expectations on Wednesday by reporting that its profits had risen in the third quarter, a sign that it is recovering from the fallout of its huge data breach last year.

Seems like Target is back on Track; are its customers? Can customers TRUST Target again? I did not see any information (press release or otherwise) from target stating measures it had put in place to safeguard the customers’ data – and the BLACK FRIDAY is next week!

Your Thoughts?

Do you think Target can survive this Black Friday?

Do you think it is safe for us (customers) to shop in Target again?

Or

Are we playing the Odds?

 

 

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