Sunday, August 15, 2010

Target Misses the Mark

Before I had my TravelScoot I used to use the store scooters at Walmart and Target. That is, when they were working and available. Walmart is pretty good about keeping their scooters charged and Target is especially horrible at maintaining theirs. I understand they provide them as a courtesy to their customers, but if they're going to give more than just the appearance of providing them, they should actually work. On Friday I was at Target and saw the abandoned (unworking) cart in the picture above. I was at the other Baton Rouge Target today and saw where the only scooter available wasn't working. Alan and I were eating lunch, so I got to watch as a potential customer would sit on the scooter and try to start it up, then end up either abandoning it or going and getting a store employee to assist them. The scooter wasn't even plugged in to recharge the battery, if that's what was wrong. On our way out of the store I saw a woman with a cast and crutches make her way to the scooter only to realize minutes later that it didn't work.

When I complained to Target about this before I got my TravelScoot, this was their response:

The number of carts we have at each store is based on guest demand, and the carts are available on a first-come, first-served basis. I'm sorry that there weren't enough functioning carts available for use during your visit to our Baton Rouge Target store.


  1. Yeah, I've seen this dozens of times! I guess the only way to avoid this scenario is to actually own one and bring it to the store with you. This would avoid the embarrassing situation of running out of juice in the middle of shopping, or finding that there isn't one available to begin with. The TravelScoot is perfect for these kinds of situations.

  2. Once again, I bow to Hardy Huber, because that used to be me trying to use one of those scooters.

  3. Near me there's a Krogers that has about 10 carts. When not in use they're always fully charged. To make matters nicer, the folks who work there are always willing to help me get one [sometimes the ones on the outer edges are charging, so someone has to wriggle in the piles of others to unplug and move one of the inner ones], unload the basket and even offer help putting the bags in my truck.

    Recently I tried a different Krogers. It's the same size as my favorite store. There was one cart in the entry way and it wasn't plugged in, and it was dead. When I went in to complain the manager shrugged and said, "I guess the other one is out." Apparently this huge store only has TWO carts. When I called the Corporate people they were apologetic and said they'd contact the store manager. Somehow I don't think the store manager gives a crap.

  4. I have been to many Targets in many states, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, North Carolina & more. I have never been to a Target that had at least 2 non functioning scooters ! The picture posted is sadly familiar. Once I was the unhappy rider in a scooter that died in the middle of the store.
    Believe me that it was an agonizingly long walk to my car.
    Thank God for our TravelScoots !

  5. This thread just answered a question I had, are scooters or wheelchairs a "courtesy provided or a requirement?
    Yesterday I shopped at a new FRESH MARKET here in Georgia that HAD NO SCOOTERS at all,some areas were so narrow even SCOOT had trouble, and checkout access was very difficult. They did have a wheelchair or two, but think about it: a) if unaccompanied and wheeling oneself...well, I'm sorry, I don't want my hands 1st on wheels on shoe trodden floors and then in produce bins, and b)wheelchairs are not one size fits all.

    So I searched, but all I found were ADA guidelines on store dimensions for aisles, turnaround space, accessible check out lanes and more, for wheelchairs...but no requirement to provide anything. 2010? When I called their main office I was told by legal that the store wasn't designed for a scooter's maneuverability...well scooters need less then ADA specs for wheel chairs.

    Sorry Elizabeth, for this rant...even those of us fortunate to have Scoots would have some trouble at FRESH MARKET in COLUMBUS, GA...but those who haven't a mobility device, or have one that is larger, would be unable to access much of this store. I'm feeling like organizing a Scooter Shop day or two out there when the weather cools off...right about 5:30 PM...dinner rush you know.

  6. B, I don't have any problem with my scoot in the Fresh Market in Baton Rouge, LA. The aisles are plenty wide enough and checkout access is easy. Sounds like it varies from store to store.

    You're right, stores have no obligation to provide scooters. However, if they do provide them I believe they should be charged and working, because it's just cruel to give the illusion of working and available scooters, only to have the scooter constantly undercharged or broken. It is a horrible feeling to be in the middle of a store with a cart full, only to have your battery go dead and you can't make the walk to your car, or you can make it but at a great cost in terms of pain and fatigue.

    Let me know when you organize your Scooter Shop day! I may have to take a road trip. :-)