Target manager gets over $30K in donations after being slammed on social media

"Trying to ruin a hardworking citizen's life like this is very wrong."

A Target employee in Swansea who faced criticism from a customer on Friday was met with an outburst of support from social media, and over $30,000 in a vacation fund

David Leavitt — described in his Twitter biography as an award-winning journalist with bylines for multiple media outlets — approached the Swansea Target store manager, Tori Perotti, and tried purchasing an Oral B Pro 5000 electric toothbrush that was marked on sale for $0.01, but was actually on sale for $89.99.  

Perrotti refused to sell the toothbrush to Leavitt for a cent, and he turned to Twitter, explaining the situation to his 210,100 followers.

“This @target manager Tori is not honoring the price of their items per massachusetts law,” he wrote. “I just had to call the police because @target Refused to sell me the toothbrush.” 

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Leavitt said he did not call 911, but instead dialed “the business number for the police and told them it was not an emergency and they could take their time and explained the situation.” 

He tweeted an update once the police got back to him, saying “The police verified @target displayed the price of toothbrush for $0.01 The store manager Tori refused to sell me the toothbrush for displayed price. The police said I need to sue them and that they are making me a verified report take to court.” 

Later, he added that the police officer told him they would testify that they saw the price, too.  

After the incident went viral, Leavitt said he hasn’t been able to afford a trip to the dentist in three years.

“I have not been able to afford to go to a dentist in over three years,” he said. “So yes I wanted a good toothbrush and was thrilled to see such an amazing prize on an @OralB but @target refused to honor it and now I have to take them to court.”

As the conversation continued unfurling over Twitter, the tables turned and people began slamming Leavitt instead of Perrotti.

One person said Leavitt had publicly shamed Perrotti by posting her photo on Twitter with his complaints.

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“This lady was bullied by a verified journalist on Twitter for not selling him a toothbrush that had a wrong price tag (a mistake by floor workers),” they wrote. “Trying to ruin a hardworking citizen’s life like this is very wrong. She doesn’t own Target.”

Another person even started a GoFundMe, hoping to raise enough money for her to take a vacation. 

“I have started a GoFundMe to send Tori on a vacation” he wrote. “Anyone that has to deal with this twerp definitely deserves it. I’ll start with a $50 donation.” 

As donations poured in, many left comments wishing Perrotti well in her travels and detailing their support for service workers. 

“I donated to this campaign as show of support to all the retail, customer service, service industry and other employees who go to work each day trying to do do their best and put [up] with customers who tried to lie and manipulate situations and then try [to] guilt them, bully or shame them with social media and negative reviews,” one person wrote. “I’m also glad to see Target stand behind their employee against a bully customer.”

The page had racked up more than $31,000 by Tuesday morning, far exceeding its original $5,000 goal.

Perrotti told NBC Boston that the support through social media meant a lot to her.

“It’s overwhelming,” she said. “But in a good way.”

Perrotti plans to donate some of the money to charities supporting retail workers, the station reported, and hopes to use the rest on a vacation someplace warm.

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