A US retail store employee who was harassed by a disgruntled customer over the sale of a toothbrush has become a viral sensation, with supporters raising funds to send her on holiday.

Angry Target customer David Leavitt called the police after the store refused to sell him a new US$100 (NZ$150) electric toothbrush for 1 cent after a stuff-up on the pricing sticker.

Leavitt claimed he was entitled to purchase the item for the listed price, despite it clearly stating it was a display price.

Taking to Twitter, Leavitt posted a photo of the product and store manager Tori and complained about the treatment he was receiving.


"This @target manager Tori is not honouring the price of their items per Massachusetts law.

"I just had to call the police because Target refused to sell me the toothbrush," he wrote before explaining he would take Target to court.

Leavitt, who describes himself on Twitter as an "award-winning multimedia journalist" posted images of store manager Tori, who refused to sell him the toothbrush for 1 cent.

But Leavitt's post has since backfired with more than 30,000 people responding to his tweets, most of them criticising him for wasting police time and abusing staff.

You literally wasted the police time with that nonsense?" one person responded.

"You are one pathetic little man. A bully, a liar," another said.

One added: "So you decided to publicly shame a random Target worker because you're mad about a toothbrush."

However, Leavitt tried to defuse the situation, saying "I did not call 911. I called 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 went on to explain he hasn't been able to afford to go to the dentist in more than three years.

But one swift Twitter user exposed him as a liar, pulling up one of Leavitt's tweets from two years ago that proved he was at the dentist.

Following Leavitt's rant, social media users started up a GoFundme page to send #TargetTori on a holiday.

Manager, "#Target Tori# thanked the US public for their support and their generous donations. Photo / GoFundMe

"Send #TargetTori on a Vacation", the page siad, writing that Leavitt "harassed this Target employee over an electric toothbrush, and then blasted her on Twitter to his 215k followers. Let's send her on a vacation."

More than $30,000 has been raised to date.

Tori thanked the public for their kindness and donations but has not yet decided where to go on holiday.