Posted by Chuck on December 3, 2017
Gift Cards

Published on December 3rd, 2017 | by Chuck

79

[Repost from last year as a warning] Target Draining Some e-Gift Cards Purchased/Rolled During Recent 10% Promo

So this is next-level stuff.

Many, many Slickdeals members (start on page 61) are now noticing that their Target gift cards purchased during the recent 10%-off promo are showing a $0 balance.

My understanding is that this issue is only affecting those who did as follows:

1) Bought a Target e-gift online utilizing the recent promo, AND

2) Paid with an existing Target gift card (to accomplish this, they had to apparently add a filler item, else the system wouldn’t accept the order)

Update: One person had their in-store card drained too. Eventually, it seems people were able to get refunded by emailed repeatedly or filing BBB complaints.

The craziest part about the whole thing is that Target is NOT refunding the original gift card which was used as payment. To give them the benefit of the doubt, let’s assume Target will eventually get around to refunding the original payment method, but the reps are claiming they won’t be refunding. Utterly ridiculous. Let’s hope they cave and refund under pressure.

If you have an e-gift card with a balance, people are suggesting going into a Target store to wash the e-gift cards since the problem isn’t affecting physically purchased cards. Maybe throw in a couple physical items if you’re worried about the cashier getting nervous.

Are your cards drained?

Hat tip to reader CC



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The Value Traveler
The Value Traveler

Which is why I purchased a physical card.

Matt
Matt

If they don’t refund that’s theft. They will refund, albeit it may take some time.

William Charles

Don’t see how they can not refund.

P
P

Is target able to put back money into a gift card? When I return an item they always just issue another gift card. So they would need to issue a gift card if the same value as the one that was drained. Confusing

Rene
Rene

Of course they can put the money back (as they do with any cancelled order), but I guess for simplicity they’ll just send out new e-gift cards for the refunded value.

And, No, they wouldn’t have to issue a new gift card of the same value as the drained cards. They’d ‘cancel’ the order and refunding 90% of the value of the drained gift card. Target disallowed for quite some while to buy target gift cards with other target gift cards, so it seems no surprise that they reverse any gift card purchases made using the ‘add a item’ bug.

I don’t think they won’t refund. I wouldn’t be surprised if they take some time to do so, just to get maximal coverage and the word around that target is actually monitoring and acting on those issues.

Mark O
Mark O

I did it onto a physical card but have not gotten mine yet…should be here early next week. Will have to see if it has a balance.

Mark O
Mark O

Why would they even try to not refund it – fix the IT instead of blaming your customers!!

Ferris
Ferris

I ordered a real gift card and my balance was still showing, but I only used around $100 of Target GCs to buy the $300. I think for safe keeping, I will immediately buy another Target GC with this one or a VISA or something like that.

Dan
Dan

Unbelievable. I ordered a physical gift card and a small item. Paid for part of the order with my previous Target gift card and part of the order with my credit card. The small item arrived very quickly, no sign of the gift card.

Mark O
Mark O

Yeah still waiting on mine – although it says it already shipped

Dan
Dan

Edit: Checked my mail and my card was there waiting for me. It has the full balance still on it. Should I go to Target to drain it into a financial gift card before Target drains it? Or maybe I’m safe because I paid for part of the order with a credit card…..? Hmm

Mark O
Mark O

I would go with drain it to be safe but that is me.

Dan
Dan

I went to Target and left a few cents on the card (to be able to check if Target drains it). Once we know the outcome of this situation, I’ll return the merchandise. I’m sure as hell not losing my money.

jf
jf

Weren’t the rules that you could not use existing gift cards???? Now if it stated you could use a gift card then I would understand.

Dan
Dan

I somewhat understand zeroing out the new gift cards in trying to fix their mistake… it’s shady but I kind of get it…. but not refunding the original gift cards is just flat out WRONG.

Mark O
Mark O

I don’t think people care about not getting the 10% if busted but they shouldn’t lose their original gift card bought.

Why not just make the new ones $270 instead of wiping out the whole $300 – seems way easier. Target is just trying to get over on people now.

C
C

This happened to me earlier this year when I purchased some Target e-giftcards with my Citi Thankyou points (that I earned via the Citigold checking bonus / not transferrable like points earned via credit cards). I had actually purchased 4 of the $100 cards and used 2 of them myself; the other 2 were drained a few weeks after I got the cards. I had the cards loaded to my online account so I could see how/where they were used. One was used in a single transaction in the San Diego area, and the other was used somewhere in Pennsylvania, about a day apart I believe. (I live in the midwest, thousands of miles away from either store).

I called Target and the rep said there was nothing they could do about it; no refunds could be given for gift cards (fraudulently used or otherwise). I filed a complaint with the CFPB and was basically told they weren’t going to bat for me, so I let it go (what else could I really do at that point?) —
“Thank you for contacting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. We reviewed your complaint and couldn’t send it to the company for a response. This could be because the company is not yet registered to respond to complaints or because we do not currently handle complaints related to this matter.”

I believe Target’s e-giftcards are not secure because I received them in an email in the form of long URLs, where you could click the links and they would open with all of the details necessary to redeem (gift card # and access #). They are facilitated through Cashstar.

I ordered Target gift cards when they had their 10% off deal last week, but I ordered them in physical form because I suspected their electronic cards are unsecure. Looks like my hunch was right.

Dan
Dan

There’s been at least one report of a physical card getting drained, too.

C
C

Not saying there isn’t an issue with physical gift cards, but I should add one other thing that makes me think my issue was related specifically to the e-giftcards I received from Cashstar. I had also loaded a couple other (physical) gift cards to my Target online account that I’d received as gifts, and those cards were not drained (they had a total balance of $100-200 I believe, I forget exactly how much). A day or two after I noticed my balances were drained on the 2 e-giftcards (but not the physical ones), I brought the physical cards into a Target store near me and had the customer service desk issue me a new physical card for their balance, it was no problem at all. I wasn’t taking any chances because I wasn’t sure if it was my online account that was hacked, or just the details of my e-giftcards, but this at least suggests it was the latter (because otherwise my other cards would’ve been drained too). However the details of my cards were stolen, it only impacted my e-giftcards that I received via email/Cashstar, and not my physical gift cards.

Amy
Amy

My e-gift card was drained after I used it online and the system automatically saved it to my online account: Target had the same 10% discount gift card deal in December 2015, and I bought 300 e-gift card, the balance stayed till Feb till I used it online and the system saved it. Within a week, it was drained to 0 balance. Luckily, one of the high level customer service person I talked with refund the 200+ balance to me. The other two I spoke with insisted that my email account was hacked and refused resolving the issue.

The problem might not have anything to do with the format of the gift card. I will never use Target gift card (physical or e-card) online.

CJ
CJ

you need to talk to citi and tell them the situation… but seeing as you waited so long i am not sure citi will look at it now.

Why in the heck do people buy hundreds of dollars in gift cards and then not use them for weeks? It makes no sense to me… I mean why give a fkin shtty company like target your money to do whatever they want with while you hold onto the gift card? They toss that money into high yield checking accounts or use it as their own.

I would really like to give target a swift kick in the butt, they need someone to come down on them hard and teach them some manners. But best I can do is not shop there, which I don’t.

Mike
Mike

All of the money on my cards was still there. But I was so bothered by the reports I went on an “unexpected” shopping spree in case they do further purging. Did not attempt to buy gift cards – didn’t want to draw attention and figured Guest Services already had a corporate memo about the issue. News like this travels fast.

andres17
andres17

Class action anyone? This doesn’t affect me, as I didn’t buy any GC with the 10% promo. I was planning to buy 1 year worth of Cricket reloads when the next 10% promo came. This puts that plan into pause.

Even though I don’t plan on buying those reloads with Target GCs, the safety of the balance on my reloads looks fragile. And Target customer care seems to be lacking in making customers whole. So I’ll probably just avoid buying any GCs from Target.

Andrew
Andrew

If they even DARE try this with me I will sue in small claims court. They can fly down to South Florida to defend.

Jim Reeves
Jim Reeves

Sorry to hear about this – but a company’s IT is its backbone today. Strongly recommend staying away from entities like Target that have snafu’d big time – though the deals are good. Again – sorry to hear about another snafu at Target – sincerely wish y’all the best!

ChrisH
ChrisH

They have no choice but to refund or else they’re looking at being sued for outright theft. This is actually the first time I’ve skipped the 10% off promo. Kind of glad I did.

Jon
Jon

That is, if someone sues them, and is willing to certify a class.

Small claims court filing fee is generally $20. You can’t recover costs so you only get your $270 back, now you lost $50. And this only helps yourself.

Class action requires federal court jurisdiction. Filing fee is $400. As a named plaintiff you’ll get a little money back, and 1/3 of the $$$ goes to the lawyers, so the rest of the opt-in class gets about $180 of the $270 they put in. It’s hard to get punitive damages in this type of consumer actions.

Not to mention litigation takes anywhere from 6 months (small claims) to 5-6 years (federal court), also appeals.

MJG
MJG

The point of small claims in cases with corporate giants like this is that it won’t take 6 months, it will take a few weeks tops. And that you can file for whatever amount you think you deserve or can get away with. Because the point is that it isn’t worth it for Target to send a lawyer to your local court to say either “we aren’t at fault” or “take off the extra part for damaged or whatever because it’s not legal to get those”. In practice a lawyer from Target is going to call you and ask where to send your check, and you make sure they include your filling costs too. Then you get your check and sign the form cancelling your legal claim. At the end of the day this is basically the only way to get to talk to someone who actually has the authority to do something about your problem in many cases. I have pulled the trigger on small claims in two different states against Comcast and a shady now bankrupt health insurance company. Whenever you are having problems with customer service and you are dealing with a significant loss of money, I really can”t recommend small claims enough.

Dylan
Dylan

If target did this to me IMO my aim to make money from this would be thrown out the window. I would just sue them based on moral principles for them to pay me out and to hell with the small-claims court fees.

Lee
Lee

My $300 egift card has been drained and when I called and talk to supervisor she’s saying they won’t refund and there won’t be any further action on this.Don’t know what to do?

Dan
Dan

All you can do at the moment is hang tight and wait to see how this unfolds.

Jon
Jon

Who exactly is getting pressure to Target to do anything about this? The only exposure of this I see is on DoC and slickdeals. Not exactly mainstream media stuff.

MJG
MJG

Small claims court. It’s easy to get at least your $300 back plus filing costs. They will never send in the lawyers to defend on a $300 claim. They will just cut you a check.

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