LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — Target shoppers are being hit with another blow to their consumer confidence, after the retailer acknowledged Tuesday that thousands of gift cards sold over the holidays were not activated properly.
The retailer says the number of gift cards scanned incorrectly by cashiers is less than 0.1 percent of the total sold, but according to other reports, up to 40,000 gift cards could be affected.
Company spokeswoman Molly Snyder issued the following statement Tuesday in response to the snafu.
“We are aware that some Target gift cards were not fully activated and apologize for the inconvenience.
“The numbers that have been reported in the media are much higher than what we experienced as the actual number of cards impacted was less than 0.1% of the total sold during the holiday period. Target will honor the impacted cards. If a guest discovers that their gift card has not been activated, they can bring it to the guest service desk at their local Target store or call 1-800-544-2943 for assistance.”
The gift card flap comes just weeks after the retailer – the nation’s second largest – announced a massive data security breach that affected about 40 million debit and credit card holders who shopped at its stores between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15.
The stolen information included encrypted debit-card PINs, customer names, credit and debit card numbers, card expiration dates and the embedded code on the magnetic strip on the back of the cards.
“It’s another black eye that makes you question the internal operating procedures of Target,” said Brian Sozzi, CEO and chief equities strategist at Belus Capital Advisors. “Target needs to be doing everything perfectly. It can’t afford to lose any more confidence among its guests.”
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