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Target reveals big error on gift card activations

NEW YORK (AP) - Target is getting hit with another lump of coal this holiday season.

The nation's second-largest discount retailer said Tuesday that an unidentified number of gift cards sold over the holidays were not properly activated. The Minneapolis chain says the number of cards affected was less than 0.1 percent of the total sold and that it will honor the affected cards.

Customers can bring faulty cards to any Target service desk or call 800-544-2943 for help.

'We are aware that some Target gift cards were not fully activated and apologize for the inconvenience,' company spokeswoman Molly Snyder said in a statement emailed to The Associated Press.

The problem comes less than two weeks after Target announced it was hit with 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.

'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.'

On Friday, Target backtracked and said that debit-card PINs were among the financial information stolen from millions of customers who shopped at the retailer in late November and early December. However, it said the stolen personal identification numbers, which customers type into keypads to make secure transactions, were encrypted and that this strongly reduces risk to customers.

In addition to the encrypted PINs, customer names, credit and debit card numbers, card expiration dates and the embedded code on the magnetic strip on back of the cards were stolen.

Target has said it is still in the early stages of investigating the breach. It has been working with the Secret Service and the Department of Justice.


Follow Anne D'Innocenzio at http://www.Twitter.com/adinnocenzio

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dmcintyreas400 January 01 2014 at 10:06 AM

Yes, Wal-Mart will let you return anything; however, remember how long you stood in line to pay for that item. 3 cashiers on Saturday afternoon in a Super Store is ridiculous. I've seen Target managers jump on a register the day after Christmas when lines were long. At Wal-Mart, the cashiers have one speed, the "I don't care about you I'm just filling my time what do you want from me?" speed. Target also gives their customers an allowance for price discrepancies. The cashier can take the customer's word and override the price without manager intervention. I've gotten into nasty arguments with Wal-Mart cashiers over $1, and waited while they "check the price". Wal-Mart serves Wal-Mart; Target serves it's customers. End of story.

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DGS January 01 2014 at 10:06 AM

At this rate Target will be biting the dust

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dmcintyreas400 January 01 2014 at 9:59 AM

I too have worked for Target, more than once. No one there is underpaid. I worked during the Christmas season, and was never told I couldn't say "Merry Christmas" to my customers. And I did, often. I loved working there.

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dmcintyreas400 January 01 2014 at 9:56 AM

I hate Wal-Mart! Long live Target!

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Michael January 01 2014 at 9:52 AM

C'mon Target, you're better than this. I still love your stores and will continue to shop there but please remember you're much better than WalMart. Get it together!

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seawitch1313 January 01 2014 at 9:31 AM

So were the gift cards purchased by the same credit/debit cards that were compromised?

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Annette January 01 2014 at 9:16 AM

When I learned their store policies on returns, their frown on Salvation Army in front of their stores for the spirit of Christmas giving, their overall view on Christmas as a "Hoilday" while they cash in threw me to the farside of ever entering their stores again. Liberals like to shop there because they are cheap. The hypocrites criticize Walmart but love their Target bargains at the expense of low paid employees and unregulated manufacturers of Chinese goods. They sold faulty gift cards, jeopardize the security of their customer's credit and their low intelligence shoppers will actually go back for more.

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setec5354 January 01 2014 at 9:01 AM

Class action may bankrupt Target!!!!!!!!!!!

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1 reply to setec5354's comment
mspat1001 January 01 2014 at 9:25 AM

Walmarts dream.

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jpfriggs January 01 2014 at 8:05 AM

Sign of the Times

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womenscountry January 01 2014 at 8:05 AM

Sounds to me like Target may have a nasty competitor.

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