January 3, 2014

How Target's mess continues to screw consumers

As of yet, I am unaware that my credit card information was anything other than 'compromised' due to Target's breach.  I have not seen any unauthorized charges to my account, and now that they have it locked down like Fort Knox, I can't even use the damn thing effectively. It isn't comforting to know that some 40 million people share my pain.

Now we have the news that thousands of Target gift cards weren't properly activated.  I haven't seen any indication of why this glitch happened, but it sure does make you wonder what the heck is going on in their systems.  First a credit card hack and then gift cards that were paid for, but no money was put on the cards.

If you are/were a Target consumer and aren't pissed off yet, maybe this will help...

This time of year (post holiday) is arguably the high season for returned merchandise.  As if the draconian return rules of each store weren't frustrating enough, think about this; the standard procedure is to give the refund in the same form of payment in which the item was paid for.  When you use a credit or debit card, they credit your account.  Problem is, to process that refund most stores require you to present the same card that you used to purchase the item.  With some 40 million people getting issued new card numbers over the past three weeks, that simply can't be done.

Stores have the ability to credit any card account, they just don't do it as a matter of policy.  Plus, stores don't want to give you cash or credit back, they want to force you to spend that money in their store, so they try to force you to accept store credit.  If you are like me, the holidays involve shopping at stores that I do not frequent, and I do not want or need store credit, I need my money back.

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