Target reveals gift card snafu

NEW YORK — 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.

Holders of Target gift cards can check the balance by following instructions on the back of the card. 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.

Target’s stock price rose 95 cents to $63.42 in afternoon trading Tuesday. It is nearly even with its price before the company disclosed the data breach.

More in Herald Business Journal

Everett engineers learn lessons from Mexico City catastrophe

Structural scientists went to help after the September earthquake there and studied the damage.

DaVita to sell off medical groups including The Everett Clinic

Another round of health care consolidation means The Everett Clinic could soon get new ownership.

Engine trouble hits Air New Zealand’s 787 Dreamliners

A Rolls-Royce engine was shut down and was afterward found to be seriously damaged.

Washington, Amazon sue company over seller training programs

Braintree is accused of using deceptive ads promising information on how to make money on Amazon.

The Marine Corps’ version of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is designed to land vertically like a helicopter. (Lockheed Martin)
F-35 fighter costs, $1 trillion over 60 years, draw scrutiny

Pentagon’s ability to repair F-35 parts at military depots is six years behind schedule.

Incidents of severe disturbances on commercial flights climb

The number of cases in which the cabin crew had to restrain a passenger rose to 169 last year.

Funko mascots Freddy Funko roll past on a conveyor belt in the Pop! Factory of the company’s new flagship store on Aug. 18, 2017. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Funko starts to bounce back after disappointing stock debut

The Everett toys-and-collectibles maker also announced the acquisition of an animation studio.

Now hiring: Younger factory workers, at Boeing and elsewhere

The company and its training partners are fighting perceptions of a dying manufacturing industry.

‘The President Stole Your Land’: Patagonia, REI blast Trump

The outdoor recreation industry is allied with Indian tribes and conservationists.

Most Read