NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — For the second time this month, Target is generating negative publicity.
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.
“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,” a company spokesperson said on Tuesday.
Ismelda Roque told CBS 2’s Tracee Carrasco that she didn’t think twice about the target gift cards that she gave out as Christmas gifts, but now she’s starting to wonder.
“I feel bad,” she said.
Target shoppers in Vauxhall, N.J. didn’t have any issues redeeming their gift cards.
“I did and it worked, both of them worked,” one shopper said.
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 said that they will honor any impacted gift cards and that customers can bring their improperly activated cards to a guest service desk at a local store.
Customers can bring faulty cards to any Target service desk or call 800-544-2943 for help.
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