Letter To Target About Incorrect Signage Results In Gift Card

Richard went to Target to purchase Call of Duty 4 and saw an offer for a free $5 gift card with purchase. When he inquired about the offer, the employees at Target said it was expired.

Richard writes:

On 12 November 2007, I purchased the Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare video game at the Target Store located at 3101 Jefferson Davis Highway, Alexandria, VA (Store #1076). The display in the store clearly displayed the price of the game as $59.99 with a free $5 Target Gift Card. I asked the clerk in the electronics department to purchase the game (since they are locked in a glass case).

The clerk retrieved the game from the case, which had the price with the gift card deal clearly displayed underneath the game. After completing the sale, I noticed the clerk had not included the $5 gift card with the game. I asked, “Doesn’t this come with a gift card?” The clerk responded “No.”

Remembering what the sign said, I quickly responded “Yes it does.” The clerk then quickly went back to the glass display and took down the sign. When he returned, he called a manager and said there was a sign up for an expired deal, and she would need to come to electronics. When the manager (Alecia) got there, she politely explained that the deal had expired the day before and there was nothing she could do except offer an apology. She said there were no codes or anything she could enter into the system that would get me the $5 gift card. I responded that the apology was nice, but an apology was not a $5 gift card, and asked if there was anyone else at the store I could talk with. She said there wasn’t, but I could fill out a corporate complaint form. I took the complaint form and left.

I believe this is a deceptive and dishonest sales practices. The sales clerk not mentioning the gift card promotion was expired until AFTER the sale was complete, and then refusing to honor it after being questioned on it is deceptive and unacceptable. I went to the store around 3PM, which is plenty of time to remove promotional signs from the day before. I don’t think it is too much to ask to be treated fairly and honestly when trying to make a purchase at a retail store. It was their mistake. If stores aren’t obligated to honor the prices displayed on the shelves, where does it end? It seems very unfair to the customer for a store to be able to list an item as one price on the shelf and then ring it up for a different, higher price.

I have sent this complaint to Target using their online “Contact Us” form, but have not received a response. Do you or any of your readers have any suggestions on how I could get this issue resolved?

Before we could give him any advice, we receieved the following update:

Dear Consumerist,
Just a follow-up to this situation, I have heard back from Target and they have agreed to send me the $5 gift card that I was denied in the store. I received the following email from them after complaining on their website:

“Dear Richard,

I’m sorry to hear about the disappointing experience you had during your recent visit to the Alexandria Target store.

I understand that there was an expired sign in our Electronics department offering a free $5 Target GiftCard with the purchase of a Call of Duty 4 video game. I assure you that the signage error was not intentional.

I’d be happy to send you a $5 Target GiftCard as an apology and an invitation back to the store for a better experience. I realize this may not completely eliminate your frustration, but I hope it shows our service commitment to you. Your GiftCard should arrive within two weeks.

In addition, I’ll forward your comments to our Store Operations team to ensure our signage accuracy. Thank you for taking the time to share your situation.

We’re always glad to hear from you, so whenever you have any questions or comments, give us a call at (800) 440-0680. You can also check with a Guest Service Team Lead at your store, or visit us on Target.com. Either way, we’re here to help!

Thanks for shopping with us. I hope we’ll see you again soon at Target.


Target Guest Relations
[THREAD ID:1-44R247]”

I am glad to get the $5 from them, but am disappointed it took me having to send a complaint through their website to get it.

Richard probably shouldn’t have had to go through the trouble of writing to Target corporate to get his gift card, but Target’s response was from a real person and Richard is getting his gift card. It goes to show that sometimes a quick, polite email is all it takes.


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