Help! My Target Gift Card Has Gone Missing

For the month of August, consumer advocate Christopher Elliott will occasionally be sharing some of the questions and problems he receives from readers. In this case, Robert is trying without much luck to track down the Target gift card he ordered for his grandson — and finding out that Target isn’t obligated to deliver that card in a timely fashion. Can anyone help him find it?

From Robert:

I have a problem with Target that I’m hoping you can help me with. I have been waiting for an electronic gift card to be sent to my grandson for the last three weeks. I’ve made two phone calls and sent an email to Target, but they will not tell me when the card will arrive. I think there’s a serious problem.

Can you give me a name and phone number of a senior executive in customer service at Target? Or better yet, could you help me get that gift card?

Chris says: You ordered a Target e-GiftCard for your grandson, which is a basic gift card minus the plastic. You can find the terms and conditions of the card on Target’s site, which are pretty interesting, even if you’re just an average customer. Among the zingers: Regardless of the stated cash value of the card, it has a cash value is 1/10 of one cent.

I’d love to see someone try to redeem that!

I mention the terms because nowhere in them does Target guarantee it will send a purchased e-GiftCard to a customer within a set amount of time. It could just pocket your money and send your grandson the certificate when he graduates from high school. Not that it would, but it could.

Calling Target was a good first step, and following up with an e-mail was even better. You need a paper trail because you may have to prove that you’ve done your best to fix a problem later on. The correspondence will prove it. Only Target records your phone calls — for “quality assurance” purposes, I’m sure.

Target’s advertising promises its e-GiftCard’s are a “faster” way of purchasing store credit, but not for you or your grandson. It’s unclear what caused the delay. It might have been a glitch in Target’s system or it’s possible that you gave the company an incorrect email address. Target wouldn’t say.

If e-mails sent through the Target website aren’t doing the trick, you might want to appeal this to an executive. I’d send a quick email to Kathryn Tesija, Target’s executive vice president of merchandising. I’m sure she’d be more than happy to help you. Her e-mail address is

In the end, Elliott was able to contact Target on Robert’s behalf and get the company to issue a new gift card six hours later.

Christopher Elliott answers every week on his consumer advocacy blog. Email him with your questions at or like his Facebook page or follow him on Twitter.