Have a problem with a gift card? Write your local newspaper or TV station consumer advoacate.

I’ve seen so many examples of this working I’m shocked they don’t teach it in school.  Big companies rarely ever want the kind of negative publicity they get when a disgruntled customer contacts the media.

Dear Fixer: I bought a $60 gift card at a Target store in San Diego for a friend who let me stay with them while I was out there.

When my friend went to use the card three days later, there was no balance on it. I called Target’s corporate number and they gave me transaction numbers showing the card was used.

I called the store and explained what happened, and they said they would look into it. The store manager called me back and said someone used a picture of the gift card on his cellphone when he made the fraudulent purchase. The person cashing him out manually entered the gift-card number from the image on the guy’s cellphone, which they’re never supposed to do.

The manager clearly admitted it was fraud! But the store said corporate was the only one that could help me out.

The people at the store have been really great through this. However, I still am left with a gift card with no money on it. I kept trying to call corporate to explain the store admitted the purchase was rung up in a way not according to Target’s policy.

Why am I told there is nothing they can do? With all this evidence, it should be a no-brainer. You guys are my last hope!

Joe Rolla, Tinley Park


Dear Joe: Plenty of shoppers use coupons on their phones and lots of consumers redeem gift cards online, but having a cashier type in a gift-card number from an image on a phone seems out of the ordinary.

We’re guessing the thief took gift cards, scratched off redemption codes, photographed them and placed them back in the display, but that’s just a theory.

Weirder still was Target’s initial reaction when Team Fixer brought this to their attention. First, spokeswoman Meghan Mike said the company is “committed to protecting guests against fraudulent purchases” but suggested that you contact the San Diego Police for help. Later, they apparently had a change of heart and decided to correct this. Target has notified you that they’ll give you a replacement gift card.


2 responses to “Have a problem with a gift card? Write your local newspaper or TV station consumer advoacate.”

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  1. Amber Menefee says:

    I received some home repair items as a gift from a friend and I didn’t need them so I went to lowes to exchange it for the stuff I needed at lowes instead of exchanging the items they put it on a gift card . So when I went to the check out line to buy something that I needed the gift card I just received from costumer service wouldnt work and the manager of the store pretty much accused me of stealing the stuff off the shelf and returning it so they put a lock on my store credit card. I don’t steal and I told them to go review the cameras and if I stole anything to call the police but he wouldn’t do anything to help me

  2. Advocate says:

    Testing again