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Is Target's In-Store Discount Enough of an Apology for the Credit Card Hack?

The retailer will offer 10% off this weekend, its best storewide sale ever.
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Target made waves earlier this week when it announced that as many as 40 million credit and debit card numbers had been compromised via in-store purchases made between November 27 and December 15. While the store is taking more serious measures to remedy the situation, CEO Gregg Steinhafel announced in a video message that on December 21 and December 22, in-store shoppers would receive 10% off all purchases, as an apology for the ordeal.

According to the DealNews archives, this discount is in fact the best percent-off in-store discount we've seen from Target, since it applies to everything from a pack of gum to a big-screen TV. For some people, this might rank as only a second-best though, since the retailer also gave customers 20% off a future purchase when they spent $75 or more on Black Friday. Either way, it's extremely rare for Target to offer such a promo.

That said, not everyone thinks this 10% off discount is up to snuff. While there were plenty of retweets and "woots!" accompanying the news on Twitter, there was also skepticism in equal measure.

According to the retailer, the size of the discount has significance because it's what Target "team members" (aka, employees) receive. "We want to extend that team member discount to all of the guests that come and shop with us this weekend as a small way to just say thank you for being a great guest at Target," said Steinhafel. Meanwhile, there are reports that the financial information that was stolen is now "flooding the black market" with cards going for $20 to $100 each.

Readers, what do you think of the olive branch that Target has extended? Do you think it's enough? And even if you don't, will you shop anyway?


Features Director

Lindsay Sakraida is the DealNews Features Director. She specializes in writing about shopping trends and lifestyle subjects. She's also obsessed with music, movies, and tennis. Follow her on Twitter at @LinSakraida.
Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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22 comments
brendan.sullivan.9275
10 percent discount was appropriate since it was a crime against Target and target customers. I think people are losing site of that Target is also a victim of skillful hackers and this could have been any other giant retailer that was targeted.
mattb47
I shopped at a couple of Targets in San Jose on Saturday the 21st. One was kind of busy, but not as busy as it should have been for the Saturday before Christmas. The other was less busy than a typical Saturday any other time of the year. Both, a year ago, or even a few weeks ago, would have been bustling with customers.

Obviously, 10% wasn't enough. Customers aren't happy and are avoiding Target. Target is going to take a financial beating.

So don't worry folks, Target is probably going to have a horrible December sales season (and probably well on into next year). They've been punished where it hurts.

And let's hope other large retailers have paid attention as well.
donahuememp
I will never buy anything from Target no matter what the discount.
tahu300
@donnie219 "Could this just as easily been any other retailer? Yes." That's exactly what I was thinking! It was just a matter of time before millions of people had their credit card data stolen. Cyber criminals will always find a way. Also, Target is offering credit monitoring for one year. I don't think the 10% off is enough. I know they wouldn't offer more but I think it's a cheap marketing ploy to try to appease consumers. Also as others have mentioned, it's not like many people experienced actual fraud, and if they did, how many do you think were held financially liable? Probably none.
donnie219
Target doesn't use shopper's cards, so they have no easy way to know who shopped during that timeframe, and who didn't, in order to give them a large discount. Giving 10% off to *all* shoppers is probably the best balance. This stacks on top of other sales, too. If someone wants to hack a server (for any retailer), they likely can find a way in. This kind of attack would require a lot of planning and precision. Should they re-evaluate their security measures? Yes. Could this just as easily been any other retailer? Yes.
irrationalJ
I placed orders at end of Nov, start of Dec with both Kohl's & Starbucks. For whatever reason it took 3 weeks or so for the order to be filled & delivered. Both orders used "free shipping".
I received an apology email with a discount coupon from both companies. Starbucks gave me 20% off my next order. Kohls a flat $25 off any purchase through the end of December.
Is the 10% off anything costing Target a lot? No doubt.
What's my reaction? meh. I've (obviously) seen better.
davessworks
Well of course it isn't enough but it's a start. Naturally I would expect Target to accept full responsibility for all damages. The nature of this breach is particularly egregious and could have easily been avoided. It won't be until a corporation like Target is held accountable in full that we will see the necessary changes put in place to fix the problem.
josef1221
The ignorance of some of these people is amazing. If you have ever purchased anything with a credit card, in store or online, you are already compromised. Your identity is already at risk for theft if you've ever filled out any forms or purchased anything online. If you are super paranoid and too lazy to check your bank and credit accounts regularly, then stop using credit/debit & pay with cash. Cybercrime is just like any other crime, you have to take precautions to protect yourself, companies and law enforcement can only do so much for you. I already monitor my financial accounts regularly, so I will take the 10% off most of my Target purchases the weekend before Christmas over stupid credit monitoring any day.
jokono
A 10% discount will not suffice. I want:

1. A full explanation as to why credit card data from in-store transactions (including the 3-digit CCV number) were stored. This is unnecessary and ought to be unlawful. Additionally, these data were stored in an online-accessible database -- not simply at the store level. For what purpose?!

2. Federal prosecution and/or fines against Target for doing this.

3. Assurances that this data will not be stored again.

I am not "blowing this out of proportion" as some other commenters here seem to think. No merchant should be storing this data. At a minimum, this should result in a lawsuit brought by the credit card companies themselves against Target. This practice should not continue.
Geekteach
Target's 10% discount offer is a joke. A ten percent discount doesn't even begin to compensate customers for the grief Target's negligence has wrought. Their offer only helps Target's bottom line. It's not enough to compensate potential victims.
Greg the Gruesome
@everyone who mentioned credit monitoring

Note that the Star Tribune's tweet mentions monitoring.

@spikedlorelei

Debit cards don't have the same legally mandated protections that credit cards do. And when Chase and American Express noticed possibly fraudulent use of my credit card and I confirmed it was fraudulent, they sent me a replacement card via first class mail, not something faster.

@everybody

Read http://krebsonsecurity.com/ long enough and you'll facepalm at some of the vulnerabilities that people who should have known better allowed to remain unpatched.
el_eff
Technically it is false to say all purchases because there is the usual list of a laughable exclusions to include all gift cards, entertainment cards, airtime cards, prepaid cards, iTunes cards, Apple, Bose, all video games, Playstation 4 consoles, Xbox One consoles, Target Mobile(SM), prescriptions, optical, clinic, and alcohol purchases.

Offer cannot be combined with other storewide or category/department coupons.
sungshine
People's whining comments here are absurd. It's like trying to blame the bank instead of the bank robbers during a heist. I'm sure security measures were in place, it's just the hackers were just ahead of the game, which they usually are. It's just the risk of using credit cards ANYWHERE these days.

People have to just understand that Target did not "let this happen". And did anyone of you complainers even have a problem with fraud after this?! I didn't and I shopped there a few times during the affected time period. If this were the 2nd time it happened to them, then yes, they should be boycotted.

If anything, Target should be even safer to shop at now. I'd rather take my chances there now than go to Walmart and deal with their lousy cheap selection and ghetto environment.
tclarity
So, something similar happened to me and about 2 million other people who attended a Community College. The College sent out a letter letting everyone know that there was potential for a breach and not even that anything had necessarily been taken. As recompense, they offered everyone free credit monitoring for a year, in case their identity had been stolen. Sorta makes the 10% off seem like junk mail. I realize that 2 mil is 20x less than 40 mil, but it's not like Target is a small company or doesn't have the capitol to do it. It just seems like they have not yet begun to feel sorry about what happened.
dealguy
@spikedlorelei is right. If I recall correctly, your maximum liability for credit card fraud, by federal law, is $50. Most banks waive this limit so that you have no liability at all. It sucks to not have a credit card for 24+ hours right before Christmas, but unless it comes out later that Target's IT was unbelievably negligent, it's the fault of the criminals, not Target.

I don't blame Target for this. I blame Target for high shipping prices, shoddy merchandise (albeit of high design), and inferior logistics — both slow online delivery and depleted in-store stock of items I want.
spikedlorelei
Some of you are seriously blowing this out of proportion. With any credit or debit card, you won't be liable for stolen purchases. No matter what amount is charged, you won't be responsible for it. Waiting for a new card is just a minor inconvenience. Nothing bad will happen to your credit record, unless you carelessly don't check your statements. If you're too stupid to check over your charges every month, you deserve to have a credit ding. Most of the time, the bank contacts you first because they noticed something odd (usually within a couple of hours of the purchase). I've had my identity stolen several times in just the last couple years because this kind of thing is so common these days and it wasn't a big deal. The company will rush ship you a new card and you go over your recent purchases with them and tell them which ones were fraudulent. Easy and stress-free. Of course, no one wants to be hassled, but this is the reality until better card security is implemented.
ilad
Are you kidding me!!! It took us 2 days to cancel our target cards and that calling every minute from 8am to 11pm. We got thought a few times and then got disconnected i.e hung up on or left on hold for 2 hours then disconnected. They lied and told no one about this until it was all over CNN and then 2hrs later they are like oh yeah by the way. They did not say anyting on purpose because they just wanted to make it until dec 24 and get all the sales. Then they add insult to injury were have to play this phone game to cancel our cards. They should have sent an email like they did now and posted on their site much earlier. They were outed so now they are owning up? They should have sent an email like the first day they got hacked and automatically cancelled and reissued all target issued cards.
tjmasters
Target lost my respect and my business... 10% is nothing... Usually when something like this happens the offending company offers advance credit protection for one year.
coconut1
All Target will do is offer less of a discount on product to make it appear consumers are getting a deal just like any other "sale". Nothing changes for them only more shoppers in this weekend thinking they are getting a "deal". Target wins.
deal_diver
Apology? For letting people's information getting stolen and then used against them? It should be a law that in cases like this the company pays 100% of all customer's costs in order to get their lives back in order. If companies were held accountable for their misbehavior they'd get serious about protecting the information. Until that happens don't shop there - or don't pay with credit.
pottsgw
Any retail businessman that refers to his customers as "guests" deserves a brisk dopeslap.
And let's not forget that "team" originally refers to a group of draft animals.
ralfsiemens
Yes a 10% discount will really help you forget the fact that all your credit cards used at Target will need to be replaced. Your stolen identity will take only a year or so to get restored while you wonder how that $800,000 mortgage popped up on your credit report.
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