Free Target International Shipping Promotion - Problems

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Mar 27, 2017
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#22
Please forgive me, as this is the 1st time that I've ever needed to "move up the ladder" with my claim.
What should I say in the email? Start anew? Assume the next contact is aware of the situation? Reply to current email, just change address to next executive?

I'm sure these are all basic stuff to the veterans here, but this is unchartered waters for me here.

Thanks y'all
 
Jan 11, 2017
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#23
I somehow doubt, that Target would send out $100 vouchers to the 14k costumers, whose orders were canceled. (To make up for the shipping cost.)
Nevertheless I respect your admiration/trust in Target. Are you familiar what happend after the 2014 security breach? (Just google it.) It might give you a hint what can you expect now.
 
Feb 9, 2016
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#24
Please forgive me, as this is the 1st time that I've ever needed to "move up the ladder" with my claim.
What should I say in the email? Start anew? Assume the next contact is aware of the situation? Reply to current email, just change address to next executive?

I'm sure these are all basic stuff to the veterans here, but this is unchartered waters for me here.

Thanks y'all
I would craft the email as if you were only speaking to this executive, not identify that it has any history behind it.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
#25
Please forgive me, as this is the 1st time that I've ever needed to "move up the ladder" with my claim.
What should I say in the email? Start anew? Assume the next contact is aware of the situation? Reply to current email, just change address to next executive?

I'm sure these are all basic stuff to the veterans here, but this is unchartered waters for me here.

Thanks y'all
Forward your original email and the response to the next executive shown. State that you do not agree this is a satisfactory resolution and tell rh what you think is acceptable. Do NOT go crazy with your request- make it a FAIR request.
 
Mar 27, 2017
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#26
Forward your original email and the response to the next executive shown. State that you do not agree this is a satisfactory resolution and tell rh what you think is acceptable. Do NOT go crazy with your request- make it a FAIR request.
this is what I requested in my correspondence above, do you consider it to be a fair request?

I would, however, like to receive coupons identical to the initial deal. I have no issue if these coupons are spread over time (e.g. one valid just for Nov 2017, one Jan 2018 etc). But I believe that this would be a much more fair compensation than the one currently being offered.
 

Carrie Livingston

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Jan 6, 2015
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#27
@JayMatt19 I think that would be acceptable but am not sure they will. From your screenshot it appears that shipping is about $100 for your items. Would you have ordered these items if you weren't getting free shipping? Are these items available where you are and comparatively priced? Is that what shipping normally would be from the US to Israel?
 
Mar 27, 2017
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#28
@JayMatt19 I think that would be acceptable but am not sure they will. From your screenshot it appears that shipping is about $100 for your items. Would you have ordered these items if you weren't getting free shipping? Are these items available where you are and comparatively priced? Is that what shipping normally would be from the US to Israel?
Would I order without free shipping? Absolutely not! It wouldn't be worth it.
Some items are available in Israel, and some aren't. Those that are available are more expensive.
To put it into perspective, we have to pay more for the items in Israel. First there are the things that add to the cost (shipping costs, more middle men etc), plus VAT here is 17%. The items that were purchased were purchased Tax-free (no US tax since shipped out of state, and no VAT since law in Israel is no VAT on shipments under $75.

Anyways, I sent an email to the next executive on the list. I'll try to keep you posted.

(by the way, the coupon being offered, $25 off $100, is ONLY valid on international orders, and cannot be used for USA orders. So it isn't like they are offering USA delivery with coupon, but I just cant utilize it, they aren't offering it)
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#29
Well it looks like Borderfree made a mess of this offer. It sounds like someone in the department of not thinking (a very large department there) decided to offer the promotion as a loss leader to get market share. By not understanding what the issues were (ie not thinking) with customs and especially with food products, there were issues with importation, and then more people ordered than was anticipates -- what was the estimate in one news report, 20,000? So if the company did not anticipate that, and thought maybe 5,000, and calculated $50 per shipping cost, the promotion would cost $250,000 -- but 20,000 people ordered,so the cost of the promotion ballooned to $1,000,000 -- and I read that people were ordering furniture, items with massive shipping costs -- so the likely cost was going to be over $1,000,000 --

Further, it seems that Borderfree knew nothing about the issues on sending food to Israel -- The Times of Israel gave some good examples of the issue

https://www.timesofisrael.com/target-apologizes-for-canceling-orders-to-israel-citing-high-demand/

Here are some of the key points of the article so no one has to use the link:

"
In recent days, Target has canceled an unknown number of orders to Israel offered through the Borderfree Free Shipping company, which promised free shipping to Israel on orders placed between August 18 and 20 and delivered via DHL delivery service.

“Due to the much higher than anticipated response to the Borderfree Free Shipping promotion, we are unable to deliver order [number] and had to cancel it. We apologize for this inconvenience,” read the cancellation notices, which display the Target logo and address customers as Target “guests” but are signed “Borderfree Customer Care.”

According to Hebrew media reports, some 20,000 orders were placed from Israel through the promotion but just a few thousand of them had arrived before the mass cancellation this week. Some customers reported that they received a partial list of their orders, without explanation on why other product orders were canceled. Others had received shipping notices before being informed by DHL that their orders could not be delivered and would be returned to Target.

Although the companies involved in the mishap have cited high Israeli demand, customers speculated whether Israeli bureaucracy stopped the promotion in its tracks.

Israel has a $75 cap for tax-free personal imports, but food-related items and electronics are under special regulation.

Many of the customers who spoke to Hebrew media, and those who took to social media to complain, revealed that among their orders were snack foods like cookies and chocolate bars.

One customer told Channel 2 that his snack orders, totaling $25, were canceled after he was informed that he would need to pay $140 in various import taxes to receive his products.

Israeli journalist Itamar Eichner, the diplomatic correspondent for Yedioth Ahronoth, wrote a widely circulated Facebook post shortly after placing his Target order last month, detailing how the American retailer did not anticipate Israeli red tape and taxes and was set to absorb high costs, a potential motivator for the eventual cancellation.

On August 24, Eichner said he placed an order of about 200 NIS ($55) of “all sorts of American food items not available in Israel,” like various candy, skeptical that it would work but still hopeful.

He said the order arrived in Israel four days after he placed it but an agent with DHL informed him that his order would require an inspection by the Israeli Health Ministry, estimated at about NIS 500 ($140), and that he would have to pay another NIS 230 ($64) for exceeding the 5kg (11 lbs.) limit for a package.

Eichner said he told the agent she could toss the whole order as he did not intend to pay over $200 in fees for some $55 in candy, but was told Target would absorb the cost, and would “curse Israel and never do another [free shipping promotion].”

People were refusing to pay the Health Ministry inspection fees, as high as $140 on $55 candy -- so the shipping was paid for, items not received, and people refusing them, and DHL is stuck with a number of packages that cannot enter the country and likely had to be destroyed.

I suspect Target already lost money on this and will be very careful with promotions with Borderfree. Borderfree is the one that messed up and now they ignore customers, who have to deal with Target as they are the only ones that respond.
 
Mar 27, 2017
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#31
Well it looks like Borderfree made a mess of this offer. It sounds like someone in the department of not thinking (a very large department there) decided to offer the promotion as a loss leader to get market share. By not understanding what the issues were (ie not thinking) with customs and especially with food products, there were issues with importation, and then more people ordered than was anticipates -- what was the estimate in one news report, 20,000? So if the company did not anticipate that, and thought maybe 5,000, and calculated $50 per shipping cost, the promotion would cost $250,000 -- but 20,000 people ordered,so the cost of the promotion ballooned to $1,000,000 -- and I read that people were ordering furniture, items with massive shipping costs -- so the likely cost was going to be over $1,000,000 --

Further, it seems that Borderfree knew nothing about the issues on sending food to Israel -- The Times of Israel gave some good examples of the issue

https://www.timesofisrael.com/target-apologizes-for-canceling-orders-to-israel-citing-high-demand/

Here are some of the key points of the article so no one has to use the link:

"
In recent days, Target has canceled an unknown number of orders to Israel offered through the Borderfree Free Shipping company, which promised free shipping to Israel on orders placed between August 18 and 20 and delivered via DHL delivery service.

“Due to the much higher than anticipated response to the Borderfree Free Shipping promotion, we are unable to deliver order [number] and had to cancel it. We apologize for this inconvenience,” read the cancellation notices, which display the Target logo and address customers as Target “guests” but are signed “Borderfree Customer Care.”

According to Hebrew media reports, some 20,000 orders were placed from Israel through the promotion but just a few thousand of them had arrived before the mass cancellation this week. Some customers reported that they received a partial list of their orders, without explanation on why other product orders were canceled. Others had received shipping notices before being informed by DHL that their orders could not be delivered and would be returned to Target.

Although the companies involved in the mishap have cited high Israeli demand, customers speculated whether Israeli bureaucracy stopped the promotion in its tracks.

Israel has a $75 cap for tax-free personal imports, but food-related items and electronics are under special regulation.

Many of the customers who spoke to Hebrew media, and those who took to social media to complain, revealed that among their orders were snack foods like cookies and chocolate bars.

One customer told Channel 2 that his snack orders, totaling $25, were canceled after he was informed that he would need to pay $140 in various import taxes to receive his products.

Israeli journalist Itamar Eichner, the diplomatic correspondent for Yedioth Ahronoth, wrote a widely circulated Facebook post shortly after placing his Target order last month, detailing how the American retailer did not anticipate Israeli red tape and taxes and was set to absorb high costs, a potential motivator for the eventual cancellation.

On August 24, Eichner said he placed an order of about 200 NIS ($55) of “all sorts of American food items not available in Israel,” like various candy, skeptical that it would work but still hopeful.

He said the order arrived in Israel four days after he placed it but an agent with DHL informed him that his order would require an inspection by the Israeli Health Ministry, estimated at about NIS 500 ($140), and that he would have to pay another NIS 230 ($64) for exceeding the 5kg (11 lbs.) limit for a package.

Eichner said he told the agent she could toss the whole order as he did not intend to pay over $200 in fees for some $55 in candy, but was told Target would absorb the cost, and would “curse Israel and never do another [free shipping promotion].”

People were refusing to pay the Health Ministry inspection fees, as high as $140 on $55 candy -- so the shipping was paid for, items not received, and people refusing them, and DHL is stuck with a number of packages that cannot enter the country and likely had to be destroyed.

I suspect Target already lost money on this and will be very careful with promotions with Borderfree. Borderfree is the one that messed up and now they ignore customers, who have to deal with Target as they are the only ones that respond.
Thanks for posting the article.
Two things:
1. My orders didn't have the issues with the "junk food tax", not that it should matter, Borderfree offered "prepaid tax", and it means that if any new taxes arise, Borderfree needs to pay it, per their T&C
2. What the article doesn't mention, is the fact that there are many who only got half their order, or divided their order into 2, only to get 1 of 2. Some of these people received an accessory to an item they didn't receive (e.g. a raincover for a stroller, but the stroller didn't arrive).
It isn't my case, but someone who received the raincover, but not the stroller (making the raincover useless), would they be entitled to a refund on the raincover?
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#32
JayMatt19 I posted the story to show what an incredible mess the entire promotion was and so others can understand how badly Borderfree messed up, especially since many of us (and apparently Borderfree cough cough) knew little about customs and fees for importation into Israel.

Does the Ministry of Health have inspection fees for all food items?

What I think happened is that the orders came in and then the costs started piling up more than anticipated and the entire promotion was abandoned, leaving people with canceled and half fulfilled orders.

This is a lesson on how not to do an international promotion.

I realize I have given you very little useful advice but this was more of a background on the issue.
 
Mar 27, 2017
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#34
Is the raincover sized to a particular stroller model and will not fit another? Excuse my ignorance on this issue.
in this example, yes, specific to the stroller in a cancelled order.
In other cases it was a car seat and the base, consumer got the base but no car seat
 
Mar 27, 2017
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#35
JayMatt19 I posted the story to show what an incredible mess the entire promotion was and so others can understand how badly Borderfree messed up, especially since many of us (and apparently Borderfree cough cough) knew little about customs and fees for importation into Israel.

Does the Ministry of Health have inspection fees for all food items?

What I think happened is that the orders came in and then the costs started piling up more than anticipated and the entire promotion was abandoned, leaving people with canceled and half fulfilled orders.

This is a lesson on how not to do an international promotion.

I realize I have given you very little useful advice but this was more of a background on the issue.
Christina, a few things

1. Not everything is taxed in on import. And some things will only get taxed if you purchase in large enough quantities.
In the orders received I got some cereals, healthy snacks and sauces. I wasn't assessed a customs tax.

2. The notion that Borderfree is unaware of the laws in Israel is tough to believe. Firstly, prior to being purchased by Pittney Bownes, they were an Israeli Company. Secondly, if the issue was purely shipping to Israel, they wouldn't be offering me $25 off my next purchase of $100 or more to Israel!!!
 
Mar 27, 2017
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#37
I think you should include a link to the story Christina found in your letter. The Executives should be aware of the bad publicity this is getting.
Not a bad idea.
It will be in the email should I need to contact the 3rd executive on the list (I'm already on #2, and there are 4 on the list)
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#38
Christina, a few things

1. Not everything is taxed in on import. And some things will only get taxed if you purchase in large enough quantities.
In the orders received I got some cereals, healthy snacks and sauces. I wasn't assessed a customs tax. --

I am glad that you received somethings -- but some were assessed a "junk food tax" -- these rules are complicated especially for someone outside the country like me so please overlook any mistakes I make..

2. The notion that Borderfree is unaware of the laws in Israel is tough to believe. Firstly, prior to being purchased by Pittney Bownes, they were an Israeli Company. Secondly, if the issue was purely shipping to Israel, they wouldn't be offering me $25 off my next purchase of $100 or more to Israel!!!
--

I would say that Borderfree did not understand -- if the company was acquired by PB that may mean new people -- so the people in charge now may not have bothered to look at the overall "cost" of the promotion. This to me look likes a case were the company did not anticipate the costs, and issues of people canceling orders when hit with too many custom fees, DHL (the transit company) being stuck with the shipments, bills extra charges to Borderfree, and Borderfree stops the promotion because they are bleeding money. Someone like you who ordered a modest amount gets stuck in the cancellation. From the screen shot you posted the shipping would have been $100, and if 20,000 customers ordered, it seems that Borderfree decided it could not lose $2,000,000 (or what ever amount on a promotion -- let alone any extra fees DHL was charging for rejected packages). Again this is something they should have anticipated, or limited it to items that would easily pass through customs. I do believe the cancellation of the promotion was made due to costs.
 
Mar 27, 2017
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#40
--

I would say that Borderfree did not understand -- if the company was acquired by PB that may mean new people -- so the people in charge now may not have bothered to look at the overall "cost" of the promotion. This to me look likes a case were the company did not anticipate the costs, and issues of people canceling orders when hit with too many custom fees, DHL (the transit company) being stuck with the shipments, bills extra charges to Borderfree, and Borderfree stops the promotion because they are bleeding money. Someone like you who ordered a modest amount gets stuck in the cancellation. From the screen shot you posted the shipping would have been $100, and if 20,000 customers ordered, it seems that Borderfree decided it could not lose $2,000,000 (or what ever amount on a promotion -- let alone any extra fees DHL was charging for rejected packages). Again this is something they should have anticipated, or limited it to items that would easily pass through customs. I do believe the cancellation of the promotion was made due to costs.
What makes this all the more odd is that borderfree is a company which specializes in shipping products to different countries. I have no idea what they were thinking initially (if they were thinking at all), but such a promotion would need a cap on weight, and number of shipments (and perhaps even a purchase minimum).

Something tells me that the packages to Israel weren't the only issue. Perhaps they misjudged the interest among the Israelis, but why would the issues experienced in Israel be any worse than some of the South American or Eastern European countries?
Note, the articles about the promotion and the issues with it, are all coming form the Israeli Press, who wouldn't necessarily focus on the issues the consumers in Chile had with this promotion.

PS Still haven't heard back yet from email to executive #2