Target canceled my SNES Classic pre-order -- despite promising they wouldn't

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Sep 5, 2017
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#1
I tried very hard to pre-order a Super Nintendo Classic, anticipating an immediate sell-out come the September 29th release day, and I eventually managed to get one through Target. I made the purchase using the Target credit card stored in my account.

A couple weeks later, I received a new Target card in the mail. The old one wasn't due to expire or anything like that; this was just a new card with new numbers and some new features. I didn't request this change; it just showed up in my mail -- and the accompanying letter said that my old card would be deactivated shortly.

I contacted Target to make sure that this wouldn't cause any problems with my pre-order (my card hadn't been charged yet), but the customer service representative checked with his lead and told me that everything would be fine. "[Y]ou're [sic] pre order will not be canceled," he wrote. "Rest assured, you're [sic] order will not be chanced [sic]." He then emailed me the chat log because I wanted good evidence of this conversation.

Today my order was canceled due to the exact problem I anticipated. I called the company and eventually spoke with a manager who recommended that I just check the site daily in case more pre-orders open up. She said she'd give me a call if she sees one, but she said there's no way for her to reinstate my order, put me first in line for any future pre-orders, or even have my local Target store set one of their physical shipment aside for me come the 29th. (Those were all suggestions I made; they seemed reasonable to me.)

I'm pretty devastated right now -- I stalked retailers' sites for weeks trying to get one of these -- and I don't know where to go from here. Is this the sort of thing that would be worth contacting one of the people listed on Elliot.org's Target contact list? If so, which one? It probably wouldn't be the right move to email all of them, I'm sure. Or would a post to Target's Facebook page do anything?

Legally speaking, I have absolutely no damages, and I'm sure that Target's terms of service allow them to cancel orders for any reason. This is also a relatively small issue compared to those of many other people who seek help on this site. However, Target broke its promise to me, and I would greatly appreciate any help you might be able to provide.

TL.DR -- Target sent me a new credit card after I pre-ordered a SNES classic with my old Target card, and I have a chat log of them promising that this wouldn't affect my pre-order. Today they canceled the order due to "payment problem" and say there's no way to reinstate it. Help?
 

Neil Maley

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#2
There had to be something different on the new card you received- if the number was the same were the expiration dates and the three digit code on the back of the card the same too?

Something had to be different for the order not to go through.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#4
Is the card different ie now with a chip? Or did a new bank take over the target card.

I am now wondering if companies use overseas chat centers that have no idea what is going on. Did you contact the target order center or the card issuer about the issue?
 
Likes: jsn55
Sep 5, 2017
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#5
There was a chip before, and there is a chip now; the major difference seems to be that the card now is also a Mastercard.

I contacted Target when I received the new card, not the card issuer -- which would have been my next step had Target not promised me that the order would be okay.

Today I spoke with someone at what I presume was an overseas Target call center, but when I was eventually connected to a manager, she sounded like she was in the US. When I asked if there was a higher authority to whom I could appeal, she said she was it.
 
Jul 27, 2016
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#6
Is this Target card a store card only, or is it a Visa/MC that can be used elsewhere? In either case (and especially in the latter case), I'd bet this was due to a breach somewhere, so Target was issuing a new card for security reasons.
 
Feb 9, 2016
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#7
out of curiosity - the old target account that was being closed....what happened to the balance on that card after the close date? Did you pay the balance off or transfer it?

It really sucks that you didn't swap credit card numbers on the pre order when you realized you were getting a new card and spoke with the target rep.

I realize target said this would not affect your pre order, but when a company tells you they are closing one account/card and replacing that with another account/card, that means that, as of the date the first account is intended to be closed, no more transactions can occur on that account. Life lesson.

I was going to suggest you ask for a rain check, but this doesn't seem to be about pricing. This situation really just boils down to you not being able to get the video game console on the day it comes out, correct?

On the one hand, I am glad you are not out any damages but on the other hand, I get your frustration.
 
Feb 9, 2016
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#8
Wait....have you actually googled this situation?
they are saying that this has to do with an international shipping situation but also saying that retailers oversold the unit and they cant get the orders fulfilled (international shipping situation).

Regardless, you are not alone, others are experiencing the same issue of having their order cancelled.

All I had to do was Google "Target canceled my SNES Classic pre-order" to find information on the situation.

I know that doesn't change your situation but it appears that your order was most likely cancelled for other reasons.
 
Sep 5, 2017
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#9
All I had to do was Google "Target canceled my SNES Classic pre-order" to find information on the situation.
If you google "Target canceled by SNES Classic pre-order" (in quotes), you'll get two results: this forum thread and the Reddit post I made to see if anyone else had the same situation (at least one person did). If you google that phrase without quotes, some of the results have to do with international shipping -- Target canceled orders from people with Canadian shipping addresses. This does not apply to me; I'm in the US. The specific reason for my cancellation was "payment problem."

out of curiosity - the old target account that was being closed....what happened to the balance on that card after the close date? Did you pay the balance off or transfer it?
I pay the balance off monthly with automatic deductions from my checking account, but as far as I can tell, if I had an outstanding balance, it would have been rolled into this new card.

I realize target said this would not affect your pre order, but when a company tells you they are closing one account/card and replacing that with another account/card, that means that, as of the date the first account is intended to be closed, no more transactions can occur on that account. Life lesson.
There was no way to update the credit card information on my pre-order, otherwise I would have done so -- the only option was to cancel it.

Anyway... does anyone have advice on what I can do to appeal to Target? Which of Target's executives listed in the company contact section should I try? Basically, my case is that I'm being penalized for using my Target card at Target, and Target broke its promise when I anticipated the issue and followed up on it.
 
Aug 28, 2015
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#14
Obv they cancelled it and obviously you were falsely reassured. However, it is not Sept 29th yet. The merchandise has not been shipped. Why can a unit be put aside for you? They will just have to cancel someone else's order if it runs out. When is the next batch expected?
 
Sep 5, 2017
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#15
Why can a unit be put aside for you?
It seems that Target has opened up pre-orders once or twice since they canceled mine (or at least the "buy" button has appeared on their website), only for the new stock to disappear almost instantaneously. I wish that they would have saved one of those for me... especially since one of the ones offered for sale probably came from the cancellation of my order.

Also, I believe that they will have a few units for sale in their physical stores on September 29th, so if they can't reinstate my pre-order, I don't think it's unreasonable to ask that that they set aside a unit at my local store.

I wish this situation were as simple as waiting until the release date and then buying a unit somewhere, but if last year's mini NES is any indication, there will never be enough available to meet demand. Think ca. 1996 Tickle Me Elmo -- only internet scalpers are involved and the product will be discontinued in a few months.

No response yet from Target corporate. I've been trying to get a pre-order elsewhere, but odds are very slim -- it took a lot of effort (reading articles, constantly checking/refreshing various order pages) to get my original one, and even then I was lucky to get one. It will also be difficult to grab a physical unit in stores on opening day -- there will be long lines hours before, and the number of available units per store will be small. Considering that I have two small children, I don't know if I'll be able to stand in line outside a store overnight.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Sep 5, 2017
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#19
I really hope that the recent reports of increased production turn out to be accurate. At the same time, considering Nintendo's failed promises last year, I'd feel better with one in my hands now.

I finally received a response from Target, but it doesn't directly address my main arguments: 1. Target customer service assured me that the credit card change would not affect my order and 2. this is in essence a penalty for using my Target card, which I'm sure is not what the company intends.

My email to Target:

Dear [Executive],

I was thrilled when I managed to pre-order a Super Nintendo Classic through the Target.com website on August 22nd. Because I made the purchase using my Target REDcard, I was concerned when I received a Target Mastercard in the mail a few days later.

The new card was accompanied by a notice that my old Target REDcard would be deactivated, so I contacted Target customer support to ensure that my pre-order would not be affected. The representative assured me that despite the difference in credit card numbers, it was the same account and my pre-order was safe. He then emailed me the chat log for my records.


Yesterday, my pre-order was canceled due to the exact problem I had anticipated, and I immediately contacted customer service. Despite her kindness and sympathy, the representative with whom I spoke could not reinstate my order.

My concern is twofold: first, I am effectively being penalized for using my Target card -- if I had used my regular Visa, I would still have a pre-order. Second, Target has broken its promise -- the original representative said that I could "rest assured" that my pre-order would not be canceled.

Now I'm turning to you for help. Would you please help me reserve a Nintendo Super NES Classic Edition? Odds are that they will sell out immediately if/when they appear online and on store shelves, so it's not something that I can easily do by myself.

Sincerely,

[My Name]
Order # ____
Case # ____


Target's email to me:

Thanks for contacting the Target Executive Offices regarding the cancellation of your pre-order. I understand how much you were looking forward to receiving this exclusive item and I’m so sorry for any disappointment we’ve caused.

When placing a pre-order, Target sends an authorization hold request to your card issuer. Authorization holds are not actual posted charges. If at any point during the pre-order process an authorization-hold request fails, Target automatically cancels the order since you’re not charged for your order until the item ships. Information on pre-orders and authorization holds can be found in the Help section of Target.com or click here.

[My name], I understand you prefer to have the order replaced but unfortunately, once an order has been cancelled we no longer have the capability to reinstate the cancelled order. I realize my apology may not make up for the poor online experience you’ve encountered.

Although, there is no further action that can be taken on your order at this time, we do offer guests the option to sign up on Target.com for email updates. I’m happy to say that this game is currently expected to be available after 09/30, and you should see another opportunity to purchase the item in the upcoming month.

Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us!

Sincerely,


Shanetra
Executive Offices
www.target.com
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#20
Was she the first executive? She didn't tell you anything you didn't know.

I would escalate to the next executive and make the following points:

- You fully understand what happened but the issue is the employee you spoke to have you wrong information that caused this to happen.

-If the employee had simply taken the new card info and put it into the order this might not have happened.

- Due to the error by their employee you are simply requesting to have one of the new shipments that will be coming in to their warehouse and you are asking them to reconsider.