Free Target International Shipping Promotion - Problems

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Mar 27, 2017
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#1
Just wondering if I have any type of recourse here.

I'll cut to the chase:
1. Target had a promotion run by a 3rd party (Borderfree)
2. Promotion was Free International Shipping
3. Many (myself included) made purchases. We were charged, we were told items shipped.
4. Two weeks later, these orders are being canceled "due to the overwhelming response to the promotion". Refunds in 7-10 days
5. Coupon for $25 off $100 is given "for our troubles" (coupon is useless due to international shipping charges, and tariffs when ordering over $100 of merchandise.

So I am just curious if there is any advice as to what to do, other than shrug and walk away.

Borderfree T&C: https://www.borderfree.com/#/terms/en_us
Article: http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Target-apologizes-for-cancelling-orders-to-Israel-504095
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#2
Wow what a mess. I took a quick glance at some other sites and Haaretz has a good explanation (for a non Israeli ) as to what the problem was -- customs and the 3rd party shipper.

I am not certain what recourse there is. It really sounds like the 3rd party shipper did not do their homework.
 

Attachments

Likes: jsn55
Mar 27, 2017
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#3
1. While customs was an issue for some. It isn't for all.
2. Borderfree offered "prepaid customs", which many accepted. Read their terms and conditions, by prepaying customs they guarantee that no further charges will occur.

What really bugs me is that they are pointing the finger at Israel, while saying "take this coupon and place a different order to Israel". That's just wrong. (If Israel is the issue, they wouldn't still offer me the option to ship to Israel. Offering me a coupon for my next order to Israel proves my point)
It just appears like some type of "bait and switch" where the bait was a free shipping, no minumum promotion and the switch is $25 off $100+
Target/Borderfree should stand by their promotion, or at least offer me a coupon that was identical to their promotion.
 
Nov 14, 2016
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#4
Borderfree is "not obliged to accept and/or process your Purchase and may, at our discretion, decline to accept and/or process your Purchase" via their terms of service. So right off the bat no one is owed anything because anyone who made purchases agreed to these terms.

This sounds to me like a promotion gone sideways and that Borderfree (owed by Pitney Bowes) didn't know the customs laws of Israel. The orders through Target seemed to be stuck in the Borderfree part of the transaction. There's no way they could afford to stand by their promotion or offer a coupon that is identical to the promotion because the areas where the extra costs are incurred (like the Israeli Health Ministry) are out of their control. A bait and switch is intentional. This doesn't seem to be intentional. This seems to be a case of an honest mistake and since no one is out anything more than their time, I don't see getting up in arms over this.
 
Likes: auntieka3
Mar 27, 2017
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#5
Sorry. But the terms and conditions that you quoted here are not applicable.
The order WAS accepted, it WAS processed, the credit cards were charged, we got emails saying that our items WERE shipped (they weren't, they were just labeled), and then it was canceled.

(As for Health ministry, they could just not allow prepaid customs and put the onus on the consumer to know their local laws, but read their t&c when it comes to customs):
Prepaying Import Fees. If you choose to prepay the Import Fees, you agree and acknowledge that (a) the actual Import Fees may be more or less than the Estimate and (b) you will NOT be asked to pay more money OR receive any refund in the case that the actual Import Fees differ from the Estimate. You authorize Borderfree to submit refund claims on your behalf where Borderfree has paid higher Import Fees to customs authorities in the destination country than the Estimate that you have paid, and you hereby acknowledge and agree that Borderfree shall be entitled to directly receive such refund in reimbursement for Import Fees that it has paid on your behalf.

Deferring Payment of Import Fees. IF YOU CHOOSE TO NOT PREPAY THE IMPORT FEES, YOU AGREE AND ACKNOWLEDGE THAT (I) THE ACTUAL IMPORT FEES MAY BE MORE OR LESS THAN THE ESTIMATE; (II) YOU (AND NOT BORDERFREE, THE BROKER, THE SHIPPER, THE SUPPLIER OR ANY OTHER PARTY) MUST BEAR THE RESPONSIBILITY OF PAYING ALL ACTUAL IMPORT FEES; (III) IN THE CASE THAT ANY ENTITY OTHER THAN YOU MUST PAY SOME OR ALL OF THE ACTUAL IMPORT FEES ON YOUR BEHALF TO EFFECT CUSTOMS CLEARANCE, YOU WILL REIMBURSE (UPON REQUEST) THAT ENTITY IN FULL FOR THE ACTUAL IMPORT FEES PAID ON YOUR BEHALF; AND (IV) FAILURE BY YOU TO PAY IMPORT TAXES IN A TIMELY MANNER MAY NOT ONLY CAUSE DELAYS BEYOND OUR ORIGINAL DELIVERY ESTIMATES, BUT ALSO MAY PUT YOU AT RISK OF POTENTIAL LIABILITY FOR TAXES AND OTHER FEES.


They are still shipping to Israel, they still are asking us to buy from them and ship to Israel (as the coupon proves), they are just trying to change the terms of the sale (i.e. make us now pay for the shipping). And that just seems extremely wrong at this point.

(sidenote, some of the cancellation emails which stated they contained a coupon code, didn't even contain said coupon code)
 
Nov 14, 2016
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#6
Sorry. But the terms and conditions that you quoted here are not applicable.
The order WAS accepted, it WAS processed, the credit cards were charged, we got emails saying that our items WERE shipped (they weren't, they were just labeled), and then it was canceled.
JayMatt, I am no longer an attorney and do not provide legal opinions any longer. All I can say is "processed" is a purposely ambiguous term they get to define in large part.

Moreover, Borderfree orders the merchandise from the retailer, gets it delivered to them and then ships it. By your own statement the items weren't shipped. Per their ToS, "no contract is formed between you and Borderfree until Borderfree has accepted your Purchase and actually received the merchandise that you ordered from the Retailer". Since by your own statement the items were not shipped, there is no contract between you and Borderfree.

These transactions have been canceled, have they not? If so, they are not changing the terms of sale as that transaction no longer exists. Cancelling some orders because of a promotion gone awry does not mean they have to abandon the entire market.

I'm not here to argue with you. Feel free to contact Borderfree to see if they'll give you a better coupon. You may get lucky. But again, you have no damages. They refunded your money. You're whole and thus I don't see anything we can do to advocate. I see this as similar to a "fat fingered fare" and we don't typically advocate those instances.
 
Likes: auntieka3
Mar 27, 2017
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#7
This has no comparison to a "fat fingered fare". A "Fat Fingered Fare" is an inadvertent mistake on the part of the seller (e.g. Listing something that should be $149.99 as $14.99). This was an advertised promotion, publicly available to all.
Secondly, the emails from Borderfree say that the items were "shipped". This is the email I received a week before the order got cancelled:
"
Shipment Confirmation

Thank you for shopping with Target.

Great news! Your order has shipped. Below you will find a link to your tracking information and details regarding the items in this shipment.

If you have any questions, please call 612-815-5667 or email borderfreeservice@target.com"
Their own statement implies that there WAS in fact a contract between me and Borderfree, but they are choosing to back out.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#8
Sounds like a corporate mess of great dimensions. Pitney Bowes couldn't even run a postage meter business; they're the worst company I've dealt with in my whole business life. You and Kahhsss can argue about the merits and details of this situation forever, but it will get you nowhere.

It all depends on your mind-set, JayMatt. If you enjoy a good fight, go after 'em. If not, just walk away ... entirely up to what floats your boat.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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#9
JayMatt you came here for help - we read these type of "contracts" all the time and have a lot of experience in how these companies make their terms totally in favor of the companies and not the consumer.

I agree wth Kahhss- their "contract"
states that the contract is not complete until
you receive the item. You never received it so the contract is not complete according to the terms.

We have company contacts for Target here- I would urge you to use them to go up the corporate chain.

You can also file a complaint with the Attorney General.

Let us know how your writing to Target Executives goes.
 
Likes: auntieka3
Mar 27, 2017
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#10
Thanks Neil,
I respectfully disagree with you. They say it is complete when it ships, and they sent me an email saying that it shipped (in reality, it likely just got a label).

More importantly, however, as per T&C "To be absolutely clear, by making a Purchase through the Borderfree Checkout, you acknowledge that your transaction will be with Borderfree, not with the Retailer."
Do you still recommend that I contact the executives at Target? If not do you have a list of the Borderfree executives?

Re: Attourney General. Which? I'm abroad, but the billing address was in NY. Target is in Minnesota and Borderfree is New York.
 
Mar 27, 2017
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#11
I realize that the following clause in the T&C is my biggest obstacle here:

"To the extent not prohibited by applicable law and subject to the provisions of these Terms & Conditions, Borderfree reserves the right to refuse service, terminate accounts, remove or edit content, or cancel orders in their sole discretion."

I guess what I am asking is: "are they legally still allowed to back out of this deal at this point for this reason?"
Can a company simply pull an offer that isn't an error, simply because they regret making the offer (after charging the customer and confirming shipment)?
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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#12
Yes it is when they have all of that in their terms. Is it morally right? No.

Try using our company contacts - the executives at Target at the very least need to pull this program if in fact it isn't what it is supposed to be. It sounds like a very poorly planned program.
 
Likes: JayMatt19
Mar 27, 2017
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#13
Yes it is when they have all of that in their terms. Is it morally right? No.

Try using our company contacts - the executives at Target at the very least need to pull this program if in fact it isn't what it is supposed to be. It sounds like a very poorly planned program.
Email sent
I will try to keep you guys posted
 
Mar 27, 2017
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#14
Here is my current correspondence with the executives at Target. Looking for advice as to how to proceed.

My initial email:


Hello Ms Potts,

My name is Jason. I am originally from New York and I currently reside abroad. Target is one of my all time favorite stores, I always make a point to shop at Target when I am stateside, and one of the things I miss the most being abroad is Target.
This past month I was so delighted when I saw the following promotion

I could barely contain my excitement! All the wonders of Target, even though I am outside the USA! I placed two orders, my wife placed two orders, even my mother placed 2 orders (some stuff for their upcoming trip, as well as gifts for the grandchildren).
Orders placed, paypal and RedCard charged, email confirmations received, shipping confirmations received...But unfortunately, we only received one of our orders, and that wasn't even a complete order.
Our remaining orders have now been canceled, the excuse being "due to overwhelming response". The email said it would contain a coupon for $25 off $100, but the emails to my wife and mother didn't even contain the coupon code that it said it would contain. Regardless, $25 off $100 just feels wrong. We now are being asked to spend more on merchandise than we originally wanted to in addition to the shipping charges, which are no longer complimentary.
I have tried to contact Borderfree, but they are not at all helpful. I'm feeling a bit let down by the company I know and love. I went to target.com, made my purchase and was expecting the superior service that the Target company constantly delivers time and time again. Unfortunately, this entire experience has left me feeling extremely dissatisfied with the Target shopping experience.

Thank you for taking the time to read my email. I know that Target values each and every of their customers, and that means so much to me, as well as all of my family. We love Target and want to remain loyal to your wonderful company.


Jason

Their response to my initial email :


Hello Jason,



Thanks for contacting Target regarding your recent order. Your email has been received by our Executive Offices and I’ve personally looked into this for you.



Please accept my sincere apology for any frustration and inconvenience you experienced when the orders you and your family placed were cancelled. Due to the unprecedented response to this promotion, we temporarily exceeded the capacity for the market. Holding all packages on delay wasn’t an option, and some orders have had to be cancelled.



While the free shipping promotion is no longer available, you should have recently received an email offering $25 off your next online purchase of $100 or more on intl.target.com, and we welcome you to place a new order for the items you were interested in. If you or your family members haven’t received an email containing their codes, please provide me with the affected order numbers and I can certainly ensure Borderfree sends your wife and mother their codes.



I appreciate the time you’ve taken to share your feedback and concerns. I’ll personally follow-up on your behalf with our leadership team to ensure we learn from this experience and make Target Borderfree an even better place to shop.



Sincerely,


Amy

Target.com Executive Offices

My Response to Target:

Thank you Amy for taking the time to read my letter and to respond.

I apologize that I didn't list this in the original email, but we are talking about orders **** and **** made by my wife, , order **** by my mother, and my orders, which were *** and ***.
The orders my wife and mother placed were cancelled, and neither cancellation email did not contain the coupon which it said would be enclosed.

Additionally, the coupon that was provided to us doesn't really satisfy us. Please allow me to explain. Orders **** and **** were supposed to be shipped free of charge. I priced some of the items from both orders (increased the quantity of a few of the items to reach the $100 threshold) and applied the coupon. As you can see below, the order with $100.45 of merchandise becomes a TOTAL of $207.99 with the coupon.

Screenshot was part of email, can't post here from phone, sorry

I am sure you can understand my feelings of dissatisfaction with this response from the Target Corporation. Our family knows from personal experience that Target is a wonderful company that not only claims to make the customer their top priority, but you also deliver on this claim. Until now, every single one of our hundreds of Target interactions as been a wonderful experience. Has this been any other company, I would think that trying to sell something for $100, only to cancel and offer the consumer to repurchase at a cost to the consumer that was more than double the original cost, would be a classic "bait & switch". But you are Target, I know that this is in no way, shape or form a bait and switch. But that doesn't make this recent experience any better.
While my ideal would be to receive all my original purchases, at the cost agreed upon, in a timely manner, I understand that such is currently impossible.
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.

Thanks for once again taking the time to discuss this matter with me. You are one of our most favorite companies to deal with, and it would be a shame for this promotion to change our impression of your wonderful company.

Jason

Latest reply from Target

Hello Jason,



Thanks for taking the time to share your additional thoughts about your experience. I have gone ahead and spoken to Borderfree to ensure your wife and mother receive their emails with their promotion codes if they haven’t already.

I understand that while you received your own email containing the promotion email for $25 off a $100 order, you don’t feel this is an acceptable resolution. I sincerely apologize for any disappointment this may cause, but we aren’t offering any further promotions or compensation at this time.

While I'm not able to offer you the resolution you’re looking for, I appreciate the time you’ve taken to share your feedback and concerns. I will share your comments directly with our leadership team.



Sincerely,


Amy

Target.com Executive Offices
 
Mar 27, 2017
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#16
What is difficult about your situation is that you do no have monetary damage.
I agree. Had I used my foreign card I would have had charges and conversion rate changes etc, but I used Paypal.

What really bothers me here is their response. They aren't saying "we are unable to deliver", they are saying "If you pay us more, we will deliver". Those are two very separate things. Also, they aren't saying the promotion was done in error (e.g. "Fat Fingered Fare"), rather they are saying that they underestimated interest.

Is it worth replying to Amy at Target? If so, what should I say?
 
Feb 9, 2016
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#17
I agree. Had I used my foreign card I would have had charges and conversion rate changes etc, but I used Paypal.

What really bothers me here is their response. They aren't saying "we are unable to deliver", they are saying "If you pay us more, we will deliver". Those are two very separate things. Also, they aren't saying the promotion was done in error (e.g. "Fat Fingered Fare"), rather they are saying that they underestimated interest.

Is it worth replying to Amy at Target? If so, what should I say?
The only thing that makes seems to me, at this point, is to reply to Amy and ask for a coupon in the amount equivalent to what it would cost to ship. Lay it out for her about what it will cost to ship your order and ask for that amount as a credit towards your purchase.

Another thing I wonder here - was this offer simply a ruse to see what the interest would be for Target to ship in the manner? Sometimes these things are really nothing more than a real time marketing survey. To determine what real interest might be given a slice of time. so Target can understand what the demand might be and take advantage of that data moving forward.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Mar 27, 2017
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#18
The only thing that makes seems to me, at this point, is to reply to Amy and ask for a coupon in the amount equivalent to what it would cost to ship. Lay it out for her about what it will cost to ship your order and ask for that amount as a credit towards your purchase.
I did that when I included the screenshot of the purchase I would have made:


I didn't post this above cause I was on my phone, but I can now. It was in the email to Amy, sans the cross outs.
This was her response:
I understand that while you received your own email containing the promotion email for $25 off a $100 order, you don’t feel this is an acceptable resolution. I sincerely apologize for any disappointment this may cause, but we aren’t offering any further promotions or compensation at this time.
 
Feb 9, 2016
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#19
I did that when I included the screenshot of the purchase I would have made:


I didn't post this above cause I was on my phone, but I can now. It was in the email to Amy, sans the cross outs.
This was her response:
I understand that while you received your own email containing the promotion email for $25 off a $100 order, you don’t feel this is an acceptable resolution. I sincerely apologize for any disappointment this may cause, but we aren’t offering any further promotions or compensation at this time.
I'm not sure who Amy is (in terms of executives) but is there anyone else on the executive list you can email?
 
Mar 27, 2017
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#20
I'm not sure who Amy is (in terms of executives) but is there anyone else on the executive list you can email?
Sorry, I guess I wasn't clear.
I sent my initial email to janna.potts@target.com, Amy is the person who replied to me. Janna is listed on this site as the Primary Contact, Executive Vice President and Chief Stores Officer
 
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