If you were one of the fools that stood in line to purchase over $100 of merchandise from Target on Black Friday 2010 between 4am and 10am, then you probably received a “FREE” $10 Target Gift Card and should take note of the fine print on page 2 of the 2010 Target Black Friday ad. It states:
“If any portion of the qualifying purchase is returned, the refund value will be reduced by the pro-rated amount of the free Gift Card.”
This means you will lose money if you return anything on the same receipt that has the “FREE” $10 Gift Card on it. I know this because I just made such a return and just lost money doing it.
Here’s a simplified example: Let’s say you bought 5 items ($15, $20, $30, $35, $50) totaling $150. If you return the $30 item you will only receive a $28 refund because that $30 item represents 1/5 of your total purchase and your refund is therefore reduced by 1/5 of the “FREE” $10 Gift Card (or $2). To take it a step further, if you returned everything on the receipt, you would lose $10. If there was only 1 item on the receipt, you get back $10 less than what you paid for it.
This policy is very unique and makes absolutely no sense to the average customer. I suspect it was a highly paid Target bean counter that thought of it as a way to discourage customer returns. It adds 1 more technique to Target’s customer “rip off” arsenal and 1 more reason to never shop there again.