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Bloomingdale's gift card glitch illustrates lack of oversight

Evan Schuman | Aug. 25, 2015
Zero oversight is bad, especially given that there's almost no way of getting the money back.

If you'd rather not have such glitches in the first place, keep in mind that there are two elements of gift card issuance that failed here. The first was preventative: No one was assigned to approve all gift cards of a certain value. The second was "discovery after the fact." Clearly, this glitch took far longer than it should have to be detected.

That $25,000 gift card guy? He had to wait until the store opened the next morning to cash in. Hence, it's not as if this glitch only went undetected for a few minutes or even hours.

Following those failures, of course, Bloomingdale's committed PR blunders, with that pathetic begging and low-ball offers. If it just couldn't bring itself to say, "Our bad. Keep it all," then how about something like, "We made an error and sent you a card worth far more than you had earned. We have no legal right to take the merchandise back — although we'll certainly cancel any online orders that have yet to ship. Humanitarians we ain't. But if you're open to returning the items, we will be very much in your debt. Please help us." No threats. No implied legal action. Just good old-fashioned begging and a plea for honesty.

Heck, it's worth a shot. At least no one would feel pressured or deceived. That is the best that you can hope for, given that it was your glitch — and lack of oversight — that caused the problem.


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