Grocery Store Gaffe Leads to Thousands of Canceled Gift Cards (June 2, 2015)
Australian grocery store chain Woolworths is canceling more than AUD1.3 million (US$1 million) worth of gift cards after it mistakenly emailed nearly 8,000 redeemable card codes to more than 1,000 consumers, according to reports.
Customers who were supposed to receive an electronic voucher for a discounted e-gift card instead were emailed an Excel spreadsheet with the names and personal email addresses of thousands of customers and a downloadable link to 7,941 vouchers worth a total of $1,308,505, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. The codes were redeemable at Woolworths online and in-store, Big W stores and Caltex gas stations.
Some customers, who had balances on gift cards before the mistake, discovered their gift card accounts already had been used for purchases before Woolworths could address the matter, according to Fairfax Media. Woolworths didn’t provide details on why the spreadsheet was sent out and, instead, issued a statement to the news agency: “Woolworths takes the concerns of its customers and data security seriously. We experienced a technical fault with an e-voucher offered to customers this week. We are working to resolve the issue and are assisting customers.”