Wal-Mart Gift Cards Don't Give
A computer problem in a third-party system operated by ValueLink, which is owned by Colorado-based First Data Corp., caused â''sporadic issuesâ'' with Wal-Mart's gift card verifications, affecting a â''small percentageâ'' of gift card transactions on Wednesday. The day after Christmas is usually a very busy shopping day, so even though only a "small percentage" of customers were affected, it still meant that lots of Wally shoppers were not happy.
According to news reports Nancy Etheredge, a spokesman for First Data Corp., released the following statement Thursday â''We have identified a sporadic system occurrence that caused some consumers to experience delays in gift card verifications on December 26, 2007. The problem has been isolated and we are working closely with our customers to prevent this situation from occurring in the future. The system is performing normally, and we regret any inconvenience this has caused.â'' Etheredge confirmed that multiple merchants were involved, but she declined to name them.
Target Corp., a prime competitor of Wal-Mart, happily pointed out that its customers didn't experience any problems.