Children’s Place Tells Their Customers to Pound Sand After Their System is Compromised

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Children’s Place Will Not Refund Stolen Gift Cards

We covered an issue with Children’s Place gift cards a few weeks ago.  There have been numerous reports of people’s gift cards being liquidated before they could use them.  This has been an issue in the past with Children’s Place but I am not sure it has ever been at this kind of scale before.

It is an obvious problem with Children’s Place’s system or algorithm because gift cards from multiple vendors were compromised.  This wasn’t like the PayPal Digital Gifts hack where it came from one place.  That makes me believe that this is a Children’s Place issue.

There have also been a few reports that these cards were being used at stores in Texas like mine were.

Contacting Children’s Place

I have contacted Children’s Place 4 separate times since the first article was written.  I had two compromised gift cards, one from PayPal Digital Gifts and one from a Kroger GiftCardMall sale.  Both were digital gift card purchases.

At the end of the day they told me to pound sand, not our problem.  It took 4 phone calls to their foreign call centers (no matter what time of day I called) to finally get someone to file a case on the issue.  I wasn’t expecting much but I received this email a few days later.  It didn’t disappoint…notice the spelling of my name as well!

Dear Mark Austrian,
We are sorry for the disappointment you experienced with your Gift Cards. Our records indicate the Gift Cards were all redeemed on purchases for merchandise. Per the terms and conditions on the Gift Cards, a Gift Card cannot be replaced if lost or stolen or used without your permission.

If you purchased the Gift Cards from a third party company, we suggest contacting that company directly to dispute this issue. If you purchased the gift cards with a credit or debit card, you may also dispute the charge with the card issuing bank. We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause you.

If we can be of further assistance, please contact Customer Service at 1-877-752-2387, or visit to view our Frequently Asked Questions.

The Children’s Place

A few people have reported getting a sympathetic call center employee who was willing to reissue them replacement cards but that has not been the norm.

Reaching Out to Children’s Place

After our last article we reached out to Children’s Place via Twitter and did not get a response.

I would also suggest tweeting this article to @childrensplace.  This is two fold, if they get enough tweets maybe we can pressure them into a resolution.  Also this will alert others to the issue so that they know not to purchase Children’s Place gift cards going forward.


I have had other gift cards liquidated in the past from breaches or theft. They have always been replaced by the company.  It wasn’t always easy but I have never been told it wasn’t their problem before.

The complete lack of concern shown for Children’s Place’s customers is appalling.  This is an issue that has come up in the past and it happened across multiple vendors who sell their gift cards.  That means it came from the source not from an outside vendor.

Selling gift cards is big business and Children’s Place is coming out in spades because they are profiting off of their customer’s losses.  They lost me as a customer, someone with two small children, over $100 because of their complete lack of empathy.

Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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  1. I used to be a big time buyer of the Children’s Place GC’s but after 5 were compromised and no help was received from the place of purchase or the Children’s Place, I will not be buying any more of their cards. It’s clearly not safe to do so. Mine were also used in Texas.

  2. @Mark
    Pretty sure Amy Wickstrom has nothing to do with this….she works for a nonprofit in Kansas City that’s also called The Children’s Place.

    • Laurel – wow I really messed that up :). Thanks for pointing it out I will change that in the article.

  3. Well, this sucks. I’ve never purchased any of these GCs, but I remember the time that $400 of my Hyatt gift cards were hacked and emptied and SVM and Hyatt were very proactive with replacing them. I’m not sure if the gift card terms were the same as the Children’s Place though. I guess it depends on the company whether they’ll take responsibility.

    • I have had it happen with 3 different companies and they all replaced them…until know. It isn’t like they are giving out cash, they are giving back store credit that costs them what 50% of the value as an act of goodwill…especially when they know they are in the wrong. It is a sad stance on their part.

  4. I guess I have to ask: were you actually a Children’s Place customer or were you reselling the gift cards? I don’t think it ultimately matters but it’s hard to say you’ll never again do business with someone you’ve never actually done business with before.

  5. I have the very same experience. I bought 10 TCP cards from Paypal Digital Gifts. 2 of them drained to 0. I live in Upstate NY and work location in NC…but these dang cards were drained of somewhere in the Mid-west in a physical store.
    The CS repeatedly comes back with their terms and conditions. When I insist that fraud happened, they would say to complain with paypal but not with TCP as they never sold it. When I ask if I am the 1st one complaining about a drained card, the rep says outsource I am the 1st person and she has never heard of any kind of fraud with their cards.
    So unethical. I will reach out to their media contact and Twitter pages too.

  6. I had a couple of these drained as well and after a few calls was given the same treatment as you.

    Because I believe in reciprocity the wife and I no longer buy anything from TCP. I refuse to support a business that would treat it’s customers this way, especially over something that was not within our control.

    • Totally agree. It is a pretty disturbing stance for them to take. If it was a one off or something then I could see it but since this was a widespread problem you know they know there is an issue.

  7. For cards issued by retailers, contact the Federal Trade Commission or call toll-free: 1-877-FTC-HELP. Or you may file a complaint with your state Attorney General (for a list of state offices, visit

    Everyone should contact the FTC and their state AG in mass.


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