Did Macy’s Black Friday credit card fail cost it the holidays?
A credit card system glitch prevented Macy’s from handling credit and gift card processing both in-store and online from noon until early evening on Black Friday.
In addition to any lost sales on the day, Macy’s endured the wrath of social media and became retail’s lead story on Friday.
“Macy’s credit card system down nationwide,” Kenn White tweeted at 1:29 p.m. ET on Friday, according to Business Insider. “They are not informing shoppers standing in long lines. Getting ugly out there.”
“Hey @Macys just left $300 of items on counter because your credit card machines are down at State St. Chicago. Can’t even look up Macy’s account. What. A. Joke. #macys #blackfridayfail,” Meghan McCollough tweeted, according to Fortune.
“They’re down nationwide actually. I feel for the poor cashiers,” Nora Fogarty tweeted, according to Reuters.
Social media started populating with complaints from irritated consumers around noon eastern time and Macy’s began responding on its social channels after 1:00 p.m.
Management added associates to selling floors and some were able to put through card numbers manually, although many customers were told only cash payment was available. Customer service reps also were reportedly unable to provide assistance.
Shoppers trying to place orders on Macy’s website received the message: “We’re unable to verify availability of some item(s) in your order. Place your order now, and we’ll send you an email confirming availability and shipping when our system is back online, or please try again later.”
By early evening, Macy’s said it had “fully resolved” the situation, placing blame on a “capacity-related issue.” Macy’s said, “We highly value our customers and sincerely apologize for any inconvenience.”
Even though some reports downplayed the impact since it was the first official day of holiday shopping, a few felt a bad experience may lead less loyal Macy’s customers to avoid the retailer during the holiday season. Paul Argenti, a professor of corporate communications at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, told CNBC, “I can’t think of anybody that needs this less than Macy’s.”
- Macy’s suffers credit card payment glitch at the worst possible time: Black Friday – CNBC
- BLACK FRIDAY NIGHTMARE: Furious customers are complaining that Macy’s won’t let them pay as system glitches – Business Insider
- Macy’s suffers credit card processing slowdown on Black Friday – Reuters
- Macy’s Black Friday Sales Hurt by Credit Card Processing Problem – Fortune
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Did Macy’s handle its credit card glitch as well as it could? Do you think it will impact Macy’s performance as the selling season progresses? What lessons should this incident offer retailers dealing with similar situations in the future?