Woman talking(L+r), Target(c)

JHVEPhoto/Shutterstock @sexymel_77/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘I’ve been a Target Circle member for years’: Target shopper issues new warning to customers who use the app

‘I’ve never had to work so hard for $15.’


Melody Heald


A woman who says she has been a Target Circle member for years is warning shoppers about the deals the app promises. She says her coupon was not working during her latest trip to the store.

“This message is for Target and anybody who shops at Target,” TikTok user Melissa (@sexymel_77) starts her video.

She showcases what her Target Circle app looks like in the video while recounting an experience she had while trying to use it. “So, I went to Target today. I’ve been a Circle member for years.” She gestures to a $15-off coupon that’s featured in the app. “So, this coupon is applied. It’s when you spend $100 on a store purchase. It expires tomorrow. You get $15 off,” she explains. 

She says that she made sure to spend $100 during her shopping trip so that she could get the $15. However, she says that when the cashier who was checking her out scanned her app, her total dropped from $104 to $103.

“‘Oh, excuse me. I have this coupon—$15 off,’” Melissa says she told the cashier.

The cashier, she says, scanned the barcode again. And nothing happened, she notes.

The cashier then asked for a co-worker’s help, according to Melissa. Melissa says that worker explained how the coupon wouldn’t work on clearance items. But Melissa says she had nothing on clearance in her shopping cart.

A manager then got involved, according to Melissa. “‘Oh, yes. Well, it is not actually in the terms and conditions for anything that’s excluded but nothing on clearance. Everybody just knows that,’” the content creator says the manager told her.

Melissa says the manager then explained to her what Target considers “clearance” items. “’Well, clearance is actually considered when it has a price but then we change the price. So, now it’s a regular item,’” she recalls the manager saying.

Since Target recently changed the prices of two of the items in Melissa’s cart, they were considered clearance items, the worker told her. Therefore, those were not valid when her coupon came into the equation. Needless to say, Melissa says she felt frustrated.

“They wouldn’t give me my $15 off. That was very frustrating considering not one thing I bought was mentioned in the terms and conditions, and clearance is not even mentioned it there, but everyone knows,” she says.

“How dare you, Target, advertise a coupon, and then you don’t even honor it. So, I’m making this video, and I’m also gonna be composing an email to Target,” she concludes. “For all you people who like to shop at Target, watch yourself.”

Melissa further vents her frustration in the caption of her video, saying, “Target isn’t honoring coupons they have in the app. Whats the deal!? Well, i guess there is no deal.”

@sexymel_77 Target isn’t honoring coupons they have in the app. Whats the deal!? Well, i guess there is no deal. #viral #greenscreen #target #foryou #trending #shopping #circle #couponing #app #beware @target ♬ original sound – M E L I S S A

The Daily Dot reached out to Melissa via TikTok comment and direct message as well as to Target via press email. The video garnered over 194,000 views, and viewers shared that they believe the quality of Target Circle has gone downhill since the company updated the app.

“Their new coupon system is terrible. I used to always get at least a few dollars of, now I will have multiple trips of nothing before getting a small coupon,” one viewer said.

“Since the target circle thing changed it’s been terrible. Even for the spend this much get a gift card they’ve been so stingy,” a second concurred.

“When I first started Target Circle I was saving a couple hundred a year and now there aren’t any GOOD coupons that you can use anymore,” a third commented.

Others shared what they would’ve done in Melissa’s shoes.

“I would have told them to cancel the whole transaction and told them to keep it and walked out!” one user remarked.

“Oh I call the manager to add it manually,” a second stated.

An update

In a follow-up video, Melissa provides an update on the situation. “I did call customer service and spoke to a woman named March. She was wonderful in helping me. But i did have to spend about 20 minutes on the phone, going over my purchases, everything. We went over what I was told by the second cashier and by the manager which then was informed were not true,” she claims. 

She says she eventually received $15 in gift card form. However, she says she still isn’t happy. “I had not planned on spending that money. I wanted it in cash or to remain on my card,” she states. “This just seems like a scam that you’re running, Target.”

“I’ve never had to work so hard for $15,” an exasperated Melissa wrote in the caption.

@sexymel_77 Replying to @Its.me.Chua i’ve never had to work so hard for $15. Just seems like shady business to me. #viral #greenscreen #target #foryou #trending #shopping #circle #couponing #app #beware ♬ original sound – M E L I S S A

Not the first complaint against Target Circle

Recently, in April, another Target Circle member issued a warning about the app’s deals. “I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but I just found this out yesterday. I had been going to Target putting in my phone number at the checkout for years as a member of the circle whatever, thinking I’m getting points, but yesterday the woman told me, ‘No, it doesn’t work unless you scan the barcode on the app at the checkout,’” another shopper, TikToker @kumothebully, said of her own experience trying to use the app.

And another shopper, @peruxican, accused the company of playing favorites when it comes to rewards for guests. However, Target does not hide that its rewards are sometimes personalized. The rewards are likely based on shoppers’ shopping habits.

Did Target change the app?

Target did indeed update its app, Target confirmed on its website. In addition to some other new features, the app now automatically applies coupons to customer’s accounts. Before, customers had to individually look up and apply coupons.

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