When Gift Cards Don’t Work

Last year I recieved a gift card for a store with a single location in the metro-area and not terribly convenient for me and not a place I love to shop so I’ve been sitting on it. Over the past year this company acquired another company with a couple more stores in the metro-area with some locations slightly more convenient but still, not places I love to shop.

I need a large quantity of an expensive item so I figured I’d drive across town and get it at one of the recently acquired stores and while I was there burn through the entire gift card.

But first I thought I’d check and make sure they would accept the card. I phoned the gift card helpline and had my first experience with outsourced India call center. I explained my question and this very nice and polite person didn’t have the slightest idea what I was talking about.

I planned out all my errands and I phoned the store and asked about the gift card. I was assured without hesitation that there would be no problem. So I drove across town show up at the store and they don’t even have the expensive item I need. An item that I can get at Safeway, about 1 mile from my house. So now I’m there, I want to use the gift card up so I cruise the aisles grabbing random stuff that I’d ordinarily never buy and I get to check out and guess what? The gift card won’t work in their system.

“I called before I came out here.”

“Did you call this store?”

“Yes. I called this store.”

“Do you know who you talked to?”

Really, because how does that help? They were actually nice and apologetic and tried to work around the system to take the card but they couldn’t make it work. Meanwhile, the line is stretching across the store.

So I took one item that I actually wanted. They had to credit back all the other crap. I still have a gift card plus they gave me a gift card for my trouble.

This entry was posted in doing it wrong. Bookmark the permalink.