The Gift Card That Keeps On Giving, And Giving, And Giving…

, , , , | Right | May 18, 2020

It is about eight at night and our store closes in an hour. A customer comes up to my register and hands me one of our standard gift cards as a form of payment, and another strange-looking gift card that bears our company name, but is not a design that we have ever sold.

Me: “Okay, so your total comes to [total]. I’ll just take your gift cards here.”

Customer: “Okay.”

I scan in the first gift card, which is an electronic, paper gift card that is typically issued through email to customers directly from our store. This gift card goes through without any problems.

I pick up the strange-looking gift card and proceed to slide it through the card-reader slot on my keyboard. It won’t read the card.

Customer: “It went through the washer.”

Me: “Oh, okay.”

I keep trying to take the gift card by sliding it. When this doesn’t work, I try to scan the barcode on the back of the card, but my scanner won’t even read it. We are unable to manually type in the numbers of any gift card into our system. When we try, it tells us that we can’t do it. However, I attempt it anyway in an effort to make the customer happy. It doesn’t work.

Me: “Okay, so this gift card’s not working, so I’m just gonna call a manager over and see if they can help me with this or force the machine to take it.”

The customer doesn’t respond, but I proceed to call for a manager. I have to do this several times, as we have gotten suddenly busy in the store. As I am waiting for a manager to come and help me, the customer starts to get a bit angry and speaks up.

Customer: “Can’t you just call the number on the back of the card?”

I am looking around frantically for the manager.

Me: “I can definitely try it.”

I pick up the phone that is in front of my register and proceed to dial the number shown on the back of the gift card. When the call goes through, I am launched into a five-minute-long recording about winning a trip to the Bahamas. The bad part is that I cannot press “0” to speak to someone, as pressing any key on the phone will cause me to accept the trip to the Bahamas. Therefore, I have to wait until it gives me the opportunity to speak with an agent.

Customer: “Are you on hold?”

Me: “Yeah, I’m on hold.”

As I am waiting for the recording about the Bahamas to finish, a manager FINALLY comes over and asks what the problem is. I explain the situation to him, and he seems a bit confused.

Manager: *To the customer* “Where did you get this gift card?”

The customer is acting as if it should be obvious.

Customer: “I got it from [Strange Website].”

Manager: “Okay.”

Customer: “I just want her to call someone and take care of this issue.”

Manager: “That’s who she’s on the phone with right now.”

Customer: “I want her to call someone and get this taken care of.”

Manager: “They’re probably closed for the night. I doubt that you’ll get through at this time of night.”

I remain on the phone anyway, as I don’t want to make the customer even more angry than he already is. The customer is silent, and the manager tries running the gift card in every way possible, and it won’t register. He finally gives up.

Manager: “Yeah, she’s just gonna have to have them issue you a new one, because this one’s not working.”

Customer: “Okay, well, can you at least check the balance on this gift card?”

The manager tries to use the gift card balance inquiry function on the register but is still unable to scan the gift card to retrieve the amount.

Manager: “It won’t let me scan the card.”

Customer: “But can you at least check the balance on the card?”

Manager: “No, it’s not working. But she can check that for you while she’s on the phone.”

Customer: “Okay.”

Meanwhile, I am STILL on the phone listening to the advertisement about winning a trip to the Bahamas. The phone finally tells me to press “1” to speak to an agent, which I do.

Customer: “Can’t you call someone and have them fix this?”

Me: “Yes, I’m on the phone with them right now.”

Customer: “Well, can’t you just call someone about this?”

Me: “Yes, I’m trying to do that right now.”

The customer doesn’t want to wait any longer for the phone call to go through, so he finally gets mad.

Customer: “Okay, you know what? Take this [more expensive item] off, and I’ll just get this!”

He points to the cheaper item.

Me: “Okay. Since I already took your first gift card, I’ll have to call the manager back over here so I can void out the transaction and start again.”

The customer says nothing.

Me: “[Manager], can you come back up to my register, please?”

The manager comes back up.

Me: “I just need you to void this out for me since I already took one of his gift cards and he doesn’t want the other item.”

The manager seems confused, but he voids out the transaction anyway.

Manager: “You’re good to go.”

Me: “Thanks.”

I start re-ringing the transaction.

Me: “Okay, so, I’ll put this back, and just ring this up.”

That’s what I do.

Me: “Your total comes to [total].”

I take the customer’s paper gift card, which is now enough to cover the transaction. He still has some money left over on the gift card, so I hand it back to him.

Me: “Okay, so, it looks like you still have [amount] left on this card.”

Customer: “Okay.”

The register prints out his receipt, which I grab and place in the bag. As I hand him the bag:

Me: “Have a good night.”

The customer left without saying anything.

Related:
The Gift Card That Keeps On Giving, Part 12
The Gift Card That Keeps On Giving, Part 11
The Gift Card That Keeps On Giving, Part 10

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