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The Gift Card That Keeps On Giving, Part 14

, , , , | Working | July 24, 2020

In the days when self-serve checkouts in supermarkets are new, my husband goes to buy some groceries and a gift voucher.

He is able to scan everything, voucher included, just fine, but when it comes for him to actually hand over money, the machine asks for “cashier approval”. 

He gestures to the assistant who comes along and swipes her swipey thing without a glance, and then my husband concludes his purchase and goes home.

A month later, he gets a call from his mother — the recipient of the gift voucher — to tell us it isn’t working.

I retrieve it from her and take it back to the supermarket along with the receipt.

Me: “Hi! My husband bought this a month ago and it’s not working. I’m wondering if it wasn’t activated?”

Cashier: “Let me check.” *Swipes the card and checks* “Yeah, it hasn’t been activated. Did they do it when you went through the checkout?”

Me: “My husband bought it at the self-serve, so he swiped it and paid for it—”

I show the receipt with the matching serial number.

Me: “—so I don’t know what happened.”

Cashier: “Well, you aren’t supposed to buy gift cards at self-serve!”

Me: “Oh. Well, how was he supposed to know that?”

Cashier: “Everybody knows that. You aren’t supposed to.”

Me: “Well, the assistant at the self-serve checkouts approved it for him, so that sounds like something your staff needs to know. How would he know? What possible indication did he have?”

Cashier: “Look, I can fix it for you this time, but just so you know, you can’t buy gift vouchers at self-serve.”

She activates the voucher and gives me the activation receipt.

Cashier: “Just be careful with that next time, okay?”

She cocks her head and gives me a ridiculously patronizing look.

Cashier: “Gift vouchers can only be bought at the main registers.”

Me: “Perhaps that’s something you should inform your staff of, as well.”

So sorry, Giant Supermarket Chain, that we don’t know your magical, mystery rules that your staff don’t seem to know, either.

The Gift Card That Keeps On Giving, Part 13
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
The Gift Card That Keeps On Giving, Part 9