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The Gift Card That Keeps On Giving, Part 16

, , , , | Right | August 28, 2020

It is the middle of November and I am ringing up customers at my check-stand. A lady comes up to me and wants to pay for her purchase with one of our store gift cards. 

Me: “Okay, so it looks like there was only $8.00 left on your gift card, so your total comes to [total].”

Customer: “What? No! That’s not right! There should be at least $20.00 left on there!”

Me: “Really? That’s strange. My system is only telling me that there’s $8.00 left on the gift card.”

Customer: “Well, you did something wrong, then, because there should be $20.00 left on there!”

Me: “Ma’am, I pressed the gift card button and scanned your gift card, and the computer took off the balance that was on there. How could that be doing something wrong?”

Customer: “I don’t know, but you did something wrong!”

The customer produces a receipt and points to the “remaining balance” part, showing when she last used the gift card and how much was left on it after this purchase. I look at the receipt and notice that the date of the receipt was a month ago.

Me: “Ma’am, this receipt is from October. It’s November now. Are you sure you haven’t used the gift card since this last purchase in October?”

Customer: “Yes, I’m sure! My husband and I have been in Mexico for the past month, and there’s no [Store] in Mexico!”

I know for a fact that my company has at least one location in Mexico, but I don’t mention this to the woman, as I know that won’t help the situation.

Me: “And you’re sure there’s no way that you could have used the gift card after this last purchase in October?”

Customer: “Yes, I’m sure!”

Me: “Okay, let me call a manager over here and they can void out the transaction, then what I’ll do is check the balance on your gift card before I try taking it again.”

Customer: “Okay.”

I call a manager over and explain the situation to him. He doesn’t think there’s much we can do, but he voids out the transaction and tells me to check the balance again anyway.

Me: “I’m going to check the balance on the gift card before I apply it to your purchase.

Customer: “Okay.”

I press the button on the keyboard that allows me to check the balance of a gift card, and then I scan the barcode on the back of the gift card and a little piece of paper prints out of the receipt printer, telling me that, indeed, there is only $8.00 left on their gift card.

Me: “So, I just printed the balance, and as you can see, it says that there’s only $8.00 left on the gift card.”

Customer: “No! That’s wrong! You guys must be doing something wrong, then, because this receipt right here says that I should have $20.00 left on it!”

My manager is still standing behind me, listening to the whole exchange, and he decides to speak up.

Manager: “When did you use the gift card last?”

Customer: “All the information is right here on the receipt!”

The manager notices that this receipt is from October, as well.

Manager: “And you haven’t made any other purchases with the card since this receipt was printed?”

Customer: “No, we haven’t!”

Manager: “Well, there’s not really too much we can do at this point, in all honesty. The computer just takes the remaining amount off the gift card and applies it to your total.”

Customer: “Check the balance again.”

I check the balance again for the customer and print out another slip of paper.

Me: “Ma’am, it still says that you have $8.00 left on the gift card.”

Customer: “This is ridiculous! I just showed you my receipt that says that there should be $20.00 on it!”

Manager: “Well, we’ve checked the gift card balance twice, and it’s telling us the same thing, so at this point, all we can really do is advise you to call the 1-800 number that’s on the back of the gift card. They will be able to give you a breakdown of every transaction that has been made with the gift card since it was first issued to you.”

Customer: “So you can’t do anything else for me right now?”

Manager: “Honestly, calling the 1-800 number is going to be the best bet for you. As I said, they can tell you the last transaction that was made with that gift card, what was purchased, where and when it was purchased, etc.”

Customer: “Okay.”

The customer’s husband has had enough of our conversation and just wants to pay for the items. I give them back the gift card without applying it to their total, and he pays for the whole amount on his debit card. After they leave, I turn to the security guard, who has heard the whole conversation.

Me: “We don’t have a [Store] in Mexico?”

Security Guard: “Actually, yes, we do. There are two of them there.”

Me: “Huh. I bet that’s where they used the gift card, then.”

Security Guard: “Most likely. They were probably just trying to get more money out of us.”

Me: “Probably.”

Since that day, we have never seen those customers again.

The Gift Card That Keeps On Giving, Part 15
The Gift Card That Keeps On Giving, Part 14
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

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