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The Gift Card That Keeps On Giving, Part 17

, , , , | Right | November 5, 2020

Our department store gets bought out and the new owners decide not to honour the old gift cards. After he and the staff get a lot of abuse and bad press, he allows people to send in the old ones and get replacements, but only for a three-month window; after that, they are essentially worthless. Not all the staff agrees with this, but as he is within his legal rights, we have to get on with it. This takes place four months after the window ends.

I am the womenswear manager for the day, and I get a call from the beauty department asking me to come over as an official “manager” and explain the gift card situation to a customer. No issues; I’ve already done this several times. Usually, the customer accepts the “manager’s” word, even though it’s the same spiel. So, I head over and greet the customer.

Me: “Good afternoon. I understand you wanted to speak to a department manager?”

Customer: “I have a gift card here for £40, but that idiot won’t take it!”

Me: “Okay, firstly, please don’t call my colleague that. Secondly, he was right; we can’t take the gift card.”

I go into my explanation, which includes the dates of the window and several apologies.

Me: “So, we cannot take this as payment. Do you have another form of payment?”

Customer: *Smiling* “No, you will take this gift card.”

Me: “I have just explained to you that I cannot. The tills don’t accept them anymore.”

Customer: *Not smiling anymore* “No, you will take this gift card.”

Me: “I cannot.”

Customer: “This is worth £40; you are trying to steal my £40. You will take this card.”

Me: “I cannot explain this any more clearly; I cannot take it.”

This goes on for about ten minutes. Then, she changes tack.

Customer: “You cannot help me; you, too, are an idiot. Get me your manager; they will take my card.”

I hesitate at this point, as to go further up I need to get the store manager, who is currently trying to justify keeping our location open, and I really don’t want to disturb her. But the customer jumps on my hesitation.

Customer: “See, you know they will do it! Get them here now!”

Me: “You really want me to get the store manager out of her important meetings to come and tell you the same thing I did?”

Customer: “Manager! Now!”

I call the store manager with the bare bones and intercept her on the way down to give her more details. She is not impressed. The store manager gives the same spiel I did and the original employee did.

Customer: “No, not good enough. You will take this card.”

Store Manager: “No, we will not and cannot.”

After a couple of minutes of the same back and forth, the customer starts shouting.


She gets out her phone.

Store Manager: *To me and the original employee* “Go back to your sections. I’ll deal with this.”

About fifteen minutes later, I am returning some clothes to a section that involves me walking past the beauty area. The customer is still there on her phone. The store manager is standing a little way off but watching her.

Me: “Oh, goodness, she isn’t actually calling her lawyer, is she?”

Store Manager: “No, she’s called the police.”

Me: “What?!”

Store Manager: “Yep. I’m just waiting here because on the phone with them she mentioned she should just take £40 worth of stock as we took her £40.”

I gave an incredulous look. Luckily, the police were on our side. They convinced her to give them all her details to “file a report” and then informed her she was wasting police time and if she did so again she’d be arrested! I had many people get annoyed about the gift card situation, but this one was the most ridiculous!

The Gift Card That Keeps On Giving, Part 16
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

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