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The Gift Card That Keeps On Giving, Part 6

| Right | July 31, 2017

(Starting today, my store’s cash registers are updated so that gift cards can no longer be swiped through the PIN pad. From now on, the cashier has to take the gift card and slide it on the register. A few hours into my shift, an older customer comes into the store to buy a newspaper. As I ring her up, she complains about how she had a bad experience at another store across town.)

Me: “Okay, ma’am, your total this afternoon is $1.96.”

Customer: “I have a gift card.”

(She slides the card through the PIN pad, and the register buzzes loudly. The PIN pad says “GIFT CARD HAS NO BALANCE.”)

Me: “May I see the gift card, please?”

Customer: “You don’t need to see it! I just slid the card through!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but we have a new system now, and gift cards won’t work if you slide it there. I have to slide the card on my side.”

Customer: “You’re a liar! I bought the paper last week and used the gift card myself! You just want to steal my money!”

Me: “I’m sorry about the change, ma’am, but this just started today. If you slide the card there, it will say that the gift card has no balance.”

(The customer tries sliding the card on the PIN pad again, and the register beeps. I can see the PIN pad says “GIFT CARD HAS NO BALANCE.”)

Customer: “What the f*** did you do with my money? I had over $20 on there! I knew you were trying to steal it. Give me my newspaper.”

(I call the manager up and explain what happened.)

Manager: “May I see the card? I want to make sure that there’s a balance on it.”

(The customer hands him the card, he slides it through the register, and everything works fine. He hands the newspaper and the receipt to the woman.)

Manager: “Sorry about that. The gift card works fine. The cashier is still new, and he doesn’t know what he’s doing yet.”

(The customer took the paper and left. The manager muttered something about how I didn’t know anything about gift cards, and then he walked away. The funny part was, the manager really thought I was new and confused, even though I’ve worked there longer than he has!)