The Gift Card That Keeps On Giving, Part 8

, , , , , | Right | August 17, 2018

(I work as a manager. I am in on a weekend when one of the front desk employees approaches me to help them locate a gift card a customer has lost and is trying to locate prior to booking their service. The gift card is for our most expensive package. When a gift card is sold, it has a unique card number assigned to it and a sales transaction number. A manual log is kept as a backup to the computer log, and it is also used to track the names of who the gift is to and who it is from to assist in locating the gift card in the event it is lost.)

Me: *looking over the gift card register quickly* “I’m not seeing it in here. Get their name and number, as well as as much information as you can: when they think it was purchased, when they received it, and who it was from. Let them know I’ll look into it on Monday and call them back.”

(The employee does and leaves the names of who it was from and to, as well as the note that it was holiday gift and she believed it was purchased with a credit card. She also indicates the customer was rude to her on the phone. I go through all the entries in the physical gift registry, as well as all gift card sales run through the computer, checking the name on the credit card sales looking for either name. All the gift cards for our deluxe package are accounted for under other names in the registry. I call the customer back. After confirming I’ve reached the right person, the conversation is as follows:)

Me: “Hi, [Customer]. This is [My Name] calling from [Spa]. I have a note here that you were attempting to track down a gift card you received this past Christmas. I wanted to let you know I’ve gone through all of our logs and I wasn’t able to locate it. Is it possible that the gift card was for something else?”

Customer: “No, it was for your [deluxe spa package]! Are you going to honor the gift card or not?”

(What I think is, “I can’t honor something that doesn’t look like it was purchased.” But what I say is:)

Me: “We would need the actual gift card number to be able to use it. Is it possible your husband purchased a gift card at a different spa? I’m asking because I even went back to October’s sales, and all of the gift cards we sold for our [deluxe spa package] are accounted for.”

Customer: “No, it was a gift card from there! They’ve gotten me [deluxe spa package] in the past! Look, do whatever you need to do to find it, because I can’t waste my time on the phone with you!”

(At this point I’m silent because I’ve done everything I can do to locate the card, and I’m starting to wonder if the customer is trying to pull something or if an employee really messed something up when ringing up a sale. I decide to check the PREVIOUS year’s records, in case she received it as a gift then and not the most recent holiday.)

Me: “Okay, I’ll look into this for you and give you a call back in an hour.”

(The customer agrees and I hang up. I pull up the sales report, going line by line and checking the written gift line to ensure each one is accounted for. They are. Partway through this, I get another call on my line from the customer.)

Customer: “I just remembered we celebrated Christmas late this year, so it might have been purchased in January.”

(I expand my search to February 14th, just to be safe. Nothing. I call the customer back.)

Me: “I wanted to let you know I’ve pulled all of our gift card sales from December to February 14th of this year and compared them to our gift log, and there is no gift card under your name. I also was unable to find any credit card sales under your husband’s name.” *hesitating as I don’t want to call the customer a liar* “Now, our gift cards don’t expire, so if it happens to turn up, we would be able to honor it then.”

Customer: *angry* “Never mind. Just cancel my appointment!”

Me: “Okay, I’ve taken your name out. You are all set. Again, I’m sorry we weren’t able to locate that for you.”

(I’ve now spent over an hour dealing with this issue, and am glad to be done with it, as the spa is busy. A half-hour later the phone rings again. This time it is the husband.)

Husband: “This is [Husband]. I’m calling to speak to a manager.”

Me: *trying desperately to sound friendly* “I’m one of the managers here, actually. How can I help you?”

Husband: “I got my wife a [price that is more than our deluxe spa package] gift card for Christmas, and she isn’t able to find it. She has been trying for the past few days to locate it, but the person she spoke to wasn’t able to help her, so I’m calling now because I spent a lot of money on that gift card!”

Me: “I understand. I’m actually the one your wife was speaking to. Perhaps you’d be able to provide additional information that would help me locate it. Are you sure it was for [deluxe spa package]?”

Husband: “Yes, it was.”

Me: “Okay, because you said you paid [more than the package was].”

Husband: “Yes, I think that was how much it was after taxes.”

Me: *thinking this sounds really fishy* “Our prices are tax-inclusive.”

Husband: “I might be remembering wrong.”

Me: “Okay… Do you remember how you paid for the gift card?”

Husband: “I paid with cash. There was a blonde woman working the desk, and it looked like she was taking down all the information.”

Me: “Do you remember when you purchased the gift card, or even what time of day you would have come in?”

Husband: “I think it was January or early February. It would have been in the early afternoon. I wanted to have time to make up the gift card.”

Me: “Wait. Make up a gift card? They should have given you one.”

Husband: “They did, but it was too formal, so I made one up to give to my wife.”

(So, even if this isn’t a scam, and the wife does have a gift card, then it would have NONE of the unique numbers needed to process the transaction.)

Me: “We really need the unique number that is on each gift card to be able to redeem it. I’ve actually already run a search to February 14th, but let me expand it to the end of that month, just in case.”

(I run the report for a third time, and find an entry in March that is missing the to and from information in the gift registry and was run as a cash sale through the computer. Our records further indicate it wasn’t used. The transaction is in the computer as being processed by one of our male employees, but a quick check of the time clock records indicate the woman who took over just didn’t log him out. The woman is the only blonde on staff.)

Me: “Okay, sir, I’ve got some good news. I was able to locate a gift card that matches the information you provided, except I have a sales date of March. Is it possible you purchased it that late?”

Husband: “Wow, March. Yes, I guess it’s possible, but I didn’t think it was that late.”

(I provided him with the gift card number and ended the call politely as I was able. They were either scammers — I was so ready to wash my hands of them I didn’t care — or the most disorganized people I’ve had to deal with thus far.)

Related:
The Gift Card That Keeps On Giving, Part 7
The Gift Card That Keeps On Giving, Part 6
The Gift Card That Keeps On Giving, Part 5

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