The Gift Card That Keeps On Giving… You Regrets

, , , , , , | Working | September 25, 2019

(I try to order a gift card from [Terrible Phone Company]’s website. After hitting “Submit” on the order, the website hangs. Logging out of my account and then back in shows the card still in my cart, with no confirmation that the order has gone through, and I receive no email stating that it has gone through, but the rewards points I was using to purchase the card are deducted from my balance. After three days with no confirmation that the order has been received, I use [Terrible Phone Company]’s online chat to ask what is going on with the order. Just for reference, this is the second time I’ve had this exact issue with this company, and I have previously had issues with this same company randomly not sending e-bills to an email address I have been using with them for years.)

Me: “Can you just confirm that you are going to redeem [points] for a [Place] gift card?”

Automated Chat system: “Typically it takes two to three weeks for delivery of the partner gift card. The eGift cards will be sent to you via email within 48 hours.”

Me: “Okay, but can you confirm that the order was placed?”

Automated Chat system: “Ordered [expensive Internet package] recently and want to check the status?”

Me: “That is not what I want. I would like to talk to a human now.”

(Eventually, a — presumably — human agent gets on the chat. After several minutes of the representative confirming my account details and identity, we finally get around to checking the order. It takes several minutes for the chat rep to actually look up the order info.)

Chat Rep: “Upon checking your account details for the recent redemption of [card I ordered]…”

(Radio silence.)

Me: “So… is that a yes? My gift card is on its way? Because I’ve received zero confirmation and your website still shows me as having it in my cart and every time I hit submit it just sits there and hangs.”

Chat Rep: “Yes, you will received [sic] also an email confirmation regarding the status of your gift card.”

Me: “When will I receive that email confirmation?”

Chat Rep: “Anytime. Please check your email every day.”

Me: “I do. That’s the issue. That’s why I’m chatting with you. Because it’s been, let’s see, three days, and I’ve received bupkis.”

Chat Rep: “You’re welcome! I’m glad to assist!”

Me: “That was not a thank-you. Supervisor, now, please. Please escalate this. I have found a bug in your program. I need to report it.”

Chat Rep: “Even if I will connect you to my supervisor, it will be the same. We do have the same access on your account.”

Me: “So… I can’t report a bug? Your website will not give me the info I need and won’t send me an email confirmation. I would think you’d want to know that. ‘You’ in this case meaning [Terrible Phone Company], not [Chat Rep]. Escalate. ESCALATE. YOUR WEBSITE IS BROKEN.”

Chat Rep: “Sure thing! Please allow me a few minutes.”

(The chat rep then sends me to his supervisor.)

Chat Rep Supervisor: “I understand that you want to know when you will receive your [Place] gift card, is that right?”

Me: “Just for a summary: your portal for redeeming [Terrible Phone Company] rewards through your website is not working. I tried to redeem rewards but received zero confirmation from the website that the order had been completed, and the item never left my cart. And I received zero emails about the order. So I had no way of knowing if the order went through at all. So, yes, I wanted to know if the order was placed and when I will get my gift card, but I’d like something in writing to that effect, and [Chat Rep]’s assurances that I will get an email ‘anytime’ are less than assuring, because it’s been three days and your website is still borked.”

Chat Rep Supervisor: “I got you! I actually checked your account and I see the transaction for a [Place] gift card.”

Me: “Terrific. So… when will I get an email to that effect?”

Chat Rep Supervisor: “What I will do is to check my resources on how we can make sure you will get this gift card.”

Me: “That’s not what I asked for. How about this? Instead, pass along a bug report? I’m using [Browser] on [Cell Phone Brand] and also on [Laptop Brand]. Browser is 100% up-to-date on both.”

Chat Rep Supervisor: “Please allow me a few minutes.”

Me: “Just tell your techies there’s a bug.”

Chat Rep Supervisor: “Please allow me a few minutes.”

(I waited. Time marched inexorably on. After several more minutes, I gave up and told the chat rep supervisor I was signing off. Five minutes later, I received an email that my gift card was on its way.)

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