The Gift Cards That Keep On Giving Suspicion

, , , , | Right | September 22, 2018

(I’m the idiot in this story. I was sent to buy a number of gift cards from our local department store to give out to employees found to be doing good work on our project. My dad works for the same company and has sent me to purchase the gift cards with his corporate Visa.)

Cashier: “Hi, how can I help you today?”

Me: “Hi there. Can I please have ten gift cards with $100 each on them?”

Cashier: “Sure, no problem.” *fills the cards and scans them through* “That will be $1000.”

Me: “Visa, please.”

(I hand over my dad’s corporate card, and she processes the transaction. The gift cards have been paid for.)

Cashier: “Do you have another piece of ID on you? With a value this high, I need to verify the signature on the credit card.”

Me: “Oh, the signature won’t match. It’s my dad’s corporate card; he sent me to pick up these gift cards.”

Cashier: “Oh, okay, well, do you have some ID on you to verify identity?”

Me: *patting pockets, suddenly realising I left work without my wallet* “I’m so sorry. I seem to have left my wallet at work in my rush to get here.”

Cashier: *growing increasingly suspicious* “I see. I just need to call a manager.”

(I begin frantically trying to reach my dad to have him verify the use of the card — though it won’t do much good with me not having any ID — but he is unreachable. The cashier returns with her manager.)

Me: “I’m so sorry. I realise this probably looks pretty sketchy.”

Manager: “I’m going to have to hold the gift cards. I can’t let you leave with them knowing that this is not your credit card, and you have no way to prove that you have authority to use it.”

Me: “I understand. Let me try to get in touch with my manager who may be able to help or can perhaps find my dad.”

(Meanwhile, the bank associated with the credit card has phoned the department store and informed them that the card has been frozen due to unusual activity. My dad rarely uses his card, and it has coincidentally been used twice already that day so a third transaction seems suspicious to the bank. I get in touch with my manager on my cell phone.)

Me: “This is a mess; I can’t leave with the gift cards because I admitted it’s not my credit card that I paid with and I have no ID.”

My Manager: “Can you see the gift cards?”

Me: “Yes. Why?”

My Manager: “Are you near a door?”

Me: “Yes. Where are you going with this?”

My Manager: “GRAB THEM AND RUN!”

Me: “WHAT?!”

My Manager: “I’m kidding. I’ll try to find your Dad.”

(The department store manager has asked me to speak with the representative from the bank that’s frozen the card.)

Bank Rep: “So, I’m just going to explain this how it sounds to me, and you tell me what you think. You’ve shown up at this store to buy $1000 worth of gift cards, with someone else’s credit card. You have no proof that you are authorised to use this card. You have no ID, so even if you did have some kind of permission slip to use the card, the store can’t verify that it’s you who has permission. You’ve said it’s your dad’s card, but you can’t reach him… and there have already been three transactions on this card today which flag it as suspicious, regardless if you were legitimately allowed to use the card.”

Me: “Yeah. I see how that looks.”

(My dad finally called me back and spoke with the bank, as well as the department store. They agreed to hold the gift cards for him to come pick up later. I made sure I was with him when he came in, with my ID, to show the store manager. She was a good sport, and completely fair in how she treated the situation; it did look like I was trying to steal!)

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