Shopping Discussion

President's Choice Gift Card Problem - advice please

  • Last Updated:
  • Jun 17th, 2011 4:56 pm
[OP]
Deal Addict
Oct 7, 2007
2406 posts
384 upvotes

President's Choice Gift Card Problem - advice please

I am posting my story for two reasons:

1. To let others know what has happened and to be aware for your own protection.
2. To find out if anyone else has experienced this or knows how this could have happened.

In 2009, I purchased many gift cards from Real Canadian Superstore (RCSS) as I shop alot at Superstore and was taking advantage of a promotion at that time and knew I would have no problem spending these cards in the future at RCSS. So every week when I go grocery shopping at RCSS, instead of using cash or a credit card, I use the gift cards that I purchased. (These gift cards have no expiration date so I have never been concerned that they would expire on me before I had a chance to use them.)

Also, for those who don't already know, President's Choice gift cards can be used at many different Loblaws stores including No Frills, RCSS, etc. Earlier this week when I was shopping at my local No Frills, I tried to pay with a $100 gift card that I had not used yet only to learn from the cashier that this card had a zero balance. This didn't make any sense to me as the card was still in the package and I knew I hadn't used it.

I then contacted Loblaws Customer Service and after taking the gift card number down was informed that the card was used at a Vancouver RCSS (not the one I regularly shop at). Again, this did not make sense to me as I had never actually used the card since I purchased it and I don't shop at the RCSS that they mentioned. I then checked my own records against the date (Sep 2010) and time of the purchase and I have no record of this doubtful purchase in my records.

I am in the process of escalating this with RCSS but I wanted to post this because it makes absolutely no sense to me. How could this gift card be used when it was kept in safekeeping until this week when I pulled it out? Is it possible for a cashier to override the gift card number in the system? I still have some unused gift cards and am also wondering what protection I have against this happening again? No one in my household has touched these cards so from my end I am 100% sure that the card was not used. I hope RCSS has enough information on their end to help get to the bottom of this. I hope they reimburse me but regardless what is a consumer's protection against the integrity of the remaining unused cards in my possession that I have fully paid for?

If anyone has any experience or advice they can share in this area, this would be most appreciated.

Thanks.
12 replies
Sr. Member
May 30, 2009
502 posts
31 upvotes
hey

I worked at loblaws as a cashier plus other grocery stores with similar policies

this may shock customers once a gift card gets used up and the remaining balance is 0$ the cashier usually takes it from you, well some stores if they are running out of a popular domination amount due to a special sale you describe the managers will repackage the gift and stick back on the shelf. I know its a bad practice but the loblaws employee morale is very low and employees don't give a *****. Is there any chance you have the original receipt of the transaction where you bought all those gift card?
because at the bottom of the receipt or on a separate receipt it should give you a gift card activation and it has to say "approved" or "declined". In your case it was declined and the cashier wasnt doing their job buy checking the slips. So this is 100% loblaws fault and I would fight it but make sure you have receipt because they dont look into futhur than that, no receipt no refund or exchanges. So i would def take this up with Loblaws head office where they can investigate futhur.

If you are skeptical about your other gift cards balances you can always go to a cashier and ask them to do an inquiry before processing your order.
Newbie
Feb 25, 2009
49 posts
4 upvotes
Just to give everyone a heads up. Loblaws are changing their gift cards soon so that they upc on the back will be covered with a strip that you rip off when scanning to prevent this from happening in the future.
Jr. Member
Jan 5, 2008
176 posts
7 upvotes
New Westminster
I'm surprised they would honour the gift card at all after 2 years.
Deal Addict
Mar 21, 2010
3320 posts
349 upvotes
Toronto
Jump145 wrote:
Jun 12th, 2011 5:09 pm
I'm surprised they would honour the gift card at all after 2 years.

Isn't it illegal for gift cards to have an expiry date?
Deal Addict
Sep 9, 2003
1309 posts
93 upvotes
Well well well...the exact thing happened to me in TO. I was stacking up on GC from metro and PC choice to take advantage of the MBNA smartcash 6 month special (5% cash back). Majority of my cards were from PC and purchased at No Frills, Loblaws and Fortinos.

We had a whole bunch of cards (MBNA cards X 2) from PC stacked up and in different denominations. I did not save the receipts. Also, I used to give them to my parents as gifts occasionally. Of all the cards, there was only 1 $100 GC that had the issue you described. Unfortunately, it ended up as a gift to my parents. My dad called their CS and after checking they said it was spend in Vancouver as well. This card was bought by me in Toronto. They immediately apologized and send a replacement card in the mail. My dad did not have to send back the one he had in hand. It took a couple of weeks for the card to arrive but it arrived by a courier because i remember it was delivered at their condo door.

So in short, your not the only one and RCSS do know about this because they did not have any problems in dispatching a new card. Hope you get it sorted out.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Aug 20, 2005
10455 posts
1970 upvotes
Others have reported this problem here before. Quite a few people also had this problem with SDM GCs because they too don't have a concealed PIN. Obviously be careful buying any of these cards, always keep your receipts and track your purchases and try to use the cards right away.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Oct 7, 2007
2406 posts
384 upvotes
Thanks for everyone's feedback on this.

I just wanted to let everyone know that RCSS took care of the problem to my satisfaction. There was a bit of investigative work that they needed to do on their end but in the end they exchanged my $0 balance $100 gift card with a $100 replacement gift card. So now I feel whole again.

I was optimistic that Loblaws/Superstore would take care of me and was pleased that in the end they did.

:)
Deal Addict
User avatar
Sep 29, 2003
4336 posts
85 upvotes
GTA
RainbowBrite94 wrote:
Jun 12th, 2011 1:00 am
Just to give everyone a heads up. Loblaws are changing their gift cards soon so that they upc on the back will be covered with a strip that you rip off when scanning to prevent this from happening in the future.

welcome to the year 2001 Loblaws
[OP]
Deal Addict
Oct 7, 2007
2406 posts
384 upvotes
Portwest wrote:
Jun 16th, 2011 4:55 pm
I don't consider that acceptable --- for all your trouble, they replaced the gift card? They didn't offer any extra compensation?

A customer should not have to jump through hoops in order to get what he or she has paid for.

Tsk tsk, Loblaws. That's poor customer service.

You make a really good point! I was just so relieved that they reimbursed me for what was actually mine in the first place that I didn't even stop to think about the customer service aspect, not to mention the amount of inconvenience and worry caused by this incident.

I wonder what Loblaws would have offered, if anything, if I had highlighted the true nature of the situation to them. It is really not the customer's fault that Loblaws' systems are not bulletproof and are vulnerable to fraud. If anyone has any suggestions for what I should do in response to this comment, if anything, I would be interested to hear them.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Oct 14, 2003
13485 posts
705 upvotes
Portwest wrote:
Jun 16th, 2011 4:55 pm
I don't consider that acceptable --- for all your trouble, they replaced the gift card? They didn't offer any extra compensation?

A customer should not have to jump through hoops in order to get what he or she has paid for.

Tsk tsk, Loblaws. That's poor customer service.

"All your trouble" They didn't seem to fight with him any, and it took less than a week (including a weekend) to be resolved. All he had to do with call them and everything was handled. That's not much if any hoops. All the OP deserves is the original amount of the gift card and an apology.
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