Shopping Discussion

Store Refusing to Refund/Exchange Inactivated Gift Card

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 14th, 2017 3:21 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 8, 2017
4 posts

Store Refusing to Refund/Exchange Inactivated Gift Card

I bought a $50 Amazon.ca gift card at a local Independent store a few months ago. Recently when I tried to redeem it online it said that the code was not valid. I called Amazon who confirmed that the card had not been activated and advised me to return to the store to have it activated. However, the store refused to do anything because the barcode on the card does not match the one on the receipt (it is only one number off, I guess a mistake in the system?) Now I am out $50 and both sides are saying they can't do anything. I believe this should be the store's responsibility to fix, but what can I do to get them to help me?
16 replies
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2001
15566 posts
5805 upvotes
File a chargeback with your credit card issuer that you used to purchase the card.

The problem is that, when you look at the situation objectively, you have an unactivated gift card that does not match what you have on the receipt. This could mean that you just took an empty one off the shelf. Your situation is not great because it is a common one that people can use to commit fraud.
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 8, 2017
4 posts
I thought about doing a chargeback but I think it's past the time limit - the card was bought in June along with a bunch of other ones. The barcode on the receipt is just one number off which to me makes it obvious that it was something like a computer glitch.

I guess I'm out of luck then?
Member
Apr 1, 2004
321 posts
169 upvotes
did they manually enter the card upc when you bought it? or did they scan it?

possibilities
1) you are a victim of giftcard fraud, that upc was tempered with or the clerk was committing fraud
2) the card itslf is faulty, try having them scan it again if it shows up same number as before (one number off)
Member
Feb 22, 2013
214 posts
21 upvotes
llll93 wrote:
Dec 9th, 2017 5:14 pm
I thought about doing a chargeback but I think it's past the time limit - the card was bought in June along with a bunch of other ones. The barcode on the receipt is just one number off which to me makes it obvious that it was something like a computer glitch.

I guess I'm out of luck then?
Put yourself in the store's position. Someone come to your store with a receipt that don't match the card's barcode. Would you refund the customer? There is no justification for a refund.

If you do not check your giftcard's status and balance after purchasing a gift card, then next time when you purchase a gift card, login online as soon as you get home to confirm the card is active and loaded with the right dollar amount.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Nov 25, 2004
1336 posts
533 upvotes
London
llll93 wrote:
Dec 9th, 2017 5:14 pm
I thought about doing a chargeback but I think it's past the time limit - the card was bought in June along with a bunch of other ones. The barcode on the receipt is just one number off which to me makes it obvious that it was something like a computer glitch.

I guess I'm out of luck then?
dont hurt to call ur cc company and see if they will try. if that dont work try going to both the store u bought the card from facebook page and post on there. if they dont help try emailing jeff@amazon.com.
Newbie
Nov 22, 2016
91 posts
19 upvotes
If you know that the store knows that you are right, threaten to file a chargeback. Most merchants are afraid of them as they will have a $20-$50 fee even if they win, and it doesn't look good for them even if they win. However if you will actually initiate a dispute the store will probably win.
Deal Addict
Feb 19, 2017
2836 posts
1643 upvotes
Vancouver
aaron158 wrote:
Dec 9th, 2017 11:55 pm
dont hurt to call ur cc company and see if they will try. if that dont work try going to both the store u bought the card from facebook page and post on there. if they dont help try emailing jeff@amazon.com.
Don't think this actually has anything to do with Amazon if the card isn't activated. Its really something to do with the store OP bought the GC from.

Option #1 - Go back to the store and explain to them what you think, ask them to scan the card to see if it comes up as 1 number off
Option #2 - Threaten to do a charge back (or actually do it if that doesn't work)

Since its a small independent store, i doubt they can or will be able to track the receipt to see if the GC was activated/balance on the other card. You could also ask Amazon to do a balance check on the number on your receipt or if its an invalid number. If its an invalid number, tell the store this number isn't valid. Tell them you could call Amazon right now to prove that.

If all this doesn't work, you could try going to a newspaper but $50 isn't exactly a interesting story so the media probably won't pick it up. One lesson here is not to buy GC at an independent store over a chain store (like RCSS, WM, SDM, BB, etc) 'cause with those stores, you actually would get support and in this case likely get a new GC.
Deal Addict
Apr 23, 2005
1207 posts
208 upvotes
The number on your receipt, you should call the company and see if the gift card # listed on your receipt has ever been activated.

If it was never activated, then you have a strong case- and proof- that the store screwed it up somehow.

If they look at that number and see oh that card number was activated, they can see if it was used or not. If the balance was activated and used then you got scammed (or you’re the scammer, lol). If it’s activated and just floating in limbo maybe they can help you better.. by matching it to when/where/which till activated the card. It would match your receipt time, and that would prove if a glitch, however unlikely, occurred.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jan 7, 2007
20179 posts
4127 upvotes
Poormond Hill
Op, could it be possible that someone knew about those cards and switched it with an inactivated one? You do know they are very easy to get.
A life spent making mistakes is not only more memorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 8, 2017
4 posts
Thanks for your suggestions everyone. I am not sure about the possibility of fraud, I assumed it was a glitch since the barcode was just one number off. I will go back to the store one more time and try some of the things you suggested. If it doesn't work out, well I'm not going to waste any more of my time over $50. Lesson learned to check any gift cards I buy right away!
Deal Guru
Jul 19, 2012
13636 posts
3907 upvotes
Montreal
If your story is factual, then the clerk scammed you by manually entering the gift card number into the system, rather than scanning it like they should have.

You need to contact the store headquarters, scan the receipt and the gift card, and get them to look at it.

Employees are *always* running gift card scams - just this week I went to Tim Horton's with 2 GCs, one with like $1 something on it and another with $50 - I gave them in and the lady gave me back one card back and said "there is $X left on this one" and halfway to a table I noticed it was the wrong GC (the $50 was on a special logo card).

So I went back and asked for the correct card back, was given a blank stare so I asked for the manager. After I explained it, there was a little bit of a argument between some people, and the girl who served me took it out of her pocket and gave it to the manager. Unbelievable. There are freaking thieves everywhere these days!
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Sr. Member
Aug 16, 2011
839 posts
245 upvotes
Kitchener
JackWhyte wrote:
Dec 10th, 2017 2:02 pm
If your story is factual, then the clerk scammed you by manually entering the gift card number into the system, rather than scanning it like they should have.

You need to contact the store headquarters, scan the receipt and the gift card, and get them to look at it.

Employees are *always* running gift card scams - just this week I went to Tim Horton's with 2 GCs, one with like $1 something on it and another with $50 - I gave them in and the lady gave me back one card back and said "there is $X left on this one" and halfway to a table I noticed it was the wrong GC (the $50 was on a special logo card).

So I went back and asked for the correct card back, was given a blank stare so I asked for the manager. After I explained it, there was a little bit of a argument between some people, and the girl who served me took it out of her pocket and gave it to the manager. Unbelievable. There are freaking thieves everywhere these days!
It's not neccessarily the cashier, I used to work at a store that sold gift cards and sometimes scanning them in brought up the wrong card (usually with those mastercard and visa gcs)
Deal Addict
Oct 3, 2012
1250 posts
364 upvotes
Hamilton, Ontario
I've had my share of blank gift cards. If you don't have a receipt, you are out of luck. My wife likes to collect blank ones, because she think's they are pretty. So I'm never certain if we didn't just accidentally switch cards... So the lesson is keep the receipt, and check the numbers right away. Right now, as those who have responded is more a bit of social engineering and luck if you get them to do anything for you.
Deal Addict
Mar 17, 2004
4850 posts
282 upvotes
Have you tried using the gift card number that's on the receipt, redeeming that instead of the 1 number off one from the physical card?

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