The gift card that wasn’t…


Just when I thought that bowling was the worst of the Admin Day adventure……

Last night I went to Bed, Bath & Beyond to spend my $25 consolation gift card.

Found the salad bowls I wanted – lined up at the register – proudly presented my gift card……….

Only to be told: "This has no value on it"  

Cashier asked in that tone which suggests she is sure I did:  – "Did you just take this off the rack?". 

No -  my company gave me this yesterday for Admin Day – I think they purchased it at CVS.

"Well" (she doubtfully looks about) ….   calls Supervisor who takes the card away. 

By now there is a bit of a line and I am starting to look guilty even though I know I didn't just steal the card!

Supervisor comes back …  "sorry, do you have an alternative method of payment"

She gives me the gift card back – probably still believing that I stole it!   It is of no use, so no skin off their nose for me to have it.

Wow first bowling and then an invalid card …. what a great admin day  – can't wait for next year! 


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22 responses

  1. Oh man! I work for a company that manages and tracks gift cards, and I loved your story! How awkward. This actually does happen, A lot time when the cashier swipes the card, sometime it doesn't get activated. It's always important to hold on to that little receipt they give you with the balance on it. Wow, how embarrassing. Looks like you had a day of bowling for awkwardness.

  2. In an amusing coincidence, a couple of years ago I received a gift card which ended up having no value to it. I was able to get a new one, but I think I still have it, and we haven't gone back to use it. What was the gift card for? ………………………………… a bowling alley…

  3. Remarkable! Actually, I recently purchased a gift card and they gave me a proof of purchase which I gave along with the card "just in case." Thought it was a good idea. Apparently it isn't really that uncommon of a problem. Sorry it happened to you though. I would have been mortified!

  4. Don’t you
    just love it I have caught people trying to pass back a card that hasn’t been
    activated and the recite, and you know the minute you walk away they will void
    the transaction and pocket the money!

    Love gift
    cards the easiest way to give someone something without giving them something
    they hate.

    TOO bad for
    your luck it would be good to get the recite for it and be able to rub their noses
    in it, I always love how smug they are and you the customer are always wrong
    anymore. Times have changed in retail, no more service with a smile more like a

  5. LOL!! I actually couldn't have the receipt because our HR department bought about 25 various gift cards from CVS – all on the one docket. It must be quite interesting tracking them – I have read that companies love selling gift cards because they get their money upfront and so many people never get around to actually using their gift card to purchase anything.

  6. LOL! The idea of giving the one person who didn't enjoy the experience a free return visit!! I was trying to buy salad bowls at Bed Bath & Beyond – that is much more my style! 🙂

  7. It was an awkward feeling because really I had no way of proving that I didn't just take it off their rack. Add to that a foreign accent and they probably assumed that I was stupid enough to think these cards were "free" (stupid foreigner syndrome). It is my husband's birthday today and I gave him a Best Buy gift card – purchased from the actual store – I gave it to him in the Best Buy shopping bag with the receipt – all just in case!

  8. You will have to come back and check today's post on the continuing saga of the stupid gift card! Yes I took it back to HR – no others involved yet! I now have nothing to show for my traumatic day out! 🙂 (though I am sure they will remedy it next week – they are actually a great company to work for).

  9. Yeah! I was thinking "do I look like a thief" but at the same time was probably looking guilty because of the situation I was put in. But, really, what does a thief look like? Sometimes I am really surprised at what I find out about people!

  10. LOL! I don't know why they call it customer "care" really. They obviously do not CARE at all about the customer – and you are probably right about some illegal voiding going on! A woman working for metro here has just been caught stealing over $500,000 over a 10 year period – selling train and bus tickets – don't know the full details of how she actually did it, Oh, and I once read about a collector stealing money from parking meters – it was a heap of money too and I always wondered how he got all the coins to the bank without anyone being suspicious.

  11. LOL!! They don't actually give out Chrissie presents – separation of office and religion etc! We don't have a chrissie tree either. AND, we only get one day off! I know what they could give me for Christmas – a Boxing Day!

  12. Lol..yes, I find relief in thinking, 'a thief probably does not look as embarrassed as I'm looking right now.' Every so often the ladies at our library will not deactivate the books properly and the buzzer will go off when I leave..while they usually just wave me off, my ears still go red!

  13. In reply, True and True. You're in the states yeah? I just see aussie,
    and I'm not sure exactly where you are. Our company has a blog rolling
    on about gift cards. Technically, in the states, a gift
    card is a loan. So the company doesn't actually get to keep it as
    revenue. I know it doesn't sound right. The retailer can only count it
    as revenue, once it's been spent on a physical item. Buying a gift card
    is essentially, your money in their credit. It's bogus, but in the
    states we spend $100B on it. We lost about $8B. Do that math.

  14. Oh that's interesting. I am an Aussie living in the States and still learning the ropes! What do they do with the money while they wait for the person to buy?

  15. Despite everyone's love of Gift cards this happens a lot! I read that the "experts" say if you are going to give something easy like a gift card, may as well just cut a cheque instead. You did the "right thing" Emjay, (again, according to experts). If you are saddled w/ a gift card use it right away as the stores make a killing on all the people who let them expire and never use them.
    Our sad tale. The $100 gift card to Disney for my son's birthday. Got all his stuff, tried to pay–we were in the next store over. They denied the card. It was closing time and we were leaving for home the next day! I caused a bit of a ruckus…they decided to make the effort by making a phone call as we bought the card online from Disney! <eyeroll>

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