The next chapter …

I returned the gift card to HR.  I was the only one to have returned one – so far – maybe every one else is going shopping this weekend and is about to experience the joy of being accused of shoplifting.  I only hope the lady who got the fuel card checks the balance with a cashier before filling her tank!

Ms R pulled out the receipt  – she had bought over 20 different gift cards from CVS.  My Bed Bath & Beyond card appeared on the receipt.

She called the 1800 number on the card and listened to the automated balance – it said $25 credit!

She navigated the usual phone tree designed to put you off actually wanting to speak to a real person.  Real person said "no value on that card".

The conversation then went something like this:

Ms R:  How come the automated system says $25

Customer Care:  I dunno.

Ms R:  Well there must be a reason that you say there is no value and the automated thing says $25.

CC:  Yeah, well I don't know why that would be.

Ms R:  Aren't you customer service?

CC:  Yes – but we only give customer service for those cards actually bought at BBB.  You bought yours at CVS – I can't help you.

Ms R:  Well, that's ridiculous – you give/sell your cards to CVS to sell!  The card has this customer service 1800 number.

Hangs up in huff.

Ms R walks down street to CVS.  Rough approximation of conversation with Manager:

CVS:  The card is activated.

Ms R:  BBB says it is not.

CVS:  Not our problem – we activated it.

Ms R:  Can I have a refund then because the card doesn't work.

CVS:  No – you can't because we have already credited the money to BBB  – you will have to talk to them.

Ms R:  I have talked to them, they told me to talk to you.

CVS:  I can't help you.

Ms R is not about to be deterred. She whips out her mobile phone and calls BBB while in the CVS store.

Ms R:  I am at CVS and they say that it is your problem.

BBB:  No it is not.

Ms R:  Well YOU tell that to CVS

Ms R puts CVS onto her mobile to talk to BBB  – starting to worry about her minutes being used on such a frustrating exercise.

From the one side of conversation she hears she determines that it is a ping pong conversation with each company saying not our problem; it is yours. One of them must hang up because phone is handed back to Ms R.

There is no result …..   absolutely nothing is solved because neither company will give her back the money or get the card actually working.

Ms R stomps back to office in very bad mood.  Ms R is about to write scathing letters to both companies!

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21 responses

  1. Definitely the company should get their money back. It will be interesting to see if any of the other admins come forward with cards that don't work. My HR lady bought about 25 cards – for different shops like Borders, Starbucks, Bed Bath & Beyond, LinenNThings and some fuel cards. All the same time so everything was on the same receipt. I hope that her letters result in some sort of extra compensation now! It is amazing that neither CVS or BBB is willing to accept responsibility – it is only $25 and it would be such good customer service and PR. This way I have blogged about it as a negative experience, the company will never buy gift cards from CVS again and other employees might think twice after hearing about it. I'm sure they both make enough profit to cover the $25.

  2. This is horrible PR for both companies, and annoying that you don't have your $25. In the mean time, it's pretty entertaining. Better than a movie. Hey, if you made each of us send you a dollar in exchange for reading your posts on the topic you could make out like a bandit! 8:-)

  3. I really cannot believe the lack of customer service orientation sometimes. I actually work for the Government and while the Government always cops the criticism for being bureacratic and difficult to negotiate, I actually think that corporate bureaucracies are far more difficult. I would never let my staff get away with treating people like that!

  4. ahhh the joys of customer service. And people wonder why I'm basically refusing to work in a 'customer service' role again. And why working at a '1-800' call centre for a major brokerage firm nearly drove me crazy… literally.

  5. I hate those gift cards. I think they are a scam. I went through the same thing with a Home Depot gift card. I bought it for my brother and he said it wasn't activated even though I stood there and watched the cashier activate the card. He still has it but no one wants to touch it. I still want to take a hammer to the genius who invented these damn cards. Oh well, some one got $100.00 of my money.

  6. One of my sons worked in a service centre for a bank. He hated it so much he only lasted a month and had 3 sick days during that time. He said that he had to wear a headset and that the minute he hungup from one caller there was another right there in his head. He nearly went crazy also!

  7. I was thinking about the number of gift cards given for weddings and birthdays in big amounts. The recipient takes it to the shop and gets told that there is nothing on it….. they most likely never tell the person who gave it to them. (they might be embarrassed or think that the person stole it, or that the giver will be embarrassed). Hence the company gets free profit.

  8. Yep – really horrible PR because now I have told about 500 people how awful Bed Bath & Beyond and CVS have been. Not sure that it will have any effect on their bottom line but $25 from one of them would have avoided a lot of bad "press". My company gave me cash today. I have just spent some of it on a bottle of wine – something I couldn't get from BBB anyway! 🙂

  9. I was out at training one day and they had a temp replace me. When I came in the next day the HR Manager told me that she had received a complaint about the temp from some woman. I immediately called the woman to apologize because basically the temp was representing our company even if she was a temp. Mind you, I think the woman was a bit strange so I ended up not taking the complaint too seriously – but still apologized saying that I was sorry she had had an unpleasant experience calling our company! It seemed that neither Bed BAth & Beyond or CVS really cared how their companies were represented. (so much for recording calls for training purposes!!).

  10. Wow, only a month and that hit him? That's pretty much how it was. One call after another after another after another. I don't know how I did it for 2 and a 1/2 years, other than I was making loads of money.. and so on. And now I'm poor and can't do anything, but whatever… hehBLAH

  11. Yeah – when he would complain about these people just "being in his head" I would tell him – but you are earning more money than ever before!! The bank only keeps them in these phone call centres for 12 months and then they can go into a branch etc… Not even that would induce him to stay! He is now a 2nd year Locksmith apprentice on apprentice wages and loving everything!

  12. Thanks for the heads up on this Emmy. We regularly buy gift cards at the Pick and Save grocery store to pass out to our patients for referring others to our office. I would be mortified if one of them came back and said it couldn't be used. I've not heard of any problems. yet. I am glad they gave you the cash value of the card. Did you end up buying the salad bowls? BBB is one of my favorite stores, but soo expensive.

  13. The thing is that if I was given a card as a gift I wouldn't tell the person that it didn't work – exactly because they would feel mortified like you. I was given a Wachovia card once and it didn't work and I never told the person because I didn't want them to feel bad. I just felt very comfortable this time because it was work and I thought they should sort out the problem.Yes I did buy the bowls – they were $6.50 each so I had to put a bit of money in but not much. Our BBB is brand new so it is still having some opening specials – I agree that they are a bit costly so once the specials finish I will be back at Target.

  14. This whole experience was not only horrible, but what a waste of time for you! Over $25.00 stinkin dollars. WOW! I will never buy gift cards from CVS and BBB is expensive.

  15. I know! Wasn't it so totally stupid! Over $25 both these companies have lost future sales. I know they won't lose much money from me not purchasing, but my Company buys a lot of things like this for employees – in the $1,000's each year – and the woman responsible for these purchases has said "never again" from CVS/BBB.

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