Wednesday, December 08, 2010

How to Use An Gift Card

True confessions - but my goal is to assist you. Even at the cost of my own shame.

As embarrassing as this is to admit, the other night I spent way too much time trying to use an Gift Card.

This was one of those gift cards that can be bought at the grocery store and I was making a purchase and when I was checking out it didn't show a deduction in my total. I would type in the card number as directed, see a spinning circle, the screen would flash and nothing would change.

That was annoying.

I wondered if the card hadn't had time to activate yet, since it was purchased very recently. I called the number that came with activation receipt. I just got a busy number. That was weird, I assumed perhaps the world was having troubles with their gift cards at that moment.

I kept on trying every 30 minutes or so. Nothing. That was annoying.

Eventually I found another spot on the website where you could apply the funds to your account...when I did would get an annoying message about how it didn't recognize my card number, make sure the numbers weren't transposed and that the card number was not case sensitive. This was annoying because the card just had numbers on it, so the thought that it'd be case sensitive was just annoying.

And of course, there's no customer service number on the actual card. That's annoying, too.

So like all modern solution solvers I Google searched solutions and issues. Whew, did I find a number of complaints about these cards...namely they can't be used for other gift cards, but also that people would try inserting their card number and nothing would happen.

In fact, I even found complaints on the actual page about their gift cards. Like everything else on you can rate the product and there was a surprisingly high number of gift card ratings giving the card a 1 star rating, which is kind of goofy to rate a gift card...but whatever, it's Amazon. You can people's ratings and remarks here.

So after some frustration, I figured I'd wait until the next day.

But then I realized there was a silver scratchy section like you'd see on one of those game pieces and I realized the code I was inserting was not the code I needed, so I scratched at the little section to get my "claim number" as the section was labeled...and when I inserted this string of numbers (and letters...that remember, aren't case sensitive), it worked.

So I prepare this post in full disclosure of my personal feeling of foolishness but thought I would provide my own troubleshooting and how to knowledge to the web, since I know I'm not the only person who has had this problem (I know cause I've read the reviews to this product on Amazon).

Here's an image of my card with the section to scratch off below. Happy holidays!

1 comment:

Krystle C. said...

Haha, I've definitely seen stranger questions asked out there =) This is helpful, so don't feel silly!

My personal solution? Email gift cards - way easier since everything is laid out for you!