Summerville, SC- A Lowcountry woman called Collett after she was unable to cash in on gift card to a big box store.
With a $115 gift card, Jennifer Lowe went shopping at Best Buy.
But when she needed to make returns she hit a snag.
“When they scanned the receipt, they must have deactivated the card,” Lowe explained to News 2’s Rebecca Collett.
She only realized the issue when she tried to shop a couple weeks later.
“It didn’t say it was used. It said it was deactivated,” Lowe explained.
That meant Jennifer couldn’t access the $115 balance on the card.
The manager at the store couldn’t help. So she tried calling Best Buy corporate.
“Corporate told me I had to go back to the retail store. This went back and forth for a few months,” Lowe said frustrated. Exasperated after nine months, I called the TV station.”
Turns out the only way to deactivate a gift card is at the cash register. After News 2 investigators called Best Buy, they reinstated the card with the correct balance.
“I called Collett,” Lowe said. “Within two weeks I had an answer from corporate. “
“We heard back from our customer care team and they found that the card issue was actually a system glitch that caused the gift card to deactivate when other items on the receipt were exchanged. Because of this, we refunded Ms. Lowe for the gift card” a Best Buy spokesperson explained.
Billions of dollars each year are spent on gift cards. According to a Consumer Reports survey, 60 percent of Americans prefer general purpose cards, which can be used almost anywhere.
Here’s the problem. According to that same survey, about 59 percent of respondents also reported having problems with their cards.
To ensure the best use of your gift card consider these three steps: Always get a receipt with the balance. Spend the money quickly, especially if it expires or has a monthly maintenance fee. And finally, if the card balance gets so low that there’s nothing to buy, ask the merchant to do a split-tender transaction so you can spend every penny.