Amazon Gift Card
One year, I had purchased two Amazon gift cards as gifts. I mailed them off to my recipients. A short time later, one of them sent it back complaining that it was blank so I called Amazon and inquired about the card. I knew I had put money on it and felt sure the receiver of the card was mistaken about it being empty.
Amazon confirmed that the card did, in fact, have money on it, and it was in the $25 amount that I had ordered. However, the dollars had already been spent. I asked if they could see who used the card, thinking she may have used it and then sent it back to me, but Amazon said they couldn’t tell who used it, only that it had been used.
I chalked it up as a learning experience and made a mental note not to send her anymore gift cards. Anything I sent in the future would have to be a tangible gift. I thought that until it happened again.
Sometime later, I made a purchase on Amazon and instead of them charging me the full amount it took off $25. Being curious, I called them again to inquire as to why they gave me that much off on my bill. I certainly did not want an unexpected $25 charge to pop up on me later.
Amazon: Ma’am, didn’t you just make a purchase?
Me: Yes, I did.
Amazon: There was a $25 gift card used on your purchase.
Me: I do not have a $25 card to use. I was paying with a debit card (I had already learned the hard way not to let them bill me).
Amazon: Yes, you do. You bought two of them two months ago (Aha!). One was already used, and then you just used the second one today.
Me: How did I use the second one? I don’t understand. I sent that off to someone else. It wasn’t for me to use.
Amazon: Well, it never got used so when you made today’s purchase it automatically used the card. I don’t understand why that is a problem.
Seriously? I looked at the phone like it was stupid.
Me: Because I bought the cards as gifts, hence the name: GIFT...CARD. Now how messed up is it that I sent it off as a gift and they cannot use it now because some rocket scientist at Amazon used the gift card I bought for them on my own purchases. How do you think that will make me look whenever they go to use the card that I sent as a GIFT? Way to go Amazon!
Amazon: Did you put in the card number whenever you made your purchase today?
Me: I already established earlier that I do not have the physical card. I gave it away as a gift, a present...you know, when you open a package and it’s an Amazon gift card. I guess the surprise is: it’s blank!
Amazon: What about the other one? Did it get used on a purchase you made, as well?
Me: I suspect so seeing how the recipient sent it back and said it was blank.
I explained to her what had happened with that first card after it was sent back to me with complaints of being blank. She put me on hold and came back a few minutes later.
Amazon: I see what happened. Whenever you made purchases it automatically initiated payment first, using the gift card, and then charging the balance to your debit card.
I looked at the phone again like it was stupid. I switched hands thinking maybe if she spoke to the other side of my brain I might understand where her mind is.
Me: We also already established that earlier. What I don’t understand is how a person can buy a gift card and it automatically gets used on them-self. Does Amazon not understand the purpose of a gift card? Is this a lost concept on them? Who buys gift cards for them-self? Do you? If I bought one from Walmart and later made a purchase from them, they would not use the gift card towards my purchase. Walmart understands gift exchanging and presents. I wouldn’t have to explain it to them and, amazingly enough, none of their employees are rocket scientists, either.
Amazon (she’s frustrated now): Ma’am, I can only tell you what happened. What do you want me to do now? How can I solve this problem for you?
Me: Replace them. They are gifts and you took their gifts back. Amazon is acting like Indian Givers!
Amazon: But, you’ve already used them.
Me: That is not my fault. That is Amazon’s fault. They did the deed; now they can undo the deed.
Amazon: Fine! I’ll send them to your email as an E-Card.
Me: What? That’s crazy! Then what do I do?
Amazon: Just forward the email to whoever you want to give it to and have them use the code to activate it. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out!