I recently purchased a VISA debit gift card from Wal-Mart. I had done this before and I was well satisfied. The idea is good because they can be used anywhere that accepts VISA which gives the person receiving them the flexibility to use them on anything rather than be restricted to a certain store. I simply bought them from the check out lane and they were activated with a simple scan at the check out register.
Not all of these cards are the same!
I ran into problems on the card my wife recently purchased. This particular VISA gift card required an activation code found only on the separate store receipt for the card. She was told by the girl at the check out that it was ready to use … not true! We mailed the gift card along with the receipt. The person received the card and proceeded to throw away the receipt thinking it was not needed. I never needed one for any of the cards I had previously purchased. This time was different. When the person tried to use it they could not. It required the 14 digit activation code only found on the separate receipt at the time of purchase.
After trying everything possible from 2500 miles away the person called me and explained they no longer had the receipt and without it the card could not be used. They mailed me the card hoping that it possibly could be resolved at the local Wal-Mart where it was purchased.
Lack of Customer Service
I called the customer service number on the back of the card but without the activation code they not only couldn’t help me , I wasn’t even able to talk to anyone. At this point I held no hope for getting restitution. Without much hope we decided to try anyway. After all… satisfaction guaranteed! Right! At this point in time we didn’t even know which of the three Wal-Marts in the ten mile radius from our house we purchased the card from.
Well to our surprise Wal-Mart was able to look up the receipt from two months ago by locating a receipt for other items we purchased on the same day. We narrowed the day down to a one week period and from there they were able to find it, reproduce it, and the card is now good to go!!!
I am sure that this is not the first time this has happened. In fact, it probably happens fairly often. Many people simply chalk up the loss and forget about it. What a deal for VISA. They get the money in a debit account and no one ever uses it. A year later the card expires and Visa reaps the benefit.