Gift Cards deactivated by retailer.

Old Jan 7, 20, 1:30 pm
  #1  
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Gift Cards deactivated by retailer.

Starting a thread to see if anyone else has had issues with stores deactivating gift cards after purchase. I've read that Target and Home Depot have done it.

The reports I have seen about Target were pretty much all from people abusing the yearly 10% off deal and trying to exceed the limits in the T&C by placing multiple orders, but refunds were issued.

In my case, I used a Happy gift card at a Buy Buy Baby. The cashier asked to see the card after and got all antsy about it only having a Bed Bath & Beyond logo and that it "wasn't supposed to work there." I was slow to liquidate and they deactivated the card. So far I've hit a wall with the store by phone. In their POS computer they found a receipt for two VGCs purchased that "has the same first 4 and last 4 card numbers but a different number in the middle." I have the purchase receipt showing the activated cards, the activation receipts, and transaction history from the Happy card showing a purchase of $413.90 from that date. They said to "contact my bank and see if they changed the card number" lolol

From the last person I talked to, I got the feeling they were insinuating I had used a stolen card that had the same BIN and last 4 digits of the card I swiped. Didn't want to get into an argument over the statistical probability of that happening and gave up on that call. Next try would be to go the store and let the manager check the balance and transaction history of the Happy card themselves. My guess would be that maybe their POS somehow encodes the middle 8 digits, if they are actually able to pull them up at all.

Just wondering what experiences anyone else has had with cards being deactivated.

I know at least one person will be inclined to comment about "cost of MS, don't burn the store" but I highly doubt anyone relies on Buy Buy Baby enough to shed a single tear.
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Old Jan 7, 20, 3:36 pm
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ogg
 
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Does BBB say it deactivated the cards? Have you called the Visa card issuer to find out why the cards don't work? Have you called the Happy card issuer to get the transaction reversed and the funds put back on the card? You have all three of these firms involved in your transaction. The one that deactivated the card has to come up with a reason why.
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Old Jan 7, 20, 6:42 pm
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Originally Posted by ogg View Post
Does BBB say it deactivated the cards? Have you called the Visa card issuer to find out why the cards don't work? Have you called the Happy card issuer to get the transaction reversed and the funds put back on the card? You have all three of these firms involved in your transaction. The one that deactivated the card has to come up with a reason why.
Metabank says it was BBB that deactivated and to contact the retailer, but they can't provide anything in writing. Whoever handles loss prevention at that BBB called me on the 31st and said they "found the transaction but the card number doesn't match" (claims middle 8 are different) and suggested I call "my bank" to find out if they changed the card number, which obviously isn't something that happens. She also wasn't very forthcoming with any info because the card number I gave her didn't match what she allegedly found in their POS. She's conveniently on vacation until next Monday, so I haven't been able to get further than that, despite her saying any manager could help me.

Haven't called Happy yet because I have no way to prove to them that the MGCs I bought were deactivated and because their new terms state you can't buy GCs, even though this is an old-stock Happy without that verbiage. Though, they are handled by Metabank, so maybe they can look up. Question is if they will.
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Old Jan 7, 20, 10:56 pm
  #4  
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So Metabank says BBB deactivated the cards and BBB says it didn't do that. Try to arrange a conference call between you, Metabank, and BBB. Even if the cards were deactivated by BBB, BBB has to return the funds used to purchase the cards. Where did those funds go?
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Old Jan 8, 20, 8:00 am
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Originally Posted by ogg View Post
So Metabank says BBB deactivated the cards and BBB says it didn't do that. Try to arrange a conference call between you, Metabank, and BBB. Even if the cards were deactivated by BBB, BBB has to return the funds used to purchase the cards. Where did those funds go?
The BBB lady didn't explicitly state they didn't deactivate them. It was more along the lines of her telling me she "found the transaction" but that my "card number doesn't match" (first 4 and last 4 do, but she claims the middle 8 don't) and that she couldn't/wouldn't talk to me in more detail because of that. I'm thinking going in with the deactivated MGCs, Happy card, the receipt from when I purchased that Happy card, and the card in my name that I used to buy the Happy Card might be my best bet to convince them there was no fraud involved, since I assume that was their rationale, and that it was at most a "misunderstanding" involving the use of Happy cards.
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Old Jan 8, 20, 9:39 am
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Back in the days of buying VGC with Best Buy gift cards I had a $1000 transaction reverse after I left the store. I was good about keeping everything but for some reason let cashier throw out best buy cards after swiping. I found a helpful customer service supervisor who was able to find the best buy gift card information in their backend and get a new Best Buy giftcard mailed to me. I never got an explanation of why the transaction reversed.

I would go to the store and find someone that can help. If they drained your Happy and reversed the Visas they owe you a refund. I would stress that the initial transaction was valid and if they give you a hard time tell them by intentionally deactivating the cards they have committed theft and fraud.

Good luck, I wouldn't accept the loss.
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Old Jan 8, 20, 11:14 am
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I got deactivated 2 cgv from a grocery store last year after left the store, called VGC and said sent receipt and DL copy and front and back of VGC , said it will reactivate for me. 7 days later, told me to deal with store, went store manager, said deal with VGC, had a conference call there and then, after 2 hours wait and manager caller grocery store Corp office and refunded to my Amex card. I was going to file dispute but want to give store opportunity to fix. No one explained what happened. But I think overzealous cashier did it due to thinking fraudulent.
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Old Jan 8, 20, 1:01 pm
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Originally Posted by mySimon411 View Post
I got deactivated 2 cgv from a grocery store last year after left the store, called VGC and said sent receipt and DL copy and front and back of VGC , said it will reactivate for me. 7 days later, told me to deal with store, went store manager, said deal with VGC, had a conference call there and then, after 2 hours wait and manager caller grocery store Corp office and refunded to my Amex card. I was going to file dispute but want to give store opportunity to fix. No one explained what happened. But I think overzealous cashier did it due to thinking fraudulent.
It most likely is the act of the store manager who called corporate security which in turn called the card issuer to deactivate the cards.

Very similar thing happened to a friend several years ago at a CVS in Los Angeles. He bought a few K's of the Vanilla (back then there was no daily limit) then later found out all the cards were deactivated. Long story short, the store manager suspected frauds, called CVS Corporate Security which then deactivated all cards.

Doubt the low-rank cashier could do the deactivation but reporting to his / her supervisor / manager, then the idiotic higher ups called the Corporate Security which then deactivated the cards from their end.
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Old Jan 8, 20, 2:35 pm
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Define "deactivation" for me, please. Do the cards have a transaction history showing activation and then withdrawal, or do they show as never activated? If you scan the actual card in a reader, does it show the number on the card or the "other" number on your receipt? There are lots of possibilities, including the VGC card being tampered with before purchase so you activated different cards then the ones you have.
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Old Jan 8, 20, 3:27 pm
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Originally Posted by ogg View Post
Define "deactivation" for me, please. Do the cards have a transaction history showing activation and then withdrawal, or do they show as never activated? If you scan the actual card in a reader, does it show the number on the card or the "other" number on your receipt? There are lots of possibilities, including the VGC card being tampered with before purchase so you activated different cards then the ones you have.
Transaction history for the MGCs cannot be viewed online on the GCM site. The website comes back with a "technical error." Calling the number on the back of the card and checking that way returns a message "This card is inactivate and cannot be accessed through this system" or something to that tune then hangs up. To actually get a human I have to use a working card then explain to them. The GCM CS looked it up with the serial number from the barcode beginning with 6039 told me it was "deactivated by the retailer and to return to them for assistance."

The BBB receipt shows the correct last 6 from the activation serial number(6039...xx) for the MGCs I have and the transaction I attempted to use them on when I found out they didn't work also shows the correct last 4 of the card, so it wasn't an issue of cards that were tampered with. The BBB receipt says they were approved when I first got them, but since viewing the history isn't possible, I have to believe what the GCM CS says is the case.

The number that BBB claims doesn't match is my payment card. I used a Happy card with the number 1234 xxxx xxxx 5678 (history shows a transaction at BBB for the date in question) and BBB is saying they only have a transaction from a card with 1234 yyyy yyyy 5678 on that date. That's why I got the vibe the lady thought I used a cloned card or something. The physical BBB receipt only shows the last 4. I don't know how easily they could pull up the entire card number or if it's some how encrypted in their POS and that's why the number was shown to her incorrectly. But since she conveniently went on vacation and nobody else is able to help, despite her saying any manger could, I have to wait a few more days.
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Old Jan 8, 20, 5:52 pm
  #11  
ogg
 
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OK.. That's clear. BBB did it. BBB owes you replacement cards or a full refund. Since you paid with a Happy card and didn't get what you paid for, the Happy card issuer BHN may have to get involved with reversing the transaction and returning the funds to your card.
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Old Jan 10, 20, 10:45 am
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This happened to me last year...

The store cancelled the Visa cards, but failed to reverse the charge on my credit card. I told them to reverse it, but their system couldn't process all of the refund. Said I had to challenge the charge with my bank. I told them that proposition was unacceptable as I was unwilling to jeopardize my relationship with the bank. After many correspondences, they said they couldn't process the refund. I even took it to corporate with the same result. So I eventually filed a police report naming the managers as a the person who initiated the theft and had the officer go to the store. Long story short, I walked out with a refund in the form of a money order. It is amazing how quickly people will problem solve when police are involved.
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Old Jan 10, 20, 10:50 am
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Originally Posted by freyguy50 View Post
The store cancelled the Visa cards, but failed to reverse the charge on my credit card. I told them to reverse it, but their system couldn't process all of the refund. Said I had to challenge the charge with my bank. I told them that proposition was unacceptable as I was unwilling to jeopardize my relationship with the bank. After many correspondences, they said they couldn't process the refund. I even took it to corporate with the same result. So I eventually filed a police report naming the managers as a the person who initiated the theft and had the officer go to the store. Long story short, I walked out with a refund in the form of a money order. It is amazing how quickly people will problem solve when police are involved.
! ! !

This is by far the most dramatic "story" on store managers who play cops... now they met the real cops! lol.

Could you tell us more about the background, as why the store cancelled the Visa cards? And what chain it was? (it must be a place that also sells Money Order as that was how they returned the stolen money.)

What reason(s) they gave you about unable to process the refund?
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Old Jan 11, 20, 2:35 pm
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Originally Posted by Happy View Post
! ! !

This is by far the most dramatic "story" on store managers who play cops... now they met the real cops! lol.

Could you tell us more about the background, as why the store cancelled the Visa cards? And what chain it was? (it must be a place that also sells Money Order as that was how they returned the stolen money.)

What reason(s) they gave you about unable to process the refund?
It was a gas station (I don't feel comfortable providing more) and apparently the regional manager had a policy that all gift card sales must be cash only. But they failed to inform me of that at the time of the transaction. I did not use the gift cards right after I bought them, so the manager called the gift card company and had the funds reversed. After realizing that the funds were removed, I called the gift card company who informed me that the store reversed the funds. So I called the store, and the location manager found out that their system cannot refund more than $499.99 (the transaction was for over $1000). After numerous calls back and forth to corporate, I proceeded to file a police report and explained to the patient officer that if the roles were reversed and I provided payment for services and then reversed payment, I would be arrested. He agreed and went to the store. With the regional manager on the phone, I said I would be pressing charges with all involved if a refund wasn't fulfilled that day. They didn't have enough cash to pay the gift cards out, so I settled on a money order. Although hesitant because of their previous behavior, I left them with a stern warning that if the money order was reversed, I was to direct the officer to charge everyone involved as he was now a material witness to their criminal conspiracy.
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Old Jan 11, 20, 3:24 pm
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Originally Posted by freyguy50 View Post
It was a gas station (I don't feel comfortable providing more) and apparently the regional manager had a policy that all gift card sales must be cash only. But they failed to inform me of that at the time of the transaction. I did not use the gift cards right after I bought them, so the manager called the gift card company and had the funds reversed. After realizing that the funds were removed, I called the gift card company who informed me that the store reversed the funds. So I called the store, and the location manager found out that their system cannot refund more than $499.99 (the transaction was for over $1000). After numerous calls back and forth to corporate, I proceeded to file a police report and explained to the patient officer that if the roles were reversed and I provided payment for services and then reversed payment, I would be arrested. He agreed and went to the store. With the regional manager on the phone, I said I would be pressing charges with all involved if a refund wasn't fulfilled that day. They didn't have enough cash to pay the gift cards out, so I settled on a money order. Although hesitant because of their previous behavior, I left them with a stern warning that if the money order was reversed, I was to direct the officer to charge everyone involved as he was now a material witness to their criminal conspiracy.
Brilliant
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