Real Life

Gift cards and your rights

Gift cards don’t always deliver the goods.
Gift cards and your rights

Some friends gave me a gift card for a local health and beauty day spa. Thinking I would treat myself to a nice beauty product that they sold, I visited the business to be told gift cards could only be used for service such as face massages. There is nothing on the card advising this. The gift card states: “Please treat this card as cash. Lost or stolen cards cannot be replaced.” So if my friends paid cash for the card and I must take care of it like cash, why can’t I spend it like cash?

Oh yes, you have sussed this totally. The spa has mucked up. Why don’t they accept this and give you what you want? Then change the wording on their card. I can understand that they meant the card to be for services only. Fair enough. But they forgot to say so… either to your friends or on the card. In a way, you’ve done them a favour. You’ve pointed out a problem with their card. They should smile, say thanks, give you what you want, and immediately call up the printers to get some new cards printed. Giving you what you want won’t cost them much.

Most people with the cards will want their services anyway. So what’s the point of picking a fight with you? They amaze me, these so-called “service” outlets, sometimes. Perhaps you simply struck a witless employee who thought she was doing the right thing. If so, give the owner a call. If they still say “no” then you have a conundrum. Do you cut your losses and ask for one of their services? I’m not sure I would feel confident that they mightn’t try to get their own back. A bit like sending back a meal to the chef. What’s going to be in the meal that’s returned, you wonder!

Do you have a consumer question for Kevin? Email [email protected], or post to Weekly Consumer, PO Box 90119, Victoria St West, Auckland 1142.

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