Friday, September 29, 2006


i used to love gift cards. the tightwad in me just loved getting “free” things at places i regularly visited. plus, they’re one of the more useful gifts that teachers actually get. however, i have recently had a few bad experiences with the stack of gift cards (and I do mean stack – at least 20) that i’ve acquired over the past 12 months or so. so now i'm starting to like them not so much.

first let me say that i am obsessive about keeping track of how much money there is left on a gift card that i haven’t fully used. not only do i write the new amount on the back of the card in black Sharpee, but i also usually wrap the receipt around the card itself that tells the remaining balance on the card. then i put the card back in my stack and put a rubber band around them all.

so why is it that it never fails that the computers tell you that you have some random amount left on the card the next time you visit that business? the other night we went to a chain restaurant and i pulled out my gift cards to pay. i had two, one with the original $10 on it and the other with a remaining balance of $15.30 according to my notes. well, the waiter came back and told me that there was only $9 left on the second card which i really don’t understand. i know that $6.30 is not really that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things, but it just makes me mad that someone had already paid that restaurant when the gift was originally purchased and now they’ve gotten some way of getting more money out of us by telling me that there’s an incorrect balance remaining on the card. in this case the waiter offered to go get a manager, but i’m not one to make a scene or make such a big deal about something so minor (see: increasing assertiveness). but i’ve been down that road before. the managers always come. they scan the gift card, tell me the same thing, i argue with them and show them my receipt and then they say that the gift card was used since then, blah, blah, blah. WAAAH! i want my “free money” back!

and what's up with this mess of deducting $0.95 every year the gift gift is not redeemed?! what a rip off!

well, thanks for letting me get that off my chest. i feel better now. i’m off to give blood (and hopefully score some free Krispy Kremes). happy Friday!

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