If you are giving gift cards for Christmas then there are a few simple easy things to do to make sure that some one else does not get and use the card. We just learned this the hard way. Grandpa sent a $50.00 Wal-Mart card for our two year-old. It never made it here and he does not know what card he sent her so we cannot have the missing one cancelled and a new one issued. We just have to wait and hope that it shows up after Christmas and was not delivered to someone else. Here are some things you should do just in case something happens, like the card gets lost in the mail.
1) Keep the receipt.
2) Mark on the receipt to which person the card is being given. If you are buying a large number of gift cards then buy them in lots. If you are sending 5 cards to one family, 3 to another and 2 to a third then buy them like that and mark on each receipt what family or friend each batch is going to. If you buy several all at once and are mailing them out in individual cards then mark down on the receipt which gift card was sent to whom. If the receipt does not show the card # on it, then write it down on the receipt with who is receiving it. You may have to scratch off the area that has the pin #. This may not look as nice as an unscratched card but it is important information to have if the card never makes it to the person you are giving it to. If the card goes missing there is no way to get the information.
3) Send card by registered mail or signature required or give them in person. This saves a lot of trouble, even if the card is only $10.00 it makes sure it gets to the right person in time.
I hope this information is helpful. Things like this happen all the time. When we get travelers checks we keep track of the numbers so that if they are taken or lost we can cancel them and have new ones issued. We need to think of gift cards the same way. They are money, but if we keep track of some thing so simple as the cards pin # it can be protected.
Wal-Mart would have been able to cancel the card and issue a new one if Grandpa had recorded what card he sent our daughter. Now we have to wait until after Christmas, have every one use their cards and then go through the list of 15 gift cards with Wal-Mart to see if one was not used. Then they will cancel that one and re-issue a new one. What this means is that if some one was delivered out daughters card in error, opened even though it was not for them, gets the card and uses it then to bad for us. They got her $50.00 and there is nothing we can do about it.
At www.medievalmagic.ca we are very lucky because when some one buys a gift certificate from us it is on line so we have their information. They can have the gift certificate emailed to them and they can print it off, or we email it to the person they are giving it to, or it can be mailed. Why is this good? We have a record of who bought each certificate, and usually whom it is being given to. If the gift certificate was lost, destroyed, or the email was deleted (it has happened), we can easily find the gift certificate number and reissue it or a new one. If someone has used a gift certificate that is not his or hers, if the person who actually owns the gift certificate lets us know, we know who used it. Or at least where the gifts were shipped. It is easy for us because of the way we sell gift certificates.
We have been planning to pre-print and sell gift certificates at festivals this summer. This incident has made me realise we need to make some changes on that plan. We need to take a computer with us and sell them off the web site and then just print them there. That way all the important information is recorded and it will make things easer for us to help any one that has a problem with a lost gift certificate.
Written by: Lori-Lee Craig