Giftcard Zen’s fraud guarantee put to the test
I was trying to save a few bucks by using my discounted giftcard trick recently at a hotel. I had purchased a $250 gift card for $225 from giftcardzen.com and was pretty proud of myself for saving $25. Unfortunately, when I went to check out the hotel told me that my card had no value on it.
This upset me for two reasons. First, I was concerned I might be out $250. Second, the article I wrote on gift cards is one of my most popular articles, and I would be pretty upset if I had given out bad advice. But, I knew from the research I had done writing that article that Giftcard Zen had guaranteed their cards, so I really shouldn’t have anything to worry about. Still, I was a little worried about how this would work out.
I have to say that calling Giftcard Zen was one of the more pleasant customer service experiences I have ever had. My call was answered right away by a gentleman who was both friendly and knowledgeable. I explained what had happened, and he told me he was sorry for the hassle, but that I could be sure they would make it right. He then told me they would need to do an investigation and then figure out what the next step was, but that I would hear back from them later that day.
Less than 10 minutes later, I got an email telling me that they had completed their investigation and that they would send me an address label so that I could send the card back to them for a full refund. A postage paid address label was emailed to me soon after that, which I printed out and taped to an envelope so I could mail the card back to them. A few days later, my credit card was refunded for the full amount of my purchase. The whole thing was really, really easy.
Tips from an insider
So I had decided to write a quick article about this experience to reassure ABC readers that the fraud guarantee on Giftcard Zen really worked when something funny happened. Carlos from Giftcard Zen left a message on this website after I had mentioned them a few weeks back. So I emailed Carlos to tell him I was going to write this article and ask if he had any tips for my readers. Here is what he said:1. If you want to buy gift cards from craigslist, or from a company that doesn’t offer a guarantee, avoid batches at all cost. It’s the easiest way to catch something that could go bad. For example, 10 Starbucks cards at $25 each is a huge sign that something is wrong. 2. The second thing, is simply to buy from a source that has a guarantee. We have one, and most of our competitors do (at varying lengths). The online retailers take the risk off your shoulders, so it’s a win win for the consumer.
What I learned
I understand that Carlos has a vested interest here, but I agree with him. My recommendation is that discounted gift cards only be purchased from websites that offer a guarantee. The other recommendation I would make is that I don’t think it’s a very good idea to hold onto gift cards very long. I recommend buying them and then using them as quickly as possible because it seems to me that holding onto them for a long period of time only increases the risk that something will happen to the money on them.
I want to make it clear that I was not paid in any way by Giftcard Zen for writing this article.
Photo by Bermi Ferrer