By Stephen Pate – Apple was able save $1 billion in un-redeemed gift cards in 2013 according to MarketWatch.
People myself included treat Apple iTunes gift cards like cash but they are not.
When you buy a iTunes gift card for your partner, children, grandchildren or friends you may be throwing your money away.
Cards are easy to buy at every grocery, pharmacy, or other retailer. Getting the benefit relies on one simple thing – activation by the merchant.
Whenever a bad authorization occurs, they person who got the card will have to go back to the donor and ask for their cash register receipt. Yup your kids will have to chase you for the receipt.
How many people save their grocery receipts for more than a few days, if at all. Without the receipt Apple will not let the card be authorized.
“Please note that in order to replace the inactive gift card code you received,” Apple customer service employees say, “Apple must see a proof of purchase from the retailer that sold the code.”
It doesn’t matter that you might spend $100’s, $1,000’s or whatever on Apple products and services. To Apple you could be a criminal and without proof you and or your relatives haven’t stolen the card, you are out of luck.
“Please know that all iTunes Store gift cards are inactive until the retailer that owns the codes activates them. In this case, that did not happen when your card was purchased. The owner’s activation is the only way to tell if an iTunes Store card was legitimately purchased within our system. I request you to contact the person who gifted the iTunes Card to obtain the sales receipt.”
Apple’s hard-nosed attitude on customer service is out-of-date. People expect companies, especially Apple, to step up and help when things go wrong.
Apple is a great company. They should work harder at faithfully serving their customers.
For instance, many companies will refund or return gifts because they know more than 97% of customers are honest. Treating the 97% like the 3% who are not honest is bad for their business.
Amazon will let you see the gift cards that you buy, when they are used, send a reminder email to the recipient to see if they still have it or lost it. You can cancel a card and have a new one issued.
Best Buy don’t hassle customers. My son saved his for 4 years of Christmas and bought a new computer last year.
I used to spend about $500 a year on iTunes gift cards until they wouldn’t redeem a $25 card from my daughter. Common sense told me I was wasting my money.
Apple needs to get with the new world. The more stupid little cheap things they do, the easier it is for people to get the message and move to Android and Samsung.
By Stephen Pate, NJN Network