Warning if you buy gift cards from Walmart!

Walmart

I’m not a fan of Walmart for a variety of reasons. There is one near my home but I only occasionally go there. Today I just wanted to pick up some gift cards for people who helped me during my recent hospital stay. Usually I buy gift cards from Giant Eagle when I’m there, but today decided to just run up to Walmart. I picked out the cards then proceeded to check-out. I inserted a credit card to pay for them. Surprisingly the credit card was denied!

Cashier said I couldn’t use a credit card to pay for gift cards – nor could I use a check. Cashier said only cash or a debit card can be used at Walmart!!!!

With the credit card transaction denied, she then rang the cards up again and I inserted my debit card. Same issue as before. The card was denied!. The supervisor came over to help with the problem. She determined that the Visa phone line was down so couldn’t activate the cards. After about half an hour, we learned the register system had deducted the money from my account but still wouldn’t allow the sale of the gift cards. The supervisor gave me cash for the amount the register had deducted from my debit account and I left – without any gift cards.

My bank is in the same shopping center so I went there to deposit the cash that the supervisor returned to me.

Next I went to the Kroger store – same center – to buy cards. There I was able to buy the gift cards with a credit card with no problem.

UPDATE: I just checked my credit card to see if the first Walmart transaction that failed was by chance also charged to my account like it did the debit card. YUP! It was charged as well. Now tomorrow I must go back and “try” to get the charge off my credit card!!#*%#@%^*!

ANOTHER UPDATE 4/7: So today I went back to Walmart to get the charge off the credit card. I went to the “Customer Service” desk where the same supervisor was working. I showed her my paperwork that showed the charge against my credit card. She said she would have to get the Assistant Manager to approve. I waited 50 MINUTES for the Assistant Manager to finally show up. She said she couldn’t issue a credit since the transaction showed as “Pending” and that it might still be cancelled. So now I must wait till the transaction no longer shows as “Pending” so I have proof that Walmart did indeed double charge me the $271! I kept my cool – sort of!!!!

ANOTHER UPDATE 4/9:I checked my credit card account this morning and the $271 charge was no longer pending but had become an actual transaction. So I went back to the store for my refund. In the interim days, the Assistant Manager had pulled off register tape for the two transactions. From it she learned the cashier had voided 3 of the cards but not the 4th. Thus the register tape showed a “Refund” of $164. But I was still charged $106. I noted that the $164 was NOT a “Pending” transaction and thus suspect. She called the Store Manager and of course, he agreed with her and wanted to wait for the “Return” to show on my account. He said it usually takes banks longer to post payments/returns than the actual charge. He would not take the charge off my credit card! So I must wait even more days to see what – if anything – is recorded to my account. What makes me so angry is this is due to Walmart’s policy and screw-ups at the register. My only fault was trying to buy Gift Cards at Walmart!

FINAL UPDATE 4/11: I checked my credit card this morning to see if a Walmart refund had been issued for $164. It had – YAY! So I printed off the paperwork and returned to the store for the final refund of $106. Neither the Assistant Manager nor the Store Manager were there, so Customer Service called another Assistant Manager. That Manager wanted to know all the details of why he was being requested before he walked to the Service desk. When he arrived I explained the saga to him. He’s only authorized to approve $100 refund! He called the Store Manager to verify that I did indeed have substantiating paperwork. The Store Manager approved the return. The Customer Service agent then gave me the refund in cash – not allowed to take it off the credit card. ???

I suggested they might want to put a sign on the Gift Card display to advise people that they can’t use a credit card for the purchase because surely I’m not the first person to inadvertently use one for a Gift Card purchase. He indicated that it had sometimes been a problem. He said that people use Gift Cards as a way to launder money. I responded that all the Managers had treated me as if I were a thief and I didn’t appreciate that. He said that a lot of Walmart customers try to scam the company so they must be careful. I guess Walmart considers its customers guilty until proven innocent! For me, Walmart Customer Service was a big FAIL!

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