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Kohl's / Gift card is a rip off!

United States Review updated:
77% 26
I received a $50.00 gift card to Kohl's Department Stores on 12/25/05. I made a purchase of $44.99 on 2/3/06 at their Hamilton, NJ location, leaving a balance on the card of $5.01. I returned to the same store on 9/13/06 and made a purchase in the amount of $29.99. When I tried to apply the balance on my gift card to this purchase, it was refused by the cashier who claimed that the bar code on the card was unreadable.

At my insistence, she called a supervisor on the phone and read the numbers under the bar code to them. The supervisor also refused my card. I was told that they had no way of ascertaining the balance due on the card, and therefore they would not honor it. Since there were now about ten very impatient customers waiting behind me in line, I paid the full cash price for my purchase and left the store.

When I arrived home, I noticed that there was a toll-free number on the back of the card for checking card balances. I called this number and entered the numbers under the barcode, and lo and behold, I was told that the card did indeed have a balance of $5.01. I wondered why the Kohl's employees were not able to ascertain this and allow me to use the card.

I then went on Kohl's website and used their "contact us" feature to e-mail them a letter explaining what happened and asking for a refund. Several weeks passed without Kohl's acknowledging receipt of this letter. I then contacted their corporate offices in Menomonee Falls, WI, again stating the problem and requesting a refund. I included copies of the card and all receipts. I thought they would send me a check and that would be the end of it. NO! Kohl's has apparently decided for some reason to take a hard line against me.

They wrote back and told me that I needed to travel back to the store and request to speak with the store manager. The store manager would issue me a replacement gift card in the amount of $5.01. I would then need to make an additional purchase in order to redeem the balance on my card. UNBELIEVABLE!!!

I wrote back to Kohl's on 11/10/06 telling them that I did not want to make any additional purchases from their store, and that I simply wanted them to send me a refund check of $5.01 to cover the amount that their employees refused to apply to my last purchase. As of this date (1/8/07) Kohl's has not mailed me a refund or responded to my second letter.

I have been left with no option other than to file a complaint with the NJ Office of the Attorney General. As of this date I have spent more than $20.00 on certified postage trying to get my $5.01 returned to me. I have also spent more than six hours of my time writing letters to Kohl's and various agencies. Kohl's obviously has no intention of returning this money to me, figuring that since it is such a small amount I will not be willing to pursue it.

I, on the other hand, have no intention of letting Kohl's pocket 10% of the amount of a gift card that someone intended as a gift to me. I imagine that the next step will be small claims court.

I recently read in the newspapers that Kohl's Department Stores posted 2006 third quarter earnings reports reflecting an increase in profits of 45%. It's really not hard to post those kinds of profits when they are stealing 10% from their customers' gift cards. It doesn't take a lot of effort to return a lousy $5.01 rightfully due to a customer when it was improperly denied by one of their employees. Their failure to do so in more than four months clearly indicates to me that this company is no more than a group of thieves defrauding their customers. I would strongly urge that shoppers steer clear of this corrupt corporation.


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A  22nd of Nov, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I STRONGLY agree that this is an establishment with no respect for the customer and NO CONCEPT of the meaning of CUSTOMER SERVICE!!! I will never again set foot in a Kohl's store after what was apparently "a computer glitch" with a gift card intended for my mother-in-law. They cancelled the card before she could redeem it and told her I must have cancelled it. After many phone calls and an e-mail I was told my card was declined, funny, my credit card was charged. They refuse to refund my money in spite of the fact that my mother-in-law was humiliated in the store and does not want to return with a so called "gift" card.
N  3rd of Dec, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
what happens is if they get your card and you dont take it then they recycle it into there shortage to cover it up
D  27th of Feb, 2008 by 
Agree Disagree -1 Votes
You make a huge fuss like this over $5? rediculous. Stuff like this seriously doesn't happen very often.
D  24th of Jul, 2008 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
so you or someone purchased a gift card from kohls, (you purchased a product with terms and conditions on it) you used the gift card with no problems and then the card had issues the next time you tried to use it (possibly damaged item) then you demanded a refund for the item for the remaining value (which is probably against the gift card terms and conditions) and scoffed at being offered a replacement for the damaged or malfunctioning gift card with equal value, as far a small claims court goes i think you should certainly pursue that for i am sure they could use a little humor in there day, after that you can get yourself a american express commercial " one kohls gift card $5, wasted postage due to pms $20, small claims court time wasted $200, getting the stick pulled out of your @@@ priceless
D  3rd of Jan, 2009 by 
Agree Disagree -1 Votes
I hate stupid people like you. All you had to do was go to CS and ask for a return & repurchased, and have that person do an inquiry on your fortune card and add it to your purchase. If the barcode was unreadable, look at the numbers under the barcode, if the numbers are unreadable, have them call their helpline. If you still want your chump change I'll be more than welcome to give you the money or I'll collect some money from the people who strongly disagrees with you.
N  4th of Jan, 2009 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
She would not have made a big deal out of it if it was handled correctly in store. Why didn't anyone help her or explain this to her? All it takes is someone to explain somehting to someone when they are upset in the store so it does not get to this level.
N  1st of Feb, 2009 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
It sounds like Ivan works at Kohl's. If any ###s need help, ask Ivan :)
A  11th of Jan, 2010 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Thank you very much for you information. Thanks god I haven't bought any Kohls giftcards yet. After reading your topic, I WILL NOT BUY any Kohl's giftcard and will definitely tell everyone, every possible person I know and will know, about this problem with Kohls so they, too, can stay the hell away from buying Kohls giftcards, or just everything about Kohls, period.

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Kohl's Department Stores Logo Kohl's Department Stores
Customer Service
N56 W17000 Ridgewood Drive
Menomonee Falls
United States - 53051
+1 262 703 7000
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