Shopper's Drug Martgift card fiasco

L
This review was posted by
a verified customer
Verified customer

I bought hundreds of dollars worth of gift cards just before Christmas from Shoppers Drug Mart (Liberty Village, Toronto). One recipient of a Cineplex movie gift card contacted me advising that when he tried to use his card at Cineplex they told him it wasn't "activated".

Receipt in hand, I went to my local Shopper's Drug Mart (King/Yonge, Toronto) to resolve. The asisstant manager called Cineplex and after about 15 mins on the phone with them he told me to retrireve the card and call the cineplex hotline myself and give them the 16 digit code on the back of the card and they would activate it for me. He told me I could not receive help without the card so I drove 30km to the recipient's house, collected the card and called Cineplex. Cineplex confirmed that the card was not activated and told me this was not their problem, I would have to go back to Shopper's Drug Mart.

I went to another Shopper's Drug Mart (Keele/St Clair) with the card and receipt and the assistant manager told me they could not help me, it was Cineplex's fault. She told me I could try going back to the Shopper's location I bought it at if I didn't like her answer.

I called the Liberty Village Shopper's where I bought it and the assistant manager told me he could not help me and I would have to speak to a manager. He said there was no manager in that day so I left my name and phone number and he promised me I would get a call back the next day.

Two days later I still had not received a call back so I called the Liberty Village store back again and was told by the person who answered the phone that I would have to call the Shopper's customer support hotline, it was not their store's problem. I asked to speak to a manager and the manager told me that she was in on the day that I called and that I should have been transferred through!! Further, she did not get the message to call me. I would have to come into the store to resolve she told me. I told her I didn't want to keep making trips around the city in hopes of a resolution and asked if I could email scanned images of the receipt and card to her instead. She refused and when I insisted since I had already put a lot of time and effort into this, the phone suddenly disengaged.

I called the Shopper's customer service line and spoke to Justin who asked me to email him scanned images of the receipt and card to him, which I did.

Two days later I had not heard back so I called back "customer service" again and spoke to Richard who told me it was with an investigations unit who would decide whether or not I would be issued a new card. If they decided I was entitled they would mail me out a new one. I told him I was concerned that the new issue (if I got it) would not be activated and wanted some peace of mind that the card would in fact be activated when (if) it arrived. Richard didn't want to listen so he over-talked me on several occasions and I had to keep asking him to let me finish what I was saying. We got into an argument about how and who should talk. He told me that I was the only person this problem had ever happened to before. Eventually he hung up on me.

I called back and spoke to a different customer service agent who knew about the problem. She told me a 3rd party was dealing with this and they would make sure that if a replacement card was issued it would be activated. I explained that I wanted to have the 3rd party confirm with Cineplex that the card was activated and asked who the 3rd party was and whether it was the 3rd party or Shoppers who would call me. "I don't have to give you the name of the 3rd party" she told me (???!!!) and that only Shopper's had contact with the now secret 3rd party. I am not sure why the 3rd party's name is a big secret.. drug cartel? money launderer? CSIS? What are they trying to conceal? I asked if Shopper's could find a way to have the activation confirmed with Cineplex because the last thing I wanted was to get another dud card and be faced with starting this seemingly infinite process over again. In 24-48 hours I would get a call back she said. Clearly, my request for them to check the activation of the card IF they would send one to me was too big of an ask. That would have been really easy to do but it is easier to just not help so that is what they chose to do. After everything I had been through this was THE LEAST they could have done.

I am still waiting for an outcome on this disaster. Not once did anyone apologize, take responsibility or offer to manage the problem in a way that was reassuring. I was given misinformation and sent around on a lot of wild goose chases. The onus is on the customer when Shopper's makes a mistake like this but the customer is is given no tools or clear path to resolve it.

I think the whole gift card marketing money spinner at Shopper's Drug Mart has only one consideration in mind: to make a profit. Managing customer problems with their failed activation system is "not their problem". There is a sign at the Kiing/Yonge location that says that gift cards cannot be returned or exchanged. My advice is to NEVER BUY A GIFT CARD AT SHOPPERS DRUG MART unless you want to give Shopper's money for nothing AND manage an endless customer service pursuit project that will consume a lot of your time while they treat you like crap.

Responses

  • Hy
    Hyjynx Jan 28, 2015
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I can reinforce NEVER to purchase 3rd party gift cards, especially though Shoppers. I had 4 Home Depot cards at $300 rejected that were given to clients as gifts. Have probably spent a solid 8-10 hours, visiting the store, apologizing to my clients, calling customer service and sending emails as directed by Shoppers Customer Service, only to be ignored. 2 months later, I finally spoke to an individual who claims replacements will be mailed out today. We'll see.

    0 Votes
  • Na
    NattysRubi May 01, 2013

    The same thing has happened to us. Almost $500 worth of gift cards purchased at Shoppers just before the holidays. Only just discovered that the two Visa's both had problems. One had all it's money spent an dthe other just wasn't activated. In both cases the numbers on the Shoppers receipts don't match up to the card that was inside the sealed package. On that same day, two Cineplex cards were purchased along with two restaurant cards all of which are still sitting in a drawer. I am now goign to go and check those balances. I'm hoping that the Visa's are the only problem but my heart is in the pit of my stomach thinking that the entire $500 worth of cards bought from Shoppers is all been stolen/frauded from me.

    -1 Votes
  • Le
    Lewis1234 Feb 08, 2013
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I agree, it is evident that you are 15 years old.

    -3 Votes
  • Le
    Lewis1234 Feb 08, 2013
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    i rest my case.

    -2 Votes
  • Le
    Lewis1234 Feb 08, 2013
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    A note about trolls.. they are narcissists who thrive on other people's misery. They need to see someone else suffer in order to feel like everything is right in the world. It calms them. Narcissists can never satisfy this urge and it is like a bottomless pit that they are constantly trying to fill. Their personality disorder alienates their usual in-person victims so they go online to look for fresh supply when they are desperate for a fix. This forum is a perfect environment because their victims are already troubled by something so the stage is already set for them to prey upon them.

    Unfortunately there is no rehabilitation for these people. Trolls are like pedophiles: they can't change how they feel. They and are self-unaware and have zero insight into themselves. Don't get sucked into engaging with one as I did.

    -2 Votes
  • Le
    Lewis1234 Feb 08, 2013
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Brenda, it makes sense that your card wasn't activated if it was not rung through. These kinds of mistakes can happen and luckily it was easy to catch. I wish things were as simple in my case. I am concerned now that I will get more of my gift card recipients telling me they are having the same problem, or worse, that they will feel uncomfortable flagging it to me. It is not the done thing to complain to someone who gives you a gift. I gave gift cards to 16 people and they are clients of mine so this makes it all the more awkward and embarrassing. It would have been better to give nothing at all than a misleading gift card. I can imagine that my client and his partner got dressed up, ready for a night on the town using the card I gave them and it wouldn't have felt too nice when they were forced to pay out of pocket or else go home. It would make them feel taken advantage of, courtesy of me.

    Because of the nature of gift card giving I think it important for Shopper's to be sensitive to the impact it can have and respond appropriately. It should be handled quickly and gracefully, rather than dragging it out in such an undignified manner. it honestly wouldn't have been an issue at all if they would have simply refunded or exchanged it. Shopper's are not disputing that I paid for the card, They are not disputing whether it was properly activated when I bought it. They know it wasn't and was easy for them to figure that out because their system shows the history of the card.

    Anyway, lesson learned. I will never ever buy gift cards again, especially from a 3rd party agent like Shopper's that doesn't stand behind the products they sell. I falsely assumed that they would straighten things out without all of this fuss. I just think they never bothered to make proper provisions and as yet no one I've dealt with at Shopper's has had the good sense to figure out how to make it right. On the contrary, Shopper's have so far been very vigilant about passing the buck.

    -1 Votes
  • Le
    Lewis1234 Feb 08, 2013
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    sorry if i hit a nerve when i called you a troll Trash

    -2 Votes
  • Le
    Lewis1234 Feb 08, 2013
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Hi Trasha13. I am really drawn in to arguing with you given the depth and insight of your meaningful comments. Trolling is lame and transparent.

    -2 Votes
  • Le
    Lewis1234 Feb 08, 2013
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Skor It is condescending to recommend that I be patient after all of the time and effort I have put in so far for a problem created by Shopper's. It sounds like you think that Shopper's have done everything right, which is a little odd unless you have some personal interest in in trying to put that out there.

    According to the receipt, this card is activated but according to Cineplex it was not. Unless the cashier is hacking the system in her spare time my best guess is that this was a computer glitch. There are 3 separate systems in 3 separate organizations that communicate and track activation for these cards so there are many failure points which are too uninteresting to go into. For the sake of argument, let's say this is a bug free system (the only one that exists in the world btw) and it was a thieving employee, why should the customer wait for the investigation of the supposed employee-thief? I paid for an activated card not to become the only unpaid party working on this whodunit. They should honor the deal they made with me instead of turning it into a part time job that I have to keep chasing my tail over. The last thing they should be doing is dragging me through more of this. When you take a commission for providing a service then you must also accept the risk that your employee is a thief or your computer is wrong, or whatever. Shopper's forgot that part of the equation as soon as they got a hold of my money.

    -2 Votes
  • SKOR Feb 07, 2013
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    It sounds like there may have been some fraud committed by the employee who sold you the gift card in the first place - (s)he was supposed to activate it. There is a way to charge you for the gift card, not activate it, and pocket the fee you paid later in the day for themselves.

    Shoppers has probably launched an investigation on the cashier who sold the gift card, which is what is taking so long. Employee fraud usually takes a few days before they have enough evidence to act on it.

    Be patient.

    -1 Votes
  • Le
    Lewis1234 Feb 07, 2013
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I bought hundreds of dollars worth of gift cards just before Christmas from Shoppers Drug Mart (Liberty Village, Toronto). One recipient of a Cineplex movie gift card contacted me advising that when he tried to use his card at Cineplex they told him it wasn't "activated".

    Receipt in hand, I went to my local Shopper's Drug Mart (King/Yonge, Toronto) to resolve. The asisstant manager called Cineplex and after about 15 mins on the phone with them he told me to retrireve the card and call the cineplex hotline myself and give them the 16 digit code on the back of the card and they would activate it for me. He told me I could not receive help without the card so I drove 30km to the recipient's house, collected the card and called Cineplex. Cineplex confirmed that the card was not activated and told me this was not their problem, I would have to go back to Shopper's Drug Mart.

    I went to another Shopper's Drug Mart (Keele/St Clair) with the card and receipt and the assistant manager told me they could not help me, it was Cineplex's fault. She told me I could try going back to the Shopper's location I bought it at if I didn't like her answer.

    I called the Liberty Village Shopper's where I bought it and the assistant manager told me he could not help me and I would have to speak to a manager. He said there was no manager in that day so I left my name and phone number and he promised me I would get a call back the next day.

    Two days later I still had not received a call back so I called the Liberty Village store back again and was told by the person who answered the phone that I would have to call the Shopper's customer support hotline, it was not their store's problem. I asked to speak to a manager and the manager told me that she was in on the day that I called and that I should have been transferred through!! Further, she did not get the message to call me. I would have to come into the store to resolve she told me. I told her I didn't want to keep making trips around the city in hopes of a resolution and asked if I could email scanned images of the receipt and card to her instead. She refused and when I insisted since I had already put a lot of time and effort into this, the phone suddenly disengaged.

    I called the Shopper's customer service line and spoke to Justin who asked me to email him scanned images of the receipt and card to him, which I did.

    Two days later I had not heard back so I called back "customer service" again and spoke to Richard who told me it was with an investigations unit who would decide whether or not I would be issued a new card. If they decided I was entitled they would mail me out a new one. I told him I was concerned that the new issue (if I got it) would not be activated and wanted some peace of mind that the card would in fact be activated when (if) it arrived. Richard didn't want to listen so he over-talked me on several occasions and I had to keep asking him to let me finish what I was saying. We got into an argument about how and who should talk. He told me that I was the only person this problem had ever happened to before. Eventually he hung up on me.

    I called back and spoke to a different customer service agent who knew about the problem. She told me a 3rd party was dealing with this and they would make sure that if a replacement card was issued it would be activated. I explained that I wanted to have the 3rd party confirm with Cineplex that the card was activated and asked who the 3rd party was and whether it was the 3rd party or Shoppers who would call me. "I don't have to give you the name of the 3rd party" she told me (???!!!) and that only Shopper's had contact with the now secret 3rd party. I am not sure why the 3rd party's name is a big secret.. drug cartel? money launderer? CSIS? What are they trying to conceal? I asked if Shopper's could find a way to have the activation confirmed with Cineplex because the last thing I wanted was to get another dud card and be faced with starting this seemingly infinite process over again. In 24-48 hours I would get a call back she said. Clearly, my request for them to check the activation of the card IF they would send one to me was too big of an ask. That would have been really easy to do but it is easier to just not help so that is what they chose to do. After everything I had been through this was THE LEAST they could have done.

    I am still waiting for an outcome on this disaster. Not once did anyone apologize, take responsibility or offer to manage the problem in a way that was reassuring. I was given misinformation and sent around on a lot of wild goose chases. The onus is on the customer when Shopper's makes a mistake like this but the customer is is given no tools or clear path to resolve it.

    I think the whole gift card marketing money spinner at Shopper's Drug Mart has only one consideration in mind: to make a profit. Managing customer problems with their failed activation system is "not their problem". There is a sign at the King/Yonge location that says that gift cards cannot be returned or exchanged. My advice is to NEVER BUY A GIFT CARD AT SHOPPERS DRUG MART unless you want to give Shopper's money for nothing AND manage an endless customer service pursuit project that will consume a lot of your time while they treat you like crap.

    0 Votes

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