Random Thoughts

Thoughts while shaving


Why do we do it? Give gift cards as gifts. Unused, lost, misplaced and stolen gift cards add up to millions, maybe billions, of dollars in profits to the issuer at the expense of us. Why not cash or check with a note telling the recipient to promise you that they’ll spend it on themselves for something they normally would not buy. And if you don’t use the gift card promptly, the business may close and the new business will not honor it. This happened to my son recently. He had a Christmas gift card to a local bar/restaurant that he was planning to use to take “dear old dad” out for a beer and sandwich. When we got there, the business had changed hands and they wouldn’t honor the gift card. You would think that they WOULD honor the GC as good business sense to retain the customer, and they will make up for it with unused GC’s. Another recent incident also validates “why gift cards”. My wife gets Macy’s gift cards frequently from her 5 daughters for annual events, i.e., Christmas, birthday, Mother’s Day, and she keeps them in her purse until she uses them. When she tried to use one recently, she was told it had a zero balance. We called the number on the back of the card and was told the card was used in California 3000 miles away while it was still in my wife’s possession? We were told we needed the receipt to bring back to where it was purchased. My wife had no idea which daughter gave her this particular gift card and how long she had it and the receipt was no longer available. If the gift is in cash, chances are very good that it WILL be used and if a check is NOT cashed, the issuer will be in touch with you to cash it so they can balance their checkbook…some still do!        

February 5, 2016

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