My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: Washington/California
Here is my complaint filed with the BBB:
Case Description: On May 17, 2012, I purchased a gift card from Amazon.com in the amount of $1390.00. The next day, when attempting to retrieve the gift card for the person (Sandra), the card was listed as redeemed, although it was not an authorized redemption by a party with whom I am familiar. Upon contacting customer service, I reported the gift card as stolen and was given the name of the person who redeemed the gift card, one Nora Arenas. I have no idea who Nora Arenas is and that transference was not authorized on my behalf. Customer service then told me that the gift card has been deactivated so that this "Nora Arenas" cannot use it and said I will be refunded or issued a new gift card with 24-48 hours. Additionally, I was told the issue would be handled by the Gift Certificate Escalations Department and I would be contacted within 48 business hours. The department contacted me and told me that once a gift card has been transferred, there is nothing that can be done. I called again and went through the same thing again. This is unfair business practice; I have provided them with information regarding the theft of a gift card, they KNOW who illegally redeemed it and will not do anything about it. Not only that, but they deactivated it so that this person who stole it cannot use it but at the same time, they refuse to offer a refund or issue me a new gift card, so this $1390 that I paid for a gift card can't be used by ANYBODY. This is completely illogical and unfair business practice and the company has shown no interest in cooperating with me. When I call or chat with customer service at Amazon.com, they inform me that they cannot do anything and that it MUST be escalated to the aforementioned department (Gift Certificate Escalations). However, they tell me that there is no contact phone number and no contact email for this department to speak with someone directly. This is absurd policy; the company tells you there is nothing they can do, even though clearly there is, and offers no solution or rectification of the situation and no form of contact. All I am asking for, since the card has already been deactivated and cannot be used by the person that stole it, is that I be issued a new gift card or refunded for the full cost of the gift card.
Desired Resolution: $1390, the cost of the gift card that was stolen and since deactivated.
Here is Amazon.com's response:
I understand your concern about the $1390 gift card you purchased.
We'd like to inform you that the gift cards once applied to an account can't be given back.
For your convenience, I'm copying the most relevant portion, found in the "Risk of Loss" section of this page here:
The risk of loss and title for Gift Cards pass to the purchaser upon our electronic transmission to the purchaser, recipient or delivery to the carrier, whichever is applicable. We are not responsible if a Gift Card is lost, stolen, destroyed or used without your permission.
Can they do this? Just because they have their absurd policy posted on their website, they can just take my money, acknowledge that it is not going to be used and never give anything back? I mean, I know there are usury laws to void things if someone charges an outrageous interest rate... is there anything like that for this type of thing? I can't believe they can charge me, deactivate it when I say it's stolen, then not reissue/refund and get away with it. This is absolutely ridiculous. Any help is greatly appreciated.