Monday, June 8, 2009

Looking a Gift Horse in the Mouth

I know that I should be grateful for every gift I get and not whine, but at the risk of sounding like a brat, I really hate gift cards. I think they are such a scam and I would, of course, prefer cash. In the last couple of years I have receieved a number of gift cards for birthdays, Christmases, thank-yous. Some were easy to use up: Holt Renfrew, the liquor store, Chapters, Pacific Centre Mall. Others were harder: La Senza, Walmart, Sears. You know, I had to really make an effort to find something to buy there. And when it's not somewhere that I would choose to shop, or even if it is, I don't really want to spend a cent more than the card is for, because they already have the money, I don't want to spend in addition to that. And I also don't want to end up with a couple dollars still on the card, because again, they already have the money, and now I'm left with two options: leave that couple of dollars to them for "free", or plan another visit to spend a few dollars over the remainder. Either way the store wins. I really hate that.

At the moment I have three gift cards in my purse, with less then three dollars on each of them. What can I buy at La Senza or Chapters for that much? Grrr... It's really the principle that bugs me, and that they won't give you any change. I have argued with numerous cashiers about this, and they are usually apologetic, but insist that their policy is that a customer has to use up the entire card. I finally remembered to use up one card the other day and no balance was reading on the cashier's computer, so I read the really really fine print and found where it said that after a certain amount of time a two dollar "administration fee" would be deducted every month. For what administration??

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