A Gift Card Program Fail To Avoid
I went to dinner at a local restaurant last Saturday night to redeem a $100 gift card. When it came time to pay the bill, I gave the gift card to the waitress. She came back to the table and said there was a zero balance on it. I know I didn’t redeem it. I purchased it in December of 2015 and hadn’t been back to the restaurant. Fortunately, because I kept the gift card receipt, and after much discussion with the waitress, the restaurant applied $100 to my bill.
During the discussion, I figured out exactly why this happened and owning Factor4 certainly helped. The restaurant changed gift card providers shortly after I purchased the gift card. The new provider didn’t do a good job converting open gift cards to the new gift card program which is a common problem for merchants. This problem leads to customer conflict, employee frustration and accounting issues. It’s a problem that can be avoided, too.
Merchant Lessons Learned
- If you change gift card providers, be sure you are converting to a reputable company like Factor4 that will run a conversion report and do test transactions to confirm that all old gift cards have been correctly converted to the new program.
- Tell customers to give the gift card receipts with the gift cards so the recipients have proof of purchase.
- Be sure to work with a gift card provider like Factor4 that allows customers to register gift cards with their information, so it can be accessed by the card holders. This enables merchants to provide a confirming option for their customers and they can use this feature to get additional marketing information about their customers.