3 Replies Latest reply on Sep 21, 2010 8:17 AM by steffiebaby140

    Gift Card Usage - Bad Customer Experience

      My daughter received a number of gift cards for her birthday to use to populate her new nook.  She loves to read and we encourage that.  We loaded the gift cards on the accounts (per the site instructions) and started making purchases.


      Twice over the course of a few gift cards we had orders that failed to complete.  The authorizations (which hold funds on the gift cards) system for the gift cards is faulty and cannot handle multiple transactions in quick succession.  I had a very rude customer service representative attempt to explain to me the issue.  He suggested that I wait at least 1 minute between purchases so that their system could handle it appropriately.  He went on to tell me how credit card systems work and that they have to hold more than the amount of the purchase for any purchase.


      As luck would have it, I happen to design credit card software for a living.  This is the reason I was so terribly disappointed in the failure rate of gift card redemption.  The great majority of point of sale transactions hold the exact amount of funds (gas stations, restaurants and hotels being the obvious exceptions).  Furthermore, it is not at all uncommon for two transactions to occur within a few seconds.  If the gift card solution is unable to accommodate such transactions, it needs to be corrected.


      I cannot believe a company would ask me to delay purchasing items with them to make it easier for them to handle the transactions appropriately.  I now have to wait for the rude customer service rep to have his manager approve them backing out the failed transaction so that I can repurchase the book.  Keep in mind that a valid gift card and credit card were on the account the entire time and I still cannot even repurchase the book on my credit card until they get this straightened out.

        • Re: Gift Card Usage - Bad Customer Experience

          Happened to me too,  I entered 2 gift cards into my account that I had received and started purchasing from my wish list.  I had a $50 total gift card balance that I had planned to use on books to nearly the penny but ended up having my card charged for about $15 instead, because it didn't cycle through to the next card until a couple transactions later.   Very frustrating but not much I can do about it,  next time I'll just have to shop slower...


          • Re: Gift Card Usage - Bad Customer Experience

            I had the same issue.  I was buying several books in a series and was clicking buy now one after another.  It appears that gift card funds were approved for one book but were actually used for the one I bought right afterwards leaving insufficient funds on the gift card for the first book.  Since the purchase of the first book was approved on the gift card the system wouldn't allow any other form of payment and neither I or customer service could delete the inaccessible book from my account.  After a number of call to tech support, one rep suggested I add funds to the gift card.  I did so at a nearby B&N, called CS and they were then able to process the order.  My lesson: don't order books on gift cards in rapid succession.  I found CS to be friendly, but the system they were given to work with was pretty restrictive.  Can't imagine why I or a CS rep shouldn't be able to delete a failed transaction from my elibrary.