DEAR EDITOR:

It has been a regular custom of mine to purchase a gift card for a substantial amount of money from a big box store in our area to use for purchasing gasoline since the pumps at their affiliated gas station will give a per gallon discount on fuel when utilizing the card.

WOW, was I surprised when I attempted to use a rather large balance that was left on my gift card at the store’s affiliated gas station for another fill up only to have it rejected.

I am no detective, but it didn’t take long to get on the cell phone and make a call to find out that someone had used the large balance on my gift card, which I still had in my possession, to make some store purchases in the big box, but in Las Vegas.

I thought surely this was a mistake since possession of the card never left my wallet, but after contacting the big box’s fraud department I was told that there was nothing the store could do or would do about this and they would not make good on the stolen balance. Again, the card balance, not the card.

I don’t remember seeing a sign posted when I purchased the large amount gift card that said “Buyer Beware. Once you purchase this card, we are not responsible for it.” I think of myself as a rather educated consumer and I fully realize that if the card was lost or stolen, it was no longer in my hands then they, the big box, would not be responsible … but I still had this gift card in my possession.

Also, I couldn’t convince the fraud department that I couldn’t be in Rome, Georgia, and Las Vegas making purchases with the same card on the same day. There answer was the same, “Too bad, we are not making it good on the stolen number.”

I can tell you that I have purchased my last gift card from this big box, and anything else for that matter, and the last gallon of fuel from their affiliated gas station. But I wanted to warn your readers BUYERS BEWARE, what you think is going to save you a few pennies per gallon for gas may end up helping make some fraudulent purchase in another part of the country with the balance left on your card and the big box doesn’t care a bit.

Linda Hatcher

Rome

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