Gift Card Money disappeared, need help!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Christmas2016, Dec 29, 2016.

  1. Christmas2016 macrumors newbie

    Dec 28, 2016
    Hi guys, I need urgent help on a recent unhappy experience with Apple please!

    I live in Toronto. I bought $200 gift card before Christmas from a Apple Store (in Mall A) on Dec 19, and gave to my friend on Dec 23 as a Christmas gift. (I purchased with my credit card).

    However my friend checked and found the balance was 0.00 on the same day Dec 23. I had to ask my friend to bring me back the card, I planned to give Apple Store a big complaint as this was too embarrassing and I was very upset.

    So I brought back the card to the store yesterday and asked why there was no money in there?! The store manager spoke with me and told me they tried to track down the gift card.... and it showed after 4 hours after I purchased on the same day Dec 19, the card was redeemed in another local Apple Store (in mall B)! This is too weird as the card was always in my bag with me before I gave to my friend on Dec 23, and it was all well sealed until my friend scratched the code trying to check the balance.

    I explained to the store manager and she seemed believe me, however she said this is abnormal transaction - purchase then redeem, and she can not do anything. The only thing she can do is to escalate to their finance dept and to see what they say. She even suggest me to report to police. This was not a satisfied answer. So I called the 800myapple number and expected if the customer service line could give me some better suggestions or at least a better way to get this resolved. Calling and talking with them for more than one hour, my call ended up was transferred to my local store again, I didn't get any help.

    So does that me I could never get my money back? I feel so frustrated and I feel so innocent that the only thing I did was buying a gift card from the store and then my money was gone! Has anyone here had similar issue? Shall I just wait for answer from the store, or shall report to the police? Now I am suspecting the store employee who sold the card to me... my gift card information could be stolen at the moment she scanned it, they could then go to another store and spend the money. This was the only possibility, as NOBODY else knew that I bought a gift card on that day!

    I asked the store manager to track down and get more information if possible, like that person bought what using my gift card, did he use any credit card? But the store manager told me this is beyond her authority and she can only raise to finance dept and see the what they say.

    Thanks guy for reading this , a bit too long. I couldn't find any email address or department where I can send a official complaint, any suggestion will be highly appreciated !
  2. jaybar macrumors 6502a


    Dec 11, 2008
    I would suggest writing to Tim Cook. He has a staff team that reads the emails who might be able to facilitate a resolution, depending on the circumstances.

    The other thing you might do, is contest the charge with the credit card company.
  3. theatremusician macrumors member


    Dec 17, 2013
    The manager was correct. You should be calling the police. They can get things on the record and track down whomever used the card via legal channels.
  4. Christmas2016 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 28, 2016
    Thank you and appreciate your response, yes maybe I need to call the police, at the beginning I was just thinking the police may not be too serious to take action for the only $200 lose.

    And I never thought of contacting the credit card company! It is great point... luckily I posted my storyhere, thank you so much!
  5. temna macrumors 6502a


    May 5, 2008
    Call the police, get a file number then call your credit card company.. Dispute the charge..
  6. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    OP wrote:
    "I explained to the store manager and she seemed believe me, however she said this is abnormal transaction - purchase then redeem, and she can not do anything. The only thing she can do is to escalate to their finance dept and to see what they say. She even suggest me to report to police. This was not a satisfied answer."

    I suggest you do what she says.

    Also, if the card was "redeemed" in another local Apple store, why don't you pay that store a visit to see WHO used the card? Also, who was the employee who handled the transaction? Does that employee recognize you?
  7. RedOrchestra Suspended

    Aug 13, 2012

    You can't see the balance by scratching the code you can only redeem the code either online through your iTunes account or at a Apple Store ... sorry something really fishy about this story.

    Not much the police can do, ONCE the card is purchase it is LIVE and can be redeemed by anyone who has it in their possession. Not much the CC company can do ... the purchase was made and the card redeemed ... transaction complete.
  8. Christmas2016 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 28, 2016
    My friend was trying to check the balance... when he 'Check your Apple Store Gift Card Balance', input the card no. and passcode, the balance was 0.00. And the Apple Store also checked the card was activated with $200, and was redeemed few hours later. As per the store manager, the card was redeemed to buy an iPhone, when I ask for more information, she could not provide.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 30, 2016 ---
    Thanks, this is truely what I want to know. However,
    The store won't disclose any information until they have higher management level instruction or police order.
  9. BruiserB macrumors 65816

    Aug 9, 2008
    Apple usually asks for the AppleID of the person making any transaction so they can email a receipt, etc. They surely have info on who used the card and they can tell who has that iPhone by the serial number/IMEI. They might not be allowed to provide you that info, but I would certainly agree with opening a police case as the police might be able to dig further than you can in an investigation. Also I would dispute the charge with your credit card company. You may not win the dispute, but you should lodge it immediately and then give the supporting police info etc.

    The only way I can see this happening if the poster's facts are true is if it's some sort of inside job with the person who rang up the card or something like that. If the redemption code wasn't scratched, then only someone with access to the transaction would have the card number.
  10. RedOrchestra Suspended

    Aug 13, 2012

    I've only ever been asked if I want a hard copy receipt or if I want the receipt emailed which doesn't have to be an AppleID.
  11. canuckRus, Dec 31, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2016

    canuckRus macrumors 6502


    May 18, 2014
    Surely Apple can link the iPhone and the gift card and at least brick it?
    Did you contact your credit card issuer? You may have 90 day purchase protection against lost or stolen goods.
    Doubt police would be interested in working on a gift card case judging by their interest in stolen iPhones, Macs, etc. They have more pressing problems to deal with.
  12. RedOrchestra Suspended

    Aug 13, 2012

    How does Apple truly ascertain whether the card was used "legally" or "illegally" - on the sole word of this individual - and you want Apple to brick the phone - yeah, that'll work, NOT.
  13. imanidiot Suspended

    May 1, 2011
    Denver, CO
    Not to offend the OP, but this whole thing sounds a little fishy...
  14. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    Your response on a customer service issue is to write to the CEO of the worlds largest company?

    What in the world.....
  15. Christmas2016 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 28, 2016
    Same here, when I purchased the gift card, I was only asked to provide an email address for receiving the receipt. I usually buy Apple gift online and send to my friend, never have problem, only this time, I didn't know why I have to buy from the store:(
    --- Post Merged, Dec 31, 2016 ---
    Thanks, but I don't think Apple ID is required/linked when buying or redeeming gift card in store, as I was only asked for an email address for the receipt.

    I have filed the police report and tomorrow will call credit card company. I told police that I am suspecting the employee who sold me the card, I still clearly remember her face, hope police can dig down more and find something.
  16. Xenophon macrumors regular

    Apr 8, 2010
    New Delhi, India
    I never used one of those, but don't they have a PIN that needs to be scratched away and entered upon redemption? If the layer covering that PIN was still intact when you purchased the card then the only explanations I see are that either the Apple store took your cash but never properly loaded it on/activated the card (but they can check and you seem to indicate that they confirmed it was activated with 200 USD charged) or that you should find more reliable friends (explanation that doesn't match with the timeline as you describe it). Third explanation, but which is a very long shot/improbable is a very elaborate inside job. It all sounds a bit funny to me.
  17. Christmas2016 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 28, 2016
    Store manager told me, also as per the customer service line, the gift card was activated with $200, and later on was redeemed/spent full anmount, balance was showing 0.00.

    I see in the store when people using gift card buying stuff, the only thing the cashier need to do is to scan it, NOT doing any thing with the PIN. However, if you try to buy online, at check out, you will have to input your gift card number and PIN.

    This is a very reliable friend, and I opened the envelope and saw the card was well sealed just before I gave to my friend on Dec 23. However the money was already gone 4 days before.

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