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Dell Gift Cards Consolidation / Consolidate - A Story of How Dell Stole $950 from Me (and eventually returned)

alchemista 2,608 695 August 23, 2016 at 06:46 PM
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Last Edited by alchemista August 26, 2016 at 09:13 PM
Fellow SDers - please learn from my mistake (actually, Dell's mistake). I lost $950 in gift cards and all Dell says is "sorry".

A couple of months ago, I called Dell to consolidate 7 gift cards (these are PURCHASED gift cards, not promotional so don't confuse). You have to call a live person. She had me read off each gift card #, then verified the amounts, and then said she'd submit the request which could take days.

I do not recall if she said I would get a new gift card, or if one of the 7 gift cards would have the balance consolidated on it. Nor do I recall her giving me a reference number. I heard nothing after calling, and I kept the 7 physical gift cards thinking I could always reference those if anything went wrong.

Fast forward to now. I placed an order on Dell and realized I never heard something about the consolidated gift card. I went and checked all 7 of my gift cards online, and each one gave an Error, invalid card number (this was also verified through Dell customer service).

Of course, I'm freaked out about where the $950 balance went.

So, I spent literally all day on the phone with Dell today. Seriously, the process went like this: called #, waited 30-45 minutes for someone to answer, explained my issue, they said they were going to transfer me to the "gift card" department (or the "customer care" department, or the "credit card" department), etc. Once this happens a few times, the hours add up. I was easily on the phone for 6 hours. I also tried chat three times, and each time they were useless - they just ended up giving me phone #s to call, none of which helped.

So after 6 hours, I finally reached someone who seemed to know a bit about consolidation. He checked all my gift cards and confirmed they were invalid - wow, no kidding, that's why I called. He did some checks, and asked me for the reference # for the consolidation request, which I do not recall even getting.

After lots of discussion, he said sorry, he can't do anything without the reference number, and the cards are invalid. I explained they went invalid obviously from the consolidation process - and Dell messed something up. He could care less, all he could say was sorry and nobody else could help.

So here I am, having called to consolidate $950 of gift cards that have vanished in thin air. And Dell says they cannot trace the history of cards or anything like that - just sees they are now invalid. I don't recall getting a reference number, and thought keeping the 7 physical cards around would be a suitable reference.

I have no idea what to do next. I will be calling my legal service tomorrow, but with scant evidence I'm not sure I have a case.

I'm sick to my stomach - all the various dell deals we do on here, etc, and all my deals are wiped out now with a $950 loss and probably more so.

I learned a few things: I think I will begin recording all calls relating to money. Make sure you get CSR name, reference #s, anything you could possibly get, even if they don't offer it to you. Granted, you can't always trust it - literally 5 different CSRs told me they would stay on the line with me to help, and did not, just dumped me to a transfer.

I am unable to find similar stories on the web and any way that people have resolved this situation. If anybody knows how to help, I beg for it! I will be doing BBB reports, and possibly FTC?

I'm sure that Dell could really research this if they want to, by an administrator going and checking history on databases/etc, but it's much easier for them to just say "sorry".

$950 gone.
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25 Comments

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#2
They didn't give you any receipt?
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#3
They should be able to trace the transaction history of your gift cards to look into where your balance went. U should definitely take legal action
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#4
You messed up, it isn't Dell's fault.
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#5
I have two dell gift cards that are showing invalid.
I know for sure they're valid.

givex actually handles dell's gift cards. goto their site, and do a chat or call them. they'll be able to check the gift card, but they also don't have the history.

I think this is a recent problem, since nobody is talking about it.
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#6
Quote from Krish8 View Post :
They didn't give you any receipt?
No, it's all over the phone when you call to consolidate, and I never received an email follow-up or anything. Today, they requested a reference number - and said sorry they can't do anything without one. I don't remember receiving a reference number. I'm usually very good about making a note for things like that and I've searched my entire computer and found nothing.

Quote from cra888zy View Post :
You messed up, it isn't Dell's fault.
Thanks. You don't think keeping the physical gift cards that were supposed to be consolidated onto one of the gift cards was enough?

I might have made a mistake, but it's not my fault Dell F'd up the consolidation and now gift cards show invalid instead of $0 balance.

I even checked some old Dell GCs from my "used" pile. The one's I've used show invalid too, not $0 balance.

And one of the CSRs tried to tell me today that prepaid gift cards expire in 90 days too lol.
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Last edited by alchemista August 23, 2016 at 07:55 PM
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#7
Quote from fyu View Post :
I have two dell gift cards that are showing invalid.
I know for sure they're valid.

givex actually handles dell's gift cards. goto their site, and do a chat or call them. they'll be able to check the gift card, but they also don't have the history.

I think this is a recent problem, since nobody is talking about it.
Are you supposed to have a balance on those cards? If so, what are you doing about it?

I had a similar issue yesterday - placed an order, using a $100 promotional gift card + $13 credit card. The order went to Held status. Finally found someone that told me it was a gift card issue, said it was expired although my email said expires 9/1/16. Finally got someone that had to place a new order with the same gift card over the phone and then it worked ???

Something definitely seems screwy with Dell's gift card system.

I even checked some old prepaid Dell GCs from my "used" pile. The one's I've used show invalid too, not $0 balance.
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#8
Were the GCs partially used before consolidation? Perhaps they have an expiration date after initial use.

Either way, it's important to always ask for any reference number at the end of every call. If they don't have one, at least get the staff name/employee number, and note down the date and time you called. A lot of call center workers are extremely lazy and don't follow up on requests immediately.

Not sure how much legal leverage you have considering the lack of information, but I hope this is a learning experience for you whenever you need to contact any hotline CS.
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#9
Quote from lizardtoad View Post :
It's important to always ask for any reference number at the end of every call. If they don't have one, at least get the staff name/employee number, and note down the date and time you called. A lot of call center workers are extremely lazy and don't follow up on requests immediately.

Not sure how much legal leverage you have considering the lack of information, but I hope this is a learning experience for you whenever you need to contact any hotline CS.
agree, especially involving money. I am usually very careful with noting these things, but just do not recall what was said at the end of the call. Again, it seems that having the physical gift cards which were to be consolidated should be sufficient. It could have been that she said that was enough - just don't remember.
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#10
don't they track or monitor calls to their customer svc lines?
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#11
Quote from nw9898 View Post :
don't they track or monitor calls to their customer svc lines?
OP's been writing about his "dilemma" all over the internet...and I think on another forum he posted something about it happened all the way back in March.

After a certain length of time, they probably purge them.

Without a case number (which should be got in any "important" transaction/CSR-type exchange)......it won't be easy.
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#12
Yep, I was able to find the call log to the center on March 28th.

If they can't trace a call log, and can't look it up by any of the 7 gift cards - why can they look it up by a reference #? I don't believe Dell cannot look up the history by the gift cards - it probably takes them longer, but I don't believe they cannot do it.
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Last edited by alchemista August 23, 2016 at 11:09 PM
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#13
Quote from SDSexpress View Post :
OP's been writing about his "dilemma" all over the internet...and I think on another forum he posted something about it happened all the way back in March.

After a certain length of time, they probably purge them.

Without a case number (which should be got in any "important" transaction/CSR-type exchange)......it won't be easy.
btw - who cares if I'm posting it elsewhere too? SD isn't the only site on the Internet. I've posted to 3 sites including this one, I hardly think that's "all over the internet".

If they don't purge 'reference #s" then they don't purge the information inside of them, which should include the gift card #s and my information. Now that I have a call date and time, they should also be able to filter down the call logs pretty closely - but this will take some effort on their part and it's too easy for their India call center staff to just say sorry and transfer you to another department.

If a company gives you a # and then steals money from you or messes something up, they don't get off the hook just by saying "sorry, you forgot your #".

Also like I said, I'm not even sure I was given a reference #. I have called Dell support for other things, and on chat, and I don't always get offered a reference #. I literally spent 6 hours mostly on hold with them today, maybe talking to someone briefly, not given any reference #s for this issue, and just transferred on to somebody else before I could even ask for their name or any other information. There's no reason to think it was any different when I called for the consolidation.
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Last edited by alchemista August 23, 2016 at 11:22 PM
#14
Thumbs up for sharing the info! Dell or any other vendor can screw you even with a reference number because there is no way to know whether the reference number is legit at the time of the call.
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#15
Quote from h2osz View Post :
Thumbs up for sharing the info! Dell or any other vendor can screw you even with a reference number because there is no way to know whether the reference number is legit at the time of the call.
yes or mistyped it, etc. there is definitely room for error on a phone call repeating information back and forth. i hate having to spell my name and email 3 times on a phone call.
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