Amazon "third party gift cards" deemed untraceable and not honored

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Dec 6, 2018
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#1
Amazon.com won't honor $500 of "third-party" gift cards purchased from them (5x$100 at 5 different vendors, for a cost of $400 out of pocket, through American Express's July 4 "20% off" Amazon purchase offer); and say it is my responsibility to pursue from the actual vendors. I went to start arranging the cards for Christmas delivery to friends and family in mid-October, and found I did not have the information of said cards.

Amazon's blithe response to me by chat, was to provide contact details for each of the 5 individual vendors to pursue them on my own to make good; including a cheery "all will be well, smiley face!". in their message

Unfortunately, everything has been nothing but UNwell since this point.

I emailed each vendor, who have already responded to me saying "sorry, no can do; this is Amazon's issue, we are not responsible for lost or stolen gift cards; and they need to either fix it or trace the gift cards". Even the likes of Whole Foods, has disclaimed any connection with or in respect of Amazon.

In the interim, I applied to American Express, who took 6 weeks debating, only to refuse to do a chargeback, because "Amazon said they emailed them to you".

I can neither find the emails Amazon claims to have sent me with links to the cards (not saying they never did; just saying I don't recall ever seeing them, and I certainly didn't use them); nor can I re-download the cards from my Amazon order history. The only option the Amazon order history gives me, is to "archive order"; so as far as I can tell, 5 $100 gift cards are floating around in the Internet ether and no one will ever get any use out of them, least of all me - the only entities to profit, are the vendors and American Express.

Thoughts? Any ideas would be appreciated. TIA!
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#2
Amazon does have this in their terms and conditions - that gift cards must be purchased through authorized dealers:

https://www.amazon.com/b/ref=amb_li...d83-4ba2-b97f-7f27606fd032&pf_rd_i=1000465651

You say you purchased them through Amazon but used five different vendors. Who were the vendors? If you didn’t purchase from Amazon.com, you didn’t purchase them from Amazon. Please explain what you mean by using five vendors.

They are cracking down on gift card purchases due to fraud they are experiencing. Did you send them proof of where you purchased these from?

We have company contacts on our company contacts page. Follow this post and appeal to Amazon:
https://forum.elliott.org/threads/resolving-consumer-complaints-and-developing-a-paper-trail.8903/
 

mmb

Verified Member
Jan 20, 2015
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#3
Seems like you need to go back to the AMEX offer and read it thoroughly to make sure you followed the directions explicitly.
It would seem (to me) convoluted and too much work to buy five $100 cards from five different vendors. Was there a reason for this?
Apparently you got a 20% discount on each card. Are you sure you weren’t scammed?
I have not heard of this one but new scams pop up each day.
It is very hard to make sure you are on the legitimate website, especially if you respond to an email or text using the ‘link’ provided for you to do so. NOTE: This is ALWAYS a bad practice.
Obviously something went wrong and it is up to you to figure out what is was and where it happened.
Sorry, as I know all of this is time consuming and at a time when you are probably already too busy.
I have spent over six hours this week correcting our Fed Govt mistakes ( IRS, SS) and hope it’s all worked out, but no guarantees at this point. Another dreaded letter could show up down the road.
 
Apr 10, 2017
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#4
There was a legitimate targeted promotion for this back in July. I assume you bought electronic gift cards directly from Amazon. Are you saying you never received an email with a link to the card numbers and the ability to print them? Could these emails have somehow been sent to your spam folder? You should have a record of purchasing the cards with Amex and the $100 statement credit. Have you sent that to Amazon as proof that you did indeed buy the cards? My husband and I take advantage of similar Amex offers all the time. We usually get an email right away saying something along the lines of "Congratulations, you just redeemed this offer at XYZ vendor and will get $X as a statement credit". An email such as that would also help prove your case. It's very odd that there is nothing in your Amazon order history about this.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
14,599
13,724
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#5
There was a legitimate targeted promotion for this back in July. I assume you bought electronic gift cards directly from Amazon. Are you saying you never received an email with a link to the card numbers and the ability to print them? Could these emails have somehow been sent to your spam folder? You should have a record of purchasing the cards with Amex and the $100 statement credit. Have you sent that to Amazon as proof that you did indeed buy the cards? My husband and I take advantage of similar Amex offers all the time. We usually get an email right away saying something along the lines of "Congratulations, you just redeemed this offer at XYZ vendor and will get $X as a statement credit". An email such as that would also help prove your case. It's very odd that there is nothing in your Amazon order history about this.
Thank you for explaining these. There must be some type of proof of each purchase that you can send to Amazon. That’s what they are looking for.
 
Dec 6, 2018
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#6
Amazon does have this in their terms and conditions - that gift cards must be purchased through authorized dealers:

https://www.amazon.com/b/ref=amb_li...d83-4ba2-b97f-7f27606fd032&pf_rd_i=1000465651

You say you purchased them through Amazon but used five different vendors. Who were the vendors? If you didn’t purchase from Amazon.com, you didn’t purchase them from Amazon. Please explain what you mean by using five vendors.

They are cracking down on gift card purchases due to fraud they are experiencing. Did you send them proof of where you purchased these from?

We have company contacts on our company contacts page. Follow this post and appeal to Amazon:
https://forum.elliott.org/threads/resolving-consumer-complaints-and-developing-a-paper-trail.8903/
Hi Neil: Thanks for prompt response!

By the above, I mean, I bought one $100 electronic gift card from Ulta through Amazon; one $100 electronic gift card from Sephora; etc.; until I had reached the maximum offered promotion amount of $500. I did indeed receive a 20% discount overall; sorry for speaking about it colloquially in a perhaps confusing manner. As a refresher, the listings for third party electronic GC's available through Amazon look like this:

https://www.amazon.com/Ulta-Beauty-...id=1544103095&sr=1-1&keywords=electronic+ulta

From the listing details, you will see that Amazon lists it as Ulta Beauty “by” Ulta Beauty (I think “by” is Amazon’s language for “responsible vendor”). However, it also says in tiny print towards the bottom:

Sold and delivered by ACI Gift Cards, LLC., an Amazon company.

-To me, the above is saying that Amazon is responsible for this card; or at the very least, their subsidiary ACI Gift Cards, LLC . is.

-When you look up ACI Gift Cards’ details on Amazon, it says to contact Amazon Help to resolve things. except clearly not, because I did via chat so far, and it got me nowhere:

https://www.amazon.com/sp?seller=A3O4IO1U2L1KST

-Amazon’s CS rep told me via chat, that Amazon isn’t; and that Ulta is in fact responsible, and that I have to go chase down Ulta, etc.

-Ulta, etc., in turn, said I have to go chase Amazon.

If I had known it would be this much of a headache, I like to think I would have taken advantage of their timed delivery date option (i.e., decide which family member gets what, and pre-date their receipt of the card into the recipient’s email directly, which they apparently allow you to schedule up to a year in advance). On the other hand, I’ve never done such a thing before, and I don’t think I would have been less nervous at the prospect of this, in turn, going astray. Heck, I didn’t know that my current problem was a thing which could happen to people...

I will check out the link you kindly provided for the additional methods which I can use to appeal to Amazon.

Kind regards,
Felicia
 
Likes: Mel65
Dec 6, 2018
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#7
Yes, you have the right of it. If I had known this was so complicated, I at minimum would have made the decision to purchase a simple gift card totaling $500 to one merchant through Amazon; I did not, and thus here I am.

I do agree it is possible that these emails went into my spam folder; unfortunately, Gmail deletes the spam within 30 days automatically, so I can no longer rely upon that for a method of tracking.

I also believe/agree that I should have looked quicker and more stringently through my emails to make sure that I in fact received these cards and stashed them in an electronic wallet posthaste; but I have searched and found comments from individuals on other forums saying things like “these cards aren’t always emailed out instantaneously by Amazon and sometimes take a few hours to get to you”; so I suppose with the 4th being a holiday, it slipped my mind, and now here I am... thanks for your response, and I apologize to all if I didn't know how to multiquote properly :)
 
Apr 10, 2017
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#8
Here is an example of an email regarding a recent offer I redeemed:



Amex Offers
Account Ending: XXXXX​




Dear X,

We appreciate you using your Amex Offer at Cheddar'S XXXXXXX. You'll be rewarded with a $10.00 statement credit, which will automatically be applied to your statement if your purchase meets the offer terms.






Your account information is included above to help you recognize this as a customer care e-mail from American Express, where you have registered or enrolled your Card. We kindly ask you not to reply to this e-mail but instead call the number on the back of your Card for assistance.

© 2018 American Express. All rights reserved.

EID:​


 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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7,123
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San Francisco
#9
What a horrible mess, Felicia. I think that ADM has had complete success with these offers because she is meticulous with the details and follows up on everything. I shy away from them all, for fear I will end up in your shoes.

If I understand what happened, you purchased 5 gift cards from Amazon. Each card was issued by a different vendor. You made a purchase from Amazon, you paid for it with your AmEx card. Does this order appear on your Amazon account? You were charged by AmEx for the cards less the discount on their offer to you. I think the problem rests directly with Amazon. They cannot sell you gift cards that are subject to fraud, no matter what kind of a discount you obtained. Amazon was paid in full by AmEx.

Submit a polite, concise email to Customer Service. Ask for the cards to be replaced. Amazon is very prickly about fraud and getting worse all the time, so the more clearly you can explain your situation, the better the chance that they will pay attention. Wait two weeks and if there's no reply, use our Company Contacts to run up the executive bean stalk, waiting a week between each submission. Good luck and please let us know what transpires.
 
Likes: ADM