Southwest Gift Card Purchased on Paypal $0 Balance

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Oct 8, 2019
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#1
Hi,

I am looking for some help. I did not know which forum to post this but I figured since Southwest is involved, I thought this would be the optimum forum.

I purchased 2 $100 Southwest Gift Cards at the PayPal digital gift card store in 2016 to take advantage of a 10% off promotion. I received the links. Fast forward to last weekend. I tried to access the links and got an invalid link message. So, I called PayPal and they were able to resend me the links.

So then I tried to access the gift cards with the new links and it worked fine. I am planning a trip so I tried to pay for the tickets with the GCs but both show a $0 balance. I know I have never used them. So I called Southwest, and of course they told me to call PayPal who of course told me this is Southwest's problem. So here I am stuck between the two.

Any advice as to what to do next? I called Southwest customer relations and they told me that it could not be escalated anymore as they were in the Executive offices. This sucks and I am pissed but what is a customer supposed to do in this case?

I would appreciate some advice.

Thanks
D

P.S. There is an article about multiple people having this issue in 2016. The link is here: https://www.doctorofcredit.com/paypal-digital-gifts-hacked-last-month/
 

Dwayne Coward

Administrator
Staff Member
Director
Apr 13, 2016
654
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St. Louis
#2
Oct 8, 2019
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#3
Thanks a lot for your reply. I actually emailed a similar email to all 3 contacts on your page but have so far not received a response. Also, I have contacted PayPal multiple times via phone and have been transferred to the wrong departments etc. Today I also complained on the website. They really don't have a place where disputes about giftcards can be placed.

This is extremely frustrating as these gift cards did not have an expiration date so I am confused as to why does it matter if I waited long. There does not seem to be any restrictions on time to open a dispute.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#5
Thanks a lot for your reply. I actually emailed a similar email to all 3 contacts on your page but have so far not received a response. Also, I have contacted PayPal multiple times via phone and have been transferred to the wrong departments etc. Today I also complained on the website. They really don't have a place where disputes about giftcards can be placed.

This is extremely frustrating as these gift cards did not have an expiration date so I am confused as to why does it matter if I waited long. There does not seem to be any restrictions on time to open a dispute.
Did you email all at once? That’s not how we recommend doing it because it often goes into spam.
 
Oct 8, 2019
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#11
There is no expiration date on the gift cards. Also Southwest refuses to tell me the information about the person who redeemed the cards even though they have it
 

Dwayne Coward

Administrator
Staff Member
Director
Apr 13, 2016
654
930
93
St. Louis
#12
There is no expiration date on the gift cards. Also Southwest refuses to tell me the information about the person who redeemed the cards even though they have it
Unfortunately, this is information companies will normally only provide to law enforcement. If they have told you that the cards have been used (rather than depleted by fees) you may want to report this to the police since that may be considered theft.
 
Jul 30, 2018
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#13
Unfortunately, this is information companies will normally only provide to law enforcement. If they have told you that the cards have been used (rather than depleted by fees) you may want to report this to the police since that may be considered theft.
My thoughts exactly: the gift cards' numbers were somehow compromised and the balances were stolen. Unfortunately, this is become quite problematic in the gift card industry. Thieves will acquire the gift card numbers (there are many ways they can do this)and monitor them until they become active. Once they are activated the thieves will immediately sell the gift card number or program a card in their possession with the information and sell or use it. How a company processes its gift cards is considered proprietary information and therefore they will only disclose this information by subpoena during a police investigation.

This forum has quite a number of threads with a similar scenario. Target sells their gift cards at a discount around Christmas and many folks will purchase and stockpile them to use throughout the year. Unfortunately, this strategy is well-known by thieves and they become quite active during gift card sales. I think at this point all we consumers can do to prevent balance thefts is to use gift cards as soon as we receive them. Personally, since I joined this forum, I have ceased purchasing gift cards all together.

I recommend that the OP file a police report for the gift card balance thefts, not with the idea that the authorities will investigate (limited resources means they have to prioritize which cases they can investigate) but because it provides an element of credibility when you write PayPal in requesting assistance in getting the balances restored. Also, the police keep data on all crimes reported and if there becomes a pattern they may warn the public.