Friday, August 15, 2008

Luxury Luddites Reject Gift Cards

Unhappy patrons at the South Coast Plaza luxury shopping center in Costa Mesa, Calif., have apparently forced the upscale mall to discontinue its gift card program and return to issuing paper gift certificates, reported in a news brief on Paybefore. A press release issued by the mall indicated customer complaints about difficulty using the card "for multiple transactions, fees attached to transactions, balances required to complete transactions and difficulty returning items that were purchased with the gift card program."

While its certainly understandable (and commendable) that the mall would listen and act upon the complaints from its customers, it seems strange that they were not able to resolve some of the technical issues that arose when customers wanted to use the card to make multiple purchases or return items.

So do other multi-merchant card programs have similar difficulties with these types of issues? I've used other mall gift cards and have not had these type of problems. Or do you think there is some other unreported issue at work?

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