June 27, 2006

Gift Cards

Got a gift card in your wallet? Bet you do. You can get gift cards absolutely anywhere now, which you'd think would be a good think. I think it's an annoying thing. When the Ontario government started bellyaching about expiry dates here, I had another thought. Quit the practice of leaving a few cents on them.

The kids get these things as gifts, which is great if you use the whole think at once. But what happens is that if the card is for 50 bucks, and the purchase comes to 46.10, they lob the difference back onto the gift card. And nowhere is it noted how much is still on it. Picture a wallet full of these things, all with varying amounts that are nowhere close to the amount originally printed on them.

If I remember that I have one, if that happens while I'm actually in the store that it's for, and if I can find it in my bog of a purse, I am always delirious with happiness to discover it has knocked $3.21 off my purchase.

And yeah, that article is right. Usually by the time I line up all those 'ifs', the thing has expired. Also not printed on them. Using these things is like playing pin the tail on the donkey. And I'm the donkey. I'm also the one juggling a latte, holding up the line and cursing the darkness of my purse, all to discover the card is no good.

Why can't they just give you cash back for the change, especially if it's just a few bucks? I'd throw the stupid things away if I couldn't hear my Mom's voice in my head, gasping, that I would consider throwing away two dollars.

Two bucks for my sanity, Mom? Cheap at twice the price.


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