Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sileny Does a Hate!!?!?!?

Yes. I has a hate. And it has to do with...gift cards. OK, doesn't sound bad. Everyone loves gift cards. I love gift cards. So much. In fact, give me gift cards please. LMAO. But recently there has been so much trouble with them I want to rip my hair out.

See, I both bought and received as gifts many gift cards this past holiday season. I don't make a lot of L's in SL. In fact, between working and camping I make about 600L every week. (It was higher when I worked at a club, but the club recently closed.) Since I have a skin habit and skins are spendy, I take every chance I get to find a deal. A little while ago there was a huge string of gift card sales, mny up to 50% off. And I bought. And I have been reserving them for times when i am really, really broke. And now, many stores are eliminating the cards altogether and making us spend the entire amount in a very short period of time, making us go through really long and irritating processes while also requiring us to spend the enitre amount at once, or making it so you can only use the cards on item with a value higher than that of the card itself (like you have to use your 500L card on a 1k item and pay the difference, for example).

I realize there are thieves and that there have been glitches in the system that people have taken advantage of. I know there are problems. But I also know that I am not a thief. That I used the L's I camped and worked for hours to get to buy these cards. And now I have an extremely limited way of using them. I'm really irked by this. I mean, they really need to think of some other way to do this. I generally side with the stores when they have to do something to protect themselves that makes most people mad. I know how irritating people can be, I know how ruthlessly cruel people can be...but this time it just sucks.

What are your opinions? What do you think should be done? Are you a store owner that has had to deal with this? Are you a customer that has been screwed by this? Are you someone who has taken advantage of the glitch? I want to know how people feel.

P.S.- Anyone want to go spend some gift cards with me before they expire? HAHA


Prudence said...

I agree with you. Luckily, to my knowledge it's not affecting any of the like 30 cards I have stashed in a folder yet. In fact, now I feel paranoid and need to go check, but I always worry that one of my GC's will rendered useless by w/e store it's for. That would suck >.<

A remedy could possibly be the system LBD and Curio use, where you send NC's listing what you want, WITH you GC, to the owner. This way they know who spends what via how much the cards have. It's a more timely way of doing gift cards, not automated like most stores, but nonetheless a safer way of monitoring possible theft.

Diane said...

Well, I dont have any suggestions on how to fidx the problem.....but this is one of my HUGE pet peeves in SL. I have alot of gift cards and I am SCARED to look and see how many are not good anymore. IMHO, it is the duty of the store owner to help make our experiences pleasant so that we want to come back and spend LOTS more. I don't have much patience left. I spend ALOT of RL money in SL. The Lindens need to get their act together and FIX all the problems going on. Someone is making alot of money in SL. It's NOT me. They should be using that money to help the customer enjoy shopping. I know I am not thinking realistic...lol ANd I won't quit spending money in SL either. I was just bitching cause it felt good. On a GOOD note, I love all you hard working SL bloggers....you dont get paid ANYTHING and you work your ASSES off finding us good deals. *muah* You are the GOOD and mistreated of SL and do not get any recognition for your hours and hours of hard work. I respect and love all of you. THank you for being here for us!!!

okrebecca said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
okrebecca said...

today i hate: chair intruders/letter thiefs, "24 hours only sale get yr butt down here and spend money WHEN I TELL YOU TO!!!##" and catty sluts who don't accept sorry for an apology if you sit before them by accident

oh AND
the people with the gaul to announce "i only want the pale one, you guys can take the rest i don't care" in regards to skin hating. like you need to announce yr racism? congrats, we now know you're a republican!

Reiko said...

I think that with regard to skin preference, okrebecca, I think it's not so much racism as it is the tone your avatar usually wears. I can sympathize with your viewpoint, but let's not demonize folks unnecessarily. Let's say I'm waiting forever, and another R shows up. If they want a different tone than me, I'd much prefer to give them a chance at the skin they want and let them know I'm just waiting for a particular tone. I mean, would you still be angry if someone announced that they were waiting on the darker skin? Or the bright purple skin?

okrebecca said...

-people who miss the point
-pregnancy huds

Reiko said...

Yeesh, ok, ok, I have no idea if you're hating on me or just the world in particular, but I'll let it go. I do agree with you that pregnancy huds are annoying as anything. The world doesn't need any more chatspamming fetuses.

Syn said...

Yeah, it's kinda absurd. I do sympathize with the shop owners who have suffered the bugs, but saying 'use it or loose it' does NOT make me want to come back again. They HAVE my money, which was spent in good faith, the least they can do is allow me to transfer the card to them and have them place a note in my profile, 'Has x amount of credit'. And when they replace the gift cards with a new system, issue a new one of equal value. Does it require a whole lot of work for that many customers? Perhaps. Hire a temporary employee for a month to deal with it specifically.


Anonymous said...

What was the glitch, anyway?

My sadness with gift cards is how no system allows us to use multiple cards for a purchase. I might have 5 200L cards but I only get max 200L off a 1000L item I want. Wish they could do something about that.

And I also get annoyed when not every item in the store is set up for cards and of course the one thing I want isn't, and usually when I message the designer asking if we can do a little inventory exchange they act like it's sooooo inconvenient. I can't imagine it would be that hard.

Dunneh Snookums said...

I can understand why the owners are doing what they're doing, the thing is that a few dishonest people have ruined it for everyone, and thems the breaks. I do agree with you, though, Sileny. It's very frustrating for regular, honest customers. It's a tight-rope walk at the moment, weeding out dishonest thieves and trying to keep the honest loyal customers happy. I don't envy their position right now. Certainly, making people buy things over the card amount is a bit much. It may be a card, but I slapped down linden for it already, so suddenly I have to spend more or lose my money? =\

Yeah, what is the glitch anyway? I assume it's to do with the actual card amount being tampered with or something. It's disappointing that the glitch exists, and it's going to affect a lot of places, which sucks. I hope the gift-card system returns... I often buy half-off cards to splurge with at a later date and now I'm worried about the ones I bought.

What I dislike about cards in particular is the same thing Anon mentions -- not being able to combine multiple cards towards a purchase, and when a creator releases special items and whatnot the card doesn't cover.

In that vein, I get the weird feeling a lot of creators don't treat gift-card holders like 'paying customers', which is a) stupid and b) why they're so reluctant to inventory swap. Like you're stealing their item or something. That annoys me. If anything, one should be treated better because creators already have your linden in their pockets as soon as you buy the card! I mean what if some (legit) card holders are on vacation right now? They come back and their card is invalid then they basically made a massive donation to the creator for nothing. xD

Well I hope it gets sorted out.

Long winded as always,

P.S. I'd love to help you shop. SWEET. :D

P.P.S. One shouldn't discriminate against the Gauls. That's not nice at aaall. =DD

Vasha Martinek said...

We're getting ready to create gift cards - and the 'system' will be old fashioned as hell... you send us a notecard and your giftcard, and we send you back the stuff.

It's not instantaneous, but it does avoid a lot of the problems you've described - glitches, cheating, etc. It isn't high tech, but it IS a lot more reliable.

As for not refunding the unused portion of a card - I can see that, for those that don't use a 'card system'. Prior to gift cards in RL being like a debit card you spend down, real stores did the same thing. This is because there is no gift card to give you for an odd amount.

I can't agree with making you spend more than the gift card amount to use it; that seems shady if they didn't express that clearly at the time of purchase. I can tell you that very few people making purchases actually read - and that's their own fault - but the merchant has a responsibility to make the terms of that gift card sale as clear as they are able.

I get why some merchants are having to ask people to use their gift cards by a certain date. It sucks, and I'd hate to be in those merchants' positions - either having to put the screws to good people or take getting repeatedly ripped off by bad people.

Hm. Yes. The solution seems to be... execute bad people. Impractical maybe... but wow would it be effective. =P

PS - Sileny, we've got spots open at the club if you need a job - and you know I <3 ya. ;)