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Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Gift Card Mall

I received a $100 VISA gift card for Christmas from a relative.  They got the gift card from something called "Gift Card Mall".  When I went to register the card, I realized that it is a scam designed so that only a fraction of the recipients can actually register the card and spend their money.

I went to the website to register the card.  (There is no phone number, so I guess if you don't have internet access you are already a loser in the GiftCardMall competition).  Here is the registration page:

Note that I need to enter the card number, "Activation Code", and CAPTCHA security code.  When I clicked on "where can I find this?" for the "Activation Code", it said I had to get it from the letter that came with the card.  You know, that letter that you toss in the trash when you get a card?  So anyone who discarded this letter is now another loser in the GiftCardMall competition.

Fortunately, after a 10 minute search I was able to fish the letter out of my recycle bin.  Sure enough, I look at the letter and it says "Activation Code: Mailed To Purchaser".  Twenty minutes in, still no Activation Code.

So now I need to call the person who sent me the gift card and ask them if they happened to save the letter they received (probably weeks or months ago) with the magical "Activation Code".

I'll bet about 40% of the people who get these cards never end up using them.

By the way, even if I somehow get the Activation Code, there is more work in my future.  Here is another gem in small print at the bottom of the activation page, that I haven't even started to deal with yet:

For Visa Gift Card recipients:
We also recommend that you register your Visa Gift Card to take advantage of special offers.
Registering your card will allow you to make online purchases or will assist you if your card is ever
lost or stolen. 

Registering your Visa Gift Card: