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Customer service & gift cards

Customer service & gift cards

I love receiving carefully-chosen gift cards. To me they are like free money. Guilt-free money, in fact. Oh darn, I “have” to spend this money on a massage or at my favorite restaurant instead of, you know, saving it or buying something practical. My son likes gift cards too, so sometimes I get him one to his favorite restaurant, which happens to be Subway. Normally this works out great, but occasionally there is a problem with a gift card. In that particular instance, I decided to try to get the problem fixed. So I went to the Subway web site, and read the following:

My SUBWAY(R) Card is damaged and unreadable, what do I do?

If your SUBWAY(R) Card is damaged and unreadable, you can have your balance transferred to a new SUBWAY(R) Card at your local SUBWAY(R) restaurant or if your SUBWAY(R) Card is registered at www.mysubwaycard.com, SUBWAY(R) will freeze the remaining unused balance and a replacement Card will be issued.

To freeze the remaining unused balance on your SUBWAY(R) Card, call the SUBWAY(R) Card Help Line at 1-877-697-8222 and select Option 0 at the main menu. After the Card Representative freezes your remaining balance, print out the Replacement Request Form, and mail the completed form along with the original purchase receipt to:

* Value Pay Services LLC
* Attention: Card Replacement Request
* 9200 South Dadeland Blvd. Suite 705
* Miami, Florida 33156

A replacement card will be issued for the damaged cash card within 4-6 weeks after the completed form is received.

Now, the gift card IS registered, but I no longer have the original purchase receipt. So instead of calling the number, freezing the card, making it null & void, and leaving me unable to get a new one since I don’t have the receipt, I went in to a different Subway to ask them to transfer the balance to a new card. That didn’t work out. Then I went to a third Subway, which also yielded nothing but frustration. Here’s the email I sent Subway afterward:

I have a Subway card with a damaged magnetic strip. It has a balance on it of about $5.50 which shows as available when you call the phone number, but I am unable to use the card due to the damaged strip. It is registered online, but I no longer have the original receipt. (I’d thought registering the card would have eliminated the need for that?)

As instructed by your FAQ page, I tried to have the balance transferred to a new card in a store. The first store I went to (where I discovered that the card was unreadable) was unable to transfer it. They got very frustrated with the situation. The second store I went to was also unable to transfer it, explaining that since the card wasn’t swiping correctly, they couldn’t do the transfer. They called the assistant manager, who said there was nothing that could be done. The third store I went to told me that they weren’t allowed to transfer from one card to another. This was especially surprising since my card actually displayed with the correct balance at that store.

I am frustrated with this situation. Can you help?

And here is the response I got back:

We are sorry to learn of your recent experiences with your SUBWAY(R) Card.

You can get a replacement for your damaged card on your next visit to any participating SUBWAY(R) restaurant location – just ask the Sandwich Artist to transfer the balance of the damaged card onto a new card. And if they are having trouble doing this for you at the store, please give us a call or have the employee call us while you are there and we will gladly walk them through the process.

Or if you prefer, you may mail your card to us and we will issue a new a card. To do so, visit www.mysubwaycard.com and download the Replacement Card Request Form from the FAQ section. Then mail the completed form with your damaged card to the address provided on the form. Please allow 4-6 weeks from the time we receive the Request Form for processing of this request.

See Also

SUBWAY(R) values you as a customer and appreciates your business. Thanks for using the new SUBWAY(R) Card, the quick and easy alternative to cash and credit cards!

Is it just me, or did it seem like they didn’t even READ my email to them? Total form email.

So I replied back, explaining why their reply was unacceptable and asking for a supervisor’s contact information. After a few days of no response, I noticed that the reply-to email probably went to an unmonitored account. So I tried again at the main Subway card related email address.

Still no response.

This is an example of terrible customer service. Now I realize that it’s only over about $5, but especially since it’s only over about $5, couldn’t someone do something positive about the situation? Take a little initiative maybe? Do something to make it right? Maybe their requirement for the “original purchase receipt” on a registered card isn’t really a requirement, but if so, why is it listed on the FAQ page in more than one place? And who gives the original purchase receipt to people along with the gift card, and warns them to hold onto it til the entire card balance is used up? (For the record, this card originally had a $20 balance and worked fine initially.)

If they really valued me as a customer and appreciated my business, they would act like it.

What would you do if you were me? Chalk up the $5ish as a loss? Go out of your way to visit the only store where it actually seemed to work and just hope it works again? Send another email? One thing’s for sure, I’m unlikely to buy another gift card from them again after all this.

View Comments (6)
  • Email customer service sucks… at all companies. I don’t think they ever read your actual email. They skim it, get the gist, and send out the “appropriate” form letter.

    I would probably go back and just ask for a free sandwich, or coupon or something. I mean, there’s no reason if the manager believes you that you have money on there and the card isn’t working that they can’t just give you the sub for free. If that doesn’t work, I guess mail it to subway and see what they can do. You have nothing to lose at that point.

  • You can get a replacement for your damaged card on your next visit to any participating SUBWAY(R) restaurant location – just ask the Sandwich Artist to transfer the balance of the damaged card onto a new card. And if they are having trouble doing this for you at the store, please give us a call or have the employee call us while you are there and we will gladly walk them through the process.

  • Kevin, yeah, I’m not sure that I want to go to a FOURTH store to ask them to transfer the money. And what number are they supposed to call, anyway? The one store who tried calling someone came up with the same “can’t help you” answer.

  • Call them and ask for a supervisor. I stuck with it until Walgreens got someone on the phone to look into the problem, and promised a callback within 24 hours, for my $5.24 that the asst. manager managed to delete from my gift card.

  • I think I might have to go into the nearest Subway and slap the person behind the counter for actually having the title “Sandwich Artist”.

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