Andy Oman has a gift certificate for one night in the presidential suite at a Radisson hotel. Why won’t the property honor it? “Hey Radisson, where’s my night in the presidential suite?”
Rachel Brekke finds two Claim Jumper gift certificates from 1996. Why won’t they work?
“Why won’t my Claim Jumper gift certificate work?”
* But you can’t use it.
What would you do if you were Gloria Stroemer and your sister had just died after a long illness, leaving you a $1,000 Club Med gift certificate? “Here’s a $1,000 Club Med gift certificate*”
For her 35th wedding anniversary, Cheryl Cantillon’s children gave her a Northwest Airlines gift certificate. But when she tried to redeem the voucher for a ticket, the airline told her she’d have to wait. Now, bear in mind that someone paid cash for these vouchers and hoped Cantillon would use them for a flight — soon.
No can do, said Northwest. She would have to wait 10 days before she could buy a ticket. What’s more, the vouchers needed to be processed manually through one of Northwest’s call centers in India.
This means that you are paying human beings to do something that a computer can do. There is no business reason these gift certificate flights (with a credit card backup) can’t be handled the same way as any other credit card purchase.
Why does Northwest Airlines treat its own gift certificates like dirt?
I recommended Cantillon contact Northwest at a higher level with this question. She did, and the airline got back to her uncharacteristically fast.
Thank you for your email to Andy Roberts and Kristen Shovlin. They have asked that I respond to your concerns and extend their personal apologies for any confusion regarding the use of our gift certificates.
Please know gift certificates are electronic documents that can be issued by our automated process. However, if a gift certificate is purchased and redeemed on the same day, which is the case in this instance, due to security and fraud issues, the original credit card purchase must be verified prior to the issuance of the actual ticket.
While the itinerary and fare are confirmed, the tickets remain on queue for ticketing until the original purchase is verified. This process is in place for the protection of the credit card holder. Thank you for your understanding in this matter.
With that said, I have reviewed your reservation and have verified that the tickets have been issued for you upcoming trip to San Francisco. Thank you for choosing Northwest, I hope your trip is pleasant in every respect
In other words, Northwest doesn’t treat its gift certificates like dirt. But Cantillon’s kids probably could have saved themselves a lot of trouble by just buying their mother a ticket to San Francisco.