Running low on gas and stuck with nothing but a gift card WalMart won’t let you use? Far from home? Screwed? In your desperation, don’t try to sell the card at a loss to another customer. Wal-Mart will call the cops on your soliciting ass. Then they’ll throw you out of their parking lot and call you a “vagrant.”
So says an email from a reader who found himself stranded in New Mexico with only a useless Sam’s Club gift card, a teenager and his own tears. Read his tale of roadside woe after the jump. But don’t try anything funny, or we’ll call the internet cops. They exist, don’t they?
I purchased a gift card from my local Sam’s Club in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on September 15th, where I am a business member. I purchased the card so that I could buy gas at the Sam’s club in Roswell, New Mexico, during a trip. I was under the assumption that gas was available 24 hours a day.
Upon arriving in Roswell, I found out that the gas pumps at Sam’s Club were all closed. I went to the Wal-Mart in Roswell and asked about getting a refund of the balance on my giftcard. I had the receipt for the giftcard (purchased that same day). The manager informed me that I could not have a refund because Sam’s and Wal-Mart are not the same company (even though the front of the giftcard says Sam’s and Wal-Mart). Are these not the same company?
So, I then asked a customer in line if he would be willing to purchase my giftcard for $50.00. I had $58.00 left on the card. The manager accused me of soliciting(?!?) and ! said she was calling the police. The customer said that he would be happy to purchase the card from me. This made the manager even angrier. As I returned to my vehicle the manager was on a cell phone with the police, telling them that there was a “vagrant” in the parking lot soliciting money. Soliciting?? I lost $8.00 on the deal. I just needed the money for gas to return home. My 16 year old son was waiting in the parking lot in a second car (we made the trip to pick up this car) and was also harassed. One of the cart pushers said that he was not allowed to sit in the parking lot if he was not a paying customer- (We had been there less than 10 minutes.)
I did not stay around and wait for the police. I followed the man who was purchasing my giftcard to an ATM and he paid me. I put gas in my car and returned home to Albuquerque. This happened at approximately 10:30-10:45 pm on Friday, September 15th, at ! the Wal-Mart in Roswell, New Mexico.