Apple's Website Has Conflicting Gift Card Policy

We recently posted a story in which an Apple customer was having difficulty buying an Apple computer with 8 gift cards that could not be combined or used together without visiting an Apple store 3 hours away, despite the fact that Apple’s website says there is no limit to the amount of gift cards that can be used when calling 1-800-MY-APPLE.

The CSRs in the story seemed confused about Apple’s policy, probably because Apple itself seems baffled.

In one FAQ it says there is no limit on gift cards used over the phone, in another FAQ (sent to us by readers) it says the limit is 4. When attempting to purchase a gift card, the Apple store page links to both FAQs.

FAQ #1: Can I use multiple gift cards when making a purchase?
Yes. You can use up to six cards when making a purchase at a retail Apple Store and up to four cards at the online Apple Store or when making a purchase through 1-800-MY-APPLE.

FAQ #2:Can I use multiple gift cards when making a purchase?
Yes. You can use up to six cards when making a purchase at a retail Apple Store and up to four cards at the online Apple Store . There is no limit to the numbers of cards you can use when making a purchase through 1-800-MY-APPLE.

How are customers expected to know and understand gift card “rules” when the company can’t present a consistent policy? It does not strike us as an out of line or unreasonable notion that a item costing thousands of dollars be paid for with more than 4 gift cards. This policy should be made clear.—MEGHANN MARCO

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  1. lore says:

    You would think Apple could bury this customer service nightmare by simply invalidating all of the person’s gift cards and mailing them a new gift card with the aggregated total.

    Or better yet, merge all of the gift card totals into one of the 8 gift cards that the person already possesses, and then void the others.

  2. limiter says:

    Fudgernutcake.

    6 gift cards being used at any store would seem a tad suspicious (perhaps the reason for the policy). That said Apple are douchebags for not helping her out when she called.

    They are super douchebags for trying to sell her extra shit she didn’t want while apparently trying to side step the problem.

    When you call Apple Store there should be someone capable of fixing problems like this. Excuses like “The system won’t let us” and “Our lame-ass FAQ sayz ‘no’” are the reason people never buy from a company again.

    Hey Apple, don’t be douchebags.

  3. Falconfire says:

    Something tells me this all stems from this Christmases gift card scam season where people where tellers where ripping off customers by stealing the pins.

  4. Mike_ says:

    The Internet Archive has mirrors of the edited page.

  5. homerjay says:

    My brother buys giftcards on ebay ( I DON”T RECOMMEND THIS) at about a 10% discount and then uses them to buy things he wants. He went to Best Buy (yeah, I know) with about 20 gift cards and asked them to consolidate them all onto one so he could use it in the future. They’ve always done it before, but this time they refused citing no particular reason.

    So what did he do? He took his $800 in gift cards and bought an $800 camera. Then he walked over to the other side of the store and returned it. THey handed him one gift card. Problem solved. Stupid Best Buy….
    In this case, Stupid Apple….

  6. dohtem says:

    Don’t we have the contact info of someone at apple we can forward this to? Someone that’ll love to see this resolved amicably?

  7. warchild says:

    At my previous job, we would get gift cards in multiple denominations for reward/bonus/etc all at a given time. So no, having multiple gift cards is not a bit suspicious. I have gone to many places (Best Buy, Apple Store, WalMart, Target to name a few) with multiple gift cards and none of their employees gave me any hassle.

  8. karimagon says:

    Barnes and Noble’s policy is the same way when it comes to buying things online. However, I was able to call them up, got a reasonable and intelligible service representative, and placed my order with two gift cards. Still, the policy strikes me as asinine.

  9. mad_oak says:

    SCREW MAKING THE POLICY CLEAR!!! The policy should be that you can you unlimited gift cards on the phone and in the store.. If there is a human involved, they should be able to make the sh!t work. If its online then fine, notify us of the system restrictions.

  10. Vladimir says:

    You’re right, the policy SHOULD be made clear. Or the consumer could read the fine print at the bottom of both FAQs (as they SHOULD) and find that ‘FAQ #1′ as CSR calls it, is copywright 2007. ‘FAQ #@’? 2005! I wonder which one they follow? Its common sense to assume its the 2007 rules. Unfortunately there are plenty of consumers who just want what they want with little regard to the constantly changing retail market. I think people should have to get liscences to buy from retailers or eat at restuarants. The total lack of consumer education/understanding baffles me. I’m commenting not to defend Apple, but to point out the rediculousness of someone’s inability to read the fine print. I hope to God they’re NOT in the business world.

  11. Legodude522 says:

    Screw Apple. They lied to me before on their policies and I was out $250 and with a $1,299 broken laptop.

    That was my first and last purchase from Apple.