Reader Says Amazon's Gift Card Rules Are Stifling

Patrick says Amazon won’t let you use gift cards to buy items that come with discounts in the form of gift cards.

He writes:

So you got a gift card for Amazon from a loved one. The amount has been sitting in your Amazon account just waiting for you to need something. A great deal pops up up that you’d like to take advantage of; Amazon is selling a computer and discounting it by throwing in a free gift card. Giving a discount in the form of a gift card is a nice little way for Amazon to guarantee you spend the money with them and create some repeat business. Unfortunately, since a computer application really runs the show at Amazon, you can’t apply your own gift card balance to a purchase that includes a gift card, even if the purchase is for many hundreds of dollars more than the amount you’d like to apply and the gift card you’re getting is A)free b)just meant to be a discount and c)still going to you, as opposed to being transfered to someone else. You get it, Amazon doesn’t want you to be able to transfer your gift card simply by buying another one for someone else with the one you got. But really, it’s just ridiculous when you’re on the phone with customer service and she’s saying it probably wasn’t meant to block this type of purchase, but we have to live and die by the computer’s rules.

These online stores are perfect bureaucracies; they have frustrating and arbitrary rules and conditions that even their representatives can’t explain or defend, but we can’t even blame them for being cold hearted human beings… we are expected just to accept their binary limitations.

Does anyone know a workaround to the situation?

(Photo: ibelli)