I received a lovely sweater and tank top from a relative for Christmas that were purchased at the Gap. The tank top didn’t fit and there was no gift receipt in the box. I don’t shop at the Gap, but figured like most stores I could return it without a receipt and at least get a merchandise credit to pick out something that I could use.
The girl at the counter was very kind and helpful. She had to see my driver’s license (which of course makes me uncomfortable, but is apparently unavoidable these days if you have no receipt). Then she asked for my phone number, which I asked if it was necessary to give and she said she couldn’t process the return without it and that they don’t use it for anything except tracking returns. Reluctantly, I gave up that information as well. Sadly, I have gotten used to having to give up all of my personal information in order to do a simple return, but I didn’t want to keep a useless tank top so I went with it.
Then the kicker…as I expected her to hand me a merchandise credit she instead hands me a receipt and tells me I should receive my Merchandise Certificate in the mail in 7 business days. I was flabbergasted. Not only did they take all of my personal information, but now I wasn’t getting anything for my return. They expect me to trust that something will come in the mail, when they can’t trust that I am an honest person completing an honest transaction?
Needless to say, it took more than 7 business days to receive my merchandise certificate, which is not a merchandise credit that can be used like a gift card. It is a piece of paper with a barcode, more like a check. You cannot use it online. You have to show ID to use it.
I don’t even like the Gap! They don’t carry my size! Since Gap gift cards can be used at Old Navy, I had planned to use my merchandise credit there, but Old Navy only carries plus size online so there goes that option. Now, I have a Merchandise Credit that is pretty useless to me. This policy is ridiculous. Not only do they treat you like a criminal, make you wait to receive credit for your return, but they give you a credit that is limited in use.
Please let your readers know that if they purchase a gift at the Gap, they better be certain it will fit the recipient or include a gift receipt, because otherwise the recipient is screwed.
That’s good advice no matter where you shop, really: unless your goal is to please a vain recipient by giving them something that’s much too small, no one wants to give gifts that have to go back to the store. No one wants to lose money on the exchange if the item has gone on sale, either.