John wrote in yesterday to tell us, “I just got back from Wal-Mart trying to buy stuff with my gift cards, but the employees told me that they gift card servers were down across the country. I waited for about 15 minutes as cashiers and managers tried to get my gift card to go through and nothing occurred.”
The television station NBC5i in Fort Worth, Texas, got some first-person accounts of the screw-up.
Shopper Mary Garcia said she eventually got her card to work.
“The first time she scanned it, it didn’t beep, and I thought, ‘Hopefully, whoever gave this to me did really put money in there,'” she said.
Misty Kiesendahl, another Wal-Mart customer, said no one at the store told shoppers there was a problem with the cards.”They weren’t saying anything,” she said. “There was no one there to help us. We went through the self-checkout line, and no one came to help us.”Kiesendahl said her card worked after four or five tries.
According to BusinessWeek:
In a statement, Wal-Mart said once it discovered the problem, it investigated and found that a “third-party verifier’s systems had an inadvertent processing error.” The retailer said the error caused delays in gift card verifications.”We are working with the supplier to resolve the issue as quickly as possible and we apologize for the inconvenience to our customers.”
(Thanks to John!)
“Computer Glitch Affects Use Of Wal-Mart Gift Cards” [NBC5i]
“Wal-Mart finds gift card error” [BusinessWeek]