SIGG Gives Customer $50,000 Gift Card For Two Water Bottles

After SIGG USA announced that their metal water bottles contained plastic additive BPA, they offered to exchange consumers’ offending bottles for new ones. Karen sent her BPA-riddled water bottles in for replacement, and received her gift certificate to buy two new ones for a total of $46.98. But something went horribly wrong, and now she has a store credit for just under $50,000.

Reader Macezilla, who sent us this tale, mused,

She is still deciding what to do, but swears that she really isn’t going to buy $1,000 worth of Sigg bottles……..but I have a feeling that I know what everyone is going to get from her for Christmas.

Well, let’s hope not. No matter how dehydrated they might be, it would be hard to find a use for two thousand metal water bottles.

We knew this replacement program would be expensive for the company, but we didn’t think it was that bad.

SIGG, Where Are My Replacement Water Bottles?
SIGG Will Replace BPA-Containing Bottles For Free
Water Bottles Marketed To BPA-Fearing Parents Contained BPA All Along


Edit Your Comment

  1. ElizabethD says:

    “She is still deciding what to do…” WHAT? seriously? I hope that was tongue-in-cheek.

    What does she *think* the right thing to do would be?

    Yuck. Now I’m grumpy, first thing in the morning. 8-/

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @ElizabethD: Seriously. It’s obviously an error. She should just call SIGG and have them remove it. I’m grumpy too. I’ve got to get some coffee. I thought I could go without it today, but I’m practically asleep already. I’ve only been here an hour!

    • ElPresidente408 says:


      Ethical considerations aside, it’s been established many times that when an error like this happens, the companies get their money back. No point in even trying.

      • Kogenta says:

        @ElPresidente408: Yep, you can be sure that someone’s going to notice the problem and move to correct it. At least if you try to make the first move (for errors of this magnitude), they might leave you with a little extra for bringing it to their attention.

    • macezilla says:

      @ElizabethD: It was indeed tongue-in cheek. She’s honest….me on the the other hand, my brain started thinking of all the ebay possibilities.

  2. ams199 says:

    Maybe she should use the windfall to buy bottles for all the people who didn’t get their replacements?

  3. lannister80 says:

    eBay here she comes!

  4. FDCPAGuy says:

    Why do people feel the need to write Consumerist about their dubious gains (the xbox 360 and now this) and why does Consumerist feel the need to publish them? Seriously, these people need more of a moral compass and less of a gut reaction to ‘hey I think I’ll write consumerist and ask them what I should do’.

    • GMFish says:

      @FDCPAGuy: Um… because it’s funny when large corporations screw up. Or as the youngsters put it, epic fail dude.

    • formatc says:

      @FDCPAGuy: It’s not stealing if you crowdsource the decision.

    • feckingmorons says:

      @FDCPAGuy: A few years ago my bank credited me with ~70K that was not mine. I called them and then sent them a follow up paper letter. It was there for about a month and a half. They finally removed it and put it in the right account.

      They sent me a note thanking me for letting them know and advising that they would not be debiting the intrest earned from my account – twenty dollars or so.

      Yes, errors do happen. Reasonable people don’t try to profit from other’s errors.

    • pop top says:

      @FDCPAGuy: Why do people feel the need to complain about things on Consumerist?

    • nstonep says:

      @FDCPAGuy: Exactly. I couldn’t agree more. OP has already taken advantage of the situation by 40 or 50 bucks.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        @nstonep: How so? SIGG told bottle owners they could send in their bottles for replacements. She did, they sent her a credit for two bottles. It’s a glitch that showed she had more of a credit, but she hasn’t taken advantage of SIGG, she just got her two replacement bottles and that’s it.

    • PsiCop says:

      @FDCPAGuy: Actually if these folks planned to keep their ill-gotten gains, the way to do that would NOT be to disclose it to Consumerist. Anyone working at these companies might see it, figure out who it is, and take steps to retrieve whatever it is they got.

      I assume, quite the contrary, that what these folks are doing is being honest and informing the site and its followers as to what goes on in the “real world” of everyday commerce … the good, the bad, and the ugly. It IS, after all, amusing when companies make mistakes like this. To note the amusement in it, is not the same as taking advantage.

      • FDCPAGuy says:

        Usually Consumerist does a good job of removing last names and other information which could be used to identify these people. The guy with the Xbox 360 was anything but ‘being honest’ he got a $400 gift card and then two weeks went in and got a replacement 360 knowing full well he had already been reimbursed. I think I’m leaning with the attention whores theory others have posted ;)

  5. sumocat says:

    “I must have put a decimal point in the wrong place or something. #$%@. I always do that. I always mess up some mundane detail.”

  6. eek3 says:

    The PIN I received was the same way, but it was something like 54,xxx. I’m assuming SIGG has allotted a certain amount of funds towards bottle replacements, and the balance that we both saw is just the decrementing amount of that general balance.

    They put your order on hold for review anyways.

  7. meg9 says:

    This happened to my friend as well.

  8. suburbancowboy says:

    She should leave them at stores all around the greater San Diego area so they can be filled with coins to raise money for the little league team that doesn’t have a real field.
    They can build a dome.

  9. conformco says:

    The same thing happened to my girlfriend – I don’t remember the exact amount, but somewhere near the 50k range. I wonder if that’s just the money left in the general “We Really Screwed Up” fund – or maybe everyone is being given the same certificate number and are expected to be honest about how many bottles they returned?

    • billin says:

      @conformco: This actually happened to me. Returned something like 7 bottles, got my gift certificate code, then when I checked out of their online store, it said I had something like $20K+ lefton my gift certificate. Ignored it. They did me a favor by taking back my battered old bottles for brand new ones – not going to kick ’em while they’re down. And, no, I’m not one who believes that the BPA in the old liner made a whit of difference to my health.

  10. sonneillon says:

    To be fair they are nice water bottles.

  11. dohmer2000 says:

    I have not seen a situation similar to this backfire so quickly for a company. When SIGG first announced the return program, they received a decent amount of good press. Since then the program has had many issues. Illustrates how SIGG had absolutely no idea about the impact of the returns and was not in a position to handle the amount of returns.

  12. hills says:

    Maybe she’ll end up like the other story on Consumerist – with a SIGG gift card, but unable to use it…. so really, the 50K gift card could be worthless. Ha.

  13. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    There’s something I’m not understanding here. Where did Macezilla (the reader who sent this in) get this story? Is it a friend, is it somewhere on the internets? I ask because it seems unlikely that SIGG actually sent her a gift certificate for $50,000, so it’s probably a computer glitch. So did she receive the gift certificate for the exact amount two bottles would cost, and then was given a $50,000 credit? Or did the gift certificate say $50.00 and but actual amount in the computer system was $50,000?

    • meg9 says:

      @pecan 3.14159265: When it happened to my friend, it was a coupon code given to her over the phone when she called to complain about her BPA bottle.

      It sounds like someone took a shortcut and instead of creating a bunch of 30 dollar coupon codes, they created several coupon codes with huge amounts of credit on them—with the idea that they would give the coupon codes out to people who called for their replacement bottle.

      Whoever took the shortcut probably didn’t realize that the customer would be able to see the huge balance remaining.

    • macezilla says:

      @pecan 3.14159265: Yeah, she’s a good friend of mine. But she doesn’t read consumerist, so I asked her if I could get a screenshot of her error and send it in. I explained that in the email I sent to consumerist, but they only quoted a snippet.

  14. ken2148 says:

    I can see how this error occurred. On the numeric keyboard the decimal key is right next to the zero key. If you’re keying in “50.00” you might slip and hit the zero instead of the decimal registering “50000”. But why they didn’t have something in their system to catch for large values is a different thing.

    Funny still. As others point out, just hope she has moral compass working right and let them know.

  15. macezilla says:

    Just a follow-up note: Karen’s moral compass points straight as an arrow in the “honest” direction. She isn’t going to abuse this error. I sent this story in because it seems like Sigg just can’t get anything right with this bottle mess.

  16. chrisgoh says:

    I just wish I could get credit for the bottle I sent in two months ago. They are very slow!

  17. VagrantRadio says:

    Solution: Free water bottles for everyone on Consumerist until the $50,000 is gone.

  18. Mozoltov, motherfucker says:

    @FDCPAGuy: People are attention whores.

  19. FLConsumer says:

    She can send some to every Consumerist reader…and still have plenty left over.

  20. jacknval says:

    Maybe she can let those of us who have still not received our credits use the $50,000. I sent my 2 bottles back and never received my credit. My email request generated an auto reply that there were handling an onslaught of returns and would get to me soon. No confirmation that they even received my actual return.

  21. nstonep says:

    So…she was going to replace 2 bottles for 50 bucks (already a stupid prospect) then why is the balance on OP’s card decreased almost 90 bucks. Morality shenanigans.

    • macezilla says:

      @nstonep: The first image is the order she placed… squint and you’ll see that the total is $46.98. The 2nd image was a test to see if the card would decrease by more if she put more in her cart.

  22. golddog says:

    FWIW, I had a couple of Sigg bottles that I got at REI a couple years ago during the Nalgene apocalypse. When I read the first Consumerist story re. the stupid “mail us back our liar bottles and we’ll replace them sometime before the world ends in 2012” I thought REI would be the better route. And they were. Switched em out on the spot and will likely give Sigg a ration of crap that they’ll care about more than if it came from me. Although…I didn’t get a $50K gift card :-(

  23. in2insight says:

    Is it silly, yes. This happened to me just now. Have like $45K left on the GC.
    Did Sigg need to do this exchange? No. They went into this mess with honest and good intentions, as far as I can tell.
    Yes, the process is very slow.
    All in all, hats off to any company that would take on this sort of task on their own.