Borders Cancels My Order, Makes My Coupon And Borders Bucks Disappear

Equipped with a coupon and store credit, Scott thought he was in a great position when he placed an order on But a snafu left Scott empty handed, with his order canceled, his balance drained and his coupon vanished.

He writes:

I just wanted to write about my recent experience with a purchase I made at

As part of their Borders Reward promotion, I received $5 in Borders Bucks to redeem at Borders or now through this weekend. In addition, I received a coupon for 33% off any one item through Thursday. I normally don’t buy much from Borders, but with the coupon + rewards I figured I could find a gift for someone.

I ordered a DVD listed on the site as on backorder, but that it would typically ship in a couple weeks. No problem, I thought. The DVD was originally $11.99, but with 33% off and my $5 in Borders Bucks + free ship to store, it only cost me a little over $3. I received the order confirmation, all of that, even with an approximate receiving date.

A couple minutes later, I receive an e-mail from Borders saying that my item is being canceled because either I have canceled it or it is out of stock. Never mind that on the website, it still just lists the DVD on backorder, so anyone could make the same mistake I made.

No big deal, I’ll find another DVD to purchase. But unfortunately, when I went to apply my coupon code, it says it had already been used and could only be used once–on my canceled purchase. I send an e-mail to both their customer service e-mail and their online orders e-mail, and don’t get anything back.

Today, another 33% off coupon finds its way into my inbox (a separate promotion), so I go back to the site to use the coupon. The coupon goes through, but I see that my Borders Bucks have also disappeared! In the cancellation e-mail, it says: “Borders Bucks redeemed at the time of your order have been added back to your Borders Rewards account.” So after taking my coupon, Borders also saw fit to not return my Borders Bucks, on an order that they canceled.

What’s going on here?

Have you ever lost a gift card or coupon on an online order? What do you think Scott should do to get his virtual money back?


Edit Your Comment

  1. Rose says:

    Call them. It’s a fairly easy fix and relatively short wait time.

  2. Nidoking says:

    This happened to me too, except it looked like it was just an error in the website ordering system. No confirmation, the history says I’ve never placed an order, but the Borders Bucks are gone. I’m planning to call them today, but between their painful online ordering system and the fact that they closed the store near me, I don’t think the company wants my money anymore, and I’m probably going to oblige them whether they fix the problem or not.

  3. mobiuschic42 says:

    I recently lost a coupon in a Threadless order snafu, but they had a big sale when I went to redo my order, and I ended up saving $8 off the total I had *with* the coupon, so I decided to not make a fuss.

  4. SiddhimaAmythaon says:

    Same thing happened to me with Took me 4 months of phone calls to get a $50 credit back.

  5. katstermonster says:

    Um, has the OP even bothered to try to contact Borders? Yes, this sucks, and it’s a pain in the ass…but give them a shot to fix it first.

    • caradrake says:

      “I send an e-mail to both their customer service e-mail and their online orders e-mail, and don’t get anything back.”

      • katstermonster says:

        Ah, my bad. Point still stands: how long ago did this happen? Did the OP try calling? Some companies state that it may take 1-2 business days to receive a response.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        It looks like he sent them emails, but should only seek Consumerist advice if hasn’t replied in a reasonable amount of time (I’d say 48 hours, tops).

    • rambo76098 says:

      I agree, why write Consumerist before calling? Man up and spend the time on the phone if it’s a big enough deal to complain about it.

  6. lacabaleza says:

    Why do so many people run to the Consumerist before giving the company a chance to make things right? If you do, and they still screw you over, then that’s another story. But really? Sometimes even the best companies make mistakes. I’m not saying Borders is the best company, just that everyone deserves the chance to make something right before someone goes whining all over the interwebs saying how unjust the world is because they lost their $5.

    • vioviovioletta says:

      I always think this when I’m reading articles where something just happened a few hours prior. Glad I’m not the only one!

  7. davegins says:

    Does Borders have online chat? I’ve had great results using chat with Comcast and Snapfish!

  8. AllanG54 says:

    It appears that according to the OP’s post, the Borders Bucks have been added back to his account and should be able to be used just be typing in the account # on his rewards card. He may be jumping the gun here.

    • Nidoking says:

      What article are you reading?

      • coren says:

        The one that says “Borders Bucks redeemed at the time of your order have been added back to your Borders Rewards account.”

        • Nidoking says:

          The one you’re quoting out of context, you mean? That’s a quote within a quote. The article actually says “The coupon goes through, but I see that my Borders Bucks have also disappeared!” It also says “In the cancellation e-mail, it says: ‘Borders Bucks redeemed at the time of your order have been added back to your Borders Rewards account.'” Emphasis mine. Borders’ form cancellation E-mail claims that the Borders Bucks are returned, a claim which is not true.

          When the entire post is in the Consumerist article, there’s no excuse for not reading it.

  9. steveliv says:

    I also got the $5 in bonus rewards, and used it with the 33% off coupon on Saturday to pick up a $20 book for only $8.98. Not too shabby. Of course, having an item canceled online will cause some issues with getting coupons and rewards reset, but you can call and get it all sorted out.

  10. DavidCopperballs says:

    I’d call. When I lost my Borders Bucks last month when their website crashed, one phone call reinstated them.

  11. smarmyjones goes cattywampus says:

    OP Should contact Borders by phone. The one time I’ve ever had an issue with them, I e-mailed them and they told me to call instead.

    On Another note: I highly recommend that anyone who has a Borders Rewards account sign up for E-Rewards. They’re a survey site that gives you currency for taking random surveys and you can then trade your currency in for a wide range of items. The one I use most is the $15 Borders Bucks redemption. If you’ve accumulated $15 in your E-Rewards account, you can send it directly to your Borders Rewards account. This year I was also able to get a $25 giftcard for Gamestop. It’s pretty awesome and it really helps with Christmas Shopping.

  12. watchwhathappens says:

    I’m having a similar (but more complicated) problem with them. I’ve now called several times and it’s still not resolved. Gearing up to call again. And I still don’t have my order.

  13. anime_runs_my_life says:

    Just wanted to add the “call them” comment. I just got off the phone with them over an issue of not receiving my free drink coupon for purchasing 5 drinks at their cafe. Scored $5 in Borders bucks to make up for it.

    So call already!!

  14. PNW GIRL says:

    it’s a web error if you CALL them they will give you the BBs

    It’s not a biggie

    I had that happen to me and they gave me 10dollars in border’s bucks for my trouble. You have to call the customer care line.