When an Encinitas woman tried to register a gift card she bought for a secret Santa gift, she ran into trouble and called NBC 7 Responds for help.
Kim Lansford said she spent part of her holiday buying Walmart gift cards for residents living in an out-of-state nursing home.
“A lot of them have very limited incomes and only have limited funds every month to spend on anything they need, personal items,” Kim said.
When Kim tried to register the gift cards online, she said two out of the three worked fine but the last one gave her trouble. Since she couldn’t register the last card, she said she was afraid the money on the card was missing.
“If you got a gift card and there was nothing on it, would you go back to the person who gave it to you if you could?” Kim said.
After trying to call Walmart’s customer service line and Walmart’s online chat feature, she said she couldn’t resolve the issue. Kim called NBC 7 Responds when she said she didn’t know where to turn.
After NBC 7 Responds reached out to Walmart on Kim’s behalf, a spokesperson for Walmart told us they were able to clear up the confusion Kim had and ensure the $100 balance on the gift card.
In an email, Tara Aston with Walmart’s media relations team said, “This was an isolated incident in which a security hold was triggered on the gift card for the customer's protection.”
Registering a gift card is a good idea for all consumers. In some cases, registering a gift card can offer more features and protections in case there’s a problem.
Always check the terms and conditions on your gift card, as sometimes the process for activating a gift card can be the same as registering the gift card under your name.
For some retailers, registering a gift card under your name can help you if your card is lost or stolen. Gift card companies recommend registering your full name as it appears on your debit or credit cards.
To read more tips for consumers who buy or receive gift cards, click here.