My experience with the Qwest Switcher $100 Gift Card scam is nearly identical with that of the author of Report #753619. First, Qwest's promotion promised a gift card, not a prepaid debit or credit card, which I finally did receive. I completed all the steps required to register for the rebate on 1/20/2011, and received an email confirmation.
I waited the 4 to 6 weeks processing time, and in mid-March called to inquire about the status of the rebate. The Qwest representative stated my rebate request could not be found in their system; that until a few weeks previously the rebate program had been administered by a third party company, and there were problems with integration of that company's data with Qwest's system. My information was taken again, and I was told I'd have to wait another 4 to 6 weeks for the card to arrive.
Finally, I think in early July (and perhaps after a second internet inquiry), I received a $100 Visa Debit Card issued by Chase Bank, showing a "good through" date 90 days after the issue date. I didn't try to use the card until after the expiration date, at which time the merchant said it was declined. I contacted Qwest -- by this time it was CenturyLink -- and was told the card could be reissued, but a $3.00 monthly service charge would be applied, and the reissued card would be good for 30 days.
I received that card on or about December 8, and decided to exchange it for cash at my local Chase Bank. On the first attempt, on December 15, the teller swiped the card and called a couple of numbers, and told me I would have to call the number on the back of the card to get the remaining balance, and then when I had that information they would be able to give me cash for the remaining balance.
After trying three times, unsuccessfully, to get through on Chase's automated phone line, I went online to check the balance. Now there had been another $3.00 monthly service charge deducted, plus a $6.95 charge for reissuing the card leaving the remaining balance at $87.50. Thinking it all the more urgent to get whatever money I could, I went back to Chase today, December 16; and after much the same routine as yesterday, and after consulting his manager, the teller told me the card had been "declined" and he was sorry, but he couldn't help me.
So the $100 rebate-turned-debit card has been reduced to $87.50 with nary a purchase having been made on it, and the issuing bank -- J.P. Morgan/Chase Bank -- won't honor their own prepaid debit card by exchanging it for cash.