• Report: #1091906

Complaint Review: Blackhawk Network

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  • Submitted: Mon, October 14, 2013
  • Updated: Mon, October 14, 2013

  • Reported By: Delores S. — Sonoma California
Blackhawk Network
6220 Stoneridge Mall Pleasanton, California USA

Blackhawk Network Gift card scam Pleasanton California

*UPDATE Employee: Industry Standards to Protect Customers and Merchants

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My husband received a $100 gift/debit card, which was in cardboard folder, sealed in plastic.  We used the card at a local restaurant.  When the bill came, it was for $136.00 and he gave the gift card, plus $62.00 in cash.  The waiter returned and told us there was only $83.13 credit on the gift card.  he asked if we wanted the card back and I too him to toss it, since it supposedly did not have any value.  I copied the card number and the next day I researched the issue.  I went to visa.gowallet, called Meta Bank, and was told that Blackhawk is the issuer of the gift card.  When I called Blackhawk and entered my card number, I was told that there was a $16.677 credit on my Card, which is the amount that was deducted from the card the night before. When I finally spoke to a Customer Service person and asked why they deducted this from the value of the card, I was told that if the card is used at an eating establishment, the company (Blackhawk) deducts an amount that is equal to $16.67 gratuity. BUT they do not pay that amount to the restaurant.  And their is nothing on the card to tell you that this is their procedure.  Typically, when a person is told that there is nothing left on the gift card, it is tossed.  When the card is tossed, Blackhawk adds $16.67 profit to every $100 card they sell.  THIS IS A RIPOFF, perpetrated by a REPUTABLE??????? company!

This is a scam.  Blackhawk has found a very legal way to steal from us. It is no wonder their profits are so good.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/14/2013 02:15 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Blackhawk-Network/Pleasanton-California-94588/Blackhawk-Network-Gift-card-scam-Pleasanton-California-1091906. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE Employee

Industry Standards to Protect Customers and Merchants

AUTHOR: Gift Card Mall - ()


I am sorry that you were not familiar with the industry standard practice of Visa gift and debit cards.  What you experienced is what is called a "hold back".  This is common amongst almost every Visa card issued, including our Visa gift cards and prepaid Visa debit cards. 

Here's more on the topic:


  • Account deductions may not be cleared immediately when the final amount isn’t known. Visa has established these processes to protect Visa Debit card issuers, merchants and cardholders. This occurs most often when meeting consumer demand for payment conveniences, such as pay-at-the-pump fueling.
  • For example, if you use your Visa Debit card at a restaurant, your card may be authorized before the gratuity is applied. For these types of purchases, Visa Debit card issuers may earmark cardholder funds to cover the estimated cost of the transaction. This process, known as a “hold,” safeguards both cardholders and merchants. It ensures cardholders don't spend more money than they have and merchants are paid for the transaction. While most transactions have a hold of less than 24 hours, Visa protects cardholders by requiring issuers or financial institutions to remove all holds within 72 hours.

Hope this helps.


Gift Card Mall


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