• Report: #358138
Complaint Review:

Vanilla Visa

  • Submitted: Fri, August 01, 2008
  • Updated: Tue, January 06, 2009

  • Reported By:Atlanta Georgia
Vanilla Visa
vanillavisa.com Fortson, Georgia U.S.A.

Vanilla Visa & Rite-Aid DO NOT BUY GIFT CARDS FROM RITE-AID OR VANILLA VISA!!! Fortson Georgia

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: the cards get scanned then once thats it

*Consumer Comment: Vanilla Visa Gift Cards RIPOFF More Trouble Than They Are Worth!

*Consumer Suggestion: Buyer should receive two receipts - Payment receipt and 'activation' receipt

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My grandparents have bought 2 Vanilla Visa gift cards for me from Rite-Aid, worth $125. This does not include the $5.95 each that they charge you for a service fee.

The clerk must have simply scanned them and not activated them. This is a training error and is NOT the consumer's responsibility. Even with a receipt, I could not activate from another store. They were bought in North Carolina and I live in Alabama.

If the clerk does not activate, the cards are useless. When buying the 2nd one, my grandma asked: "Did you make sure you activated it?" The clerk thought that they did. This one doesn't work either and neither Vanilla Visa, nor Rite-Aid will take blame or MAKE GOOD ON UNDERSTOOD PROMISES.


Atlanta, Georgia

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/01/2008 11:54 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/vanilla-visa/fortson-georgia-31808/vanilla-visa-rite-aid-do-not-buy-gift-cards-from-rite-aid-or-vanilla-visa-fortson-geo-358138. 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 EX-employee responds

the cards get scanned then once thats it

AUTHOR: Anon - (U.S.A.)

the register activates them after the sale is finished, not the cashier . the cashier only has to scan the card the first time.
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#2 Consumer Comment

Vanilla Visa Gift Cards RIPOFF More Trouble Than They Are Worth!

AUTHOR: Donna - (U.S.A.)

I and several other family members had continual problems occur (just after Christmas) with the Vanilla Visa gift card. Even though there were available balances on each of our cards, we kept getting told by merchants that our cards were declined with no explanation given. After calling Vanilla VISA Customer Service and FINALLY getting an actual customer service rep on the line, I was given a little more information explaining the continual card declines we were experiencing.

The first time my Visa gift card was declined, the company blamed it on IT technical issues they were supposedly experiencing at the time. THEN I found out that if the purchaser is attempting to purchase something that costs more than the value on the card, the store clerk must calculate the cost difference in ADVANCE and collect the difference in cost from the customer BEFORE scanning the Visa gift card. If the store tries to scan the card FIRST (applying it against the total purchase price) and collect the cost difference from the customer second, the card will be declined. Even though these merchants are supposed to have some kind of contract in place with Visa instructing them as to the exact sequence in which to process these transactions, the problem is that MOST store clerks are CLUELESS as to how to go through this ridiculous exercise.

The process should not be this difficult and the burden should NOT be placed on the customer to have to teach store clerks how to process this card!

The purchasers of these cards pay an additional fee over and above the value of the card. Then when the card recipient does not utilize the card within a specified period, the card's value will steadily decline over time.

In my estimation, when you factor in all the hassles customers experience in just getting the card accepted for purchase, these VISA gift cards (and others like them) are a ripoff and a scam. If the givers of these cards really care about the recipients they are trying to gift, they should stay away from these cards. Better to give cash or a specific store gift card that will be applied against the purchase price in a NORMAL fashion, without having to go through this nonsense.
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#3 Consumer Suggestion

Buyer should receive two receipts - Payment receipt and 'activation' receipt

AUTHOR: Pardel - (U.S.A.)

If your grandparents live in North Carolina and you live in Alabama can you not send the cards back to your grandparents in North Carolina to return to the store the cards where purchased at? I purchase Vanilla Visa as Christmas presents for our entire family every year. I purchased 9 cards at Christmas last year totalling almost 1000.00. With each card I received an activation receipt. It clearly stated the activation number on the receipt verifing the card was activated. Your grandparents should receive a payment receipt from Rite-aid and another 'activation' receipt (two seperate receipts). If an 'activation' receipt is not given then the card has not been activated. Remember each card purchased has to have an 'activation' number' not one activation number for multiple cards.
Note: Use the card right away, from reading two other reports it appears fees are charged to the card if you keep it for later use.
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