I experienced the nightmare scenario the other week – a lost gift card. Two, to be precise. I had loaded of these Simon gift cards with the standard amount. I remember taking them out to use and then finding my desired purchase at Staples out of stock (shocker).
Fast forward a day and I looked for the cards in my bag and couldn’t find them. Nor could I remember anything I had done with them! My brain obviously lacks the processing power it once had, if any. Anyway, here’s how I handled the situation and how I could have made my life so much easier.
Quick aside, I always debate writing about stuff like this because
- I’ll likely get grief from my wife telling me I’m a moron
- I’ll likely get grief from the community telling me I’m a moron
But hey, if I help people avoid a similar situation, it will be worth it. I’m a moron, might as well learn from my mistakes!
Contacting Simon Gift Card Services
Did I mention the gift cards were in the bag with the gift card receipt in it? This story gets more embarrassing by the minute. Anyway, I didn’t have the receipt but Simon has an incredible customer service team. I’ve taken a screen shot of the relevant information from the Simon help section:
So if I had registered my gift card I would have been able to access the number no problem, but that’s way too time consuming and I would never do that. Obviously what I should have done was keep my receipt separate – I used to be very good about this but got lazy as I got more experienced. Pride comes before a fall, as they say.
Anyway, I did exactly what the highlighted section suggests: I e-mailed Simon and gave them the date I purchased, the number of cards purchased, load amounts, and the last four of my credit card number. I also included the last four digits of other cards I had purchased in the same transaction.
I received an e-mail the next day asking for some more information – issuing bank of my credit card and type of gift card which I had some how forgotten to put in my first e-mail. After replying to that I received an e-mail within the hour with my receipt attached. That’s customer service.
Why having your receipt matters
Once I had my receipt, everything was pretty simple. Simon customer service wrote back with this helpful e-mail:
“I have attached the receipt from that transaction. You will need to call Visa Cardholder services at 1-866-325-6238 with the proxy numbers (numbers starting with 60395) to get the actual card number as we have no way of obtaining those. You can compare those numbers to your records to find the card number of the ones you lost. Please discuss replacement cards for the lost giftcards with Visa as well.”
I made a quick phone call (amazingly quick, really) and spent a couple minutes figuring out which cards were missing. Once we figured it out, the two cards I lost were canceled and they sent out replacement cards.
Basically, your activation slips that you receive with your cards have proxy numbers that match up with the cards that you have bought. As long as you have those, you should be able to be made whole. While I doubt other companies are as quick and helpful as Simon was (they might be!), as long as you have those activation receipts you don’t need to panic. And if it’s Simon and you keep good enough records you should be able to get a copy of the receipts anyway.
Avoiding this in the future
- Don’t be a moron (me)
- Save receipts and keep them separate from where you keep the cards
- Sign up for digital receipts if you can (CVS)
- Use your cards quickly
- Stay calm
- Only float money you can afford to lose
While not an ideal situation, I’m thankful Simon customer service was so on top of things and that I was able to be made whole in relatively quick fashion. Oh, and the kicker? TURNS OUT MY BAG HAS FOUR POCKETS NOT THREE. Yes, I spent two days trying to locate these lost cards and somehow, despite checking my bag six times, never opened that fourth pocket. I blame the fact that I had to get a new backpack. And I’m sure you know what I found in there…
Bottom line: I’m a moron.
But if you ever have lost gift cards, you don’t have to be.