We do our weekly shop at Waitrose using a John Lewis/Waitrose gift card. I am a teacher and my union offers a 6% discount on topping it up. However, this week the balance mysteriously dropped by £300. Where had my money gone? After initially being advised to report it to the police as fraud, we were told it was a glitch with the gift card system. After much effort on our part, it has refunded the money – well, it’s back on the gift card. Should I stop using gift cards if they are, in fact, prone to misplacing their balance? RB, Cambridge
We initially approached Waitrose for an explanation, but were diverted to John Lewis, which said: “We’re very sorry for the experience RB had when using her gift card. This was caused by a technical glitch and we have returned the funds to the card. We believe this was a one-off and are not aware of any other occurrences.” So it sounds as though you have just been unlucky. A 6% discount on every single shop sounds too good to miss, but this shows the importance of keeping tabs on your balance and monitoring transactions very carefully.
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