MY GOOGLE PLAY NIGHTMARE: I wanted to share a story with all my fellow Google/Android supporters that really put me in a tight spot today....
I'm not sure of the general awareness of this topic but maybe my story can shed some insight for others before they put themselves in a similar bind one day and hopefully will encourage #googleplay
to change the wording on their gift cards and/or change their gift card redemption policy.
I will try to keep this as brief as possible with as much needed detail.
Back in July, I received $100 in Google Play gift cards for my birthday. I redeemed them and had not used but a few dollars since then. I knew the #nexus5
would be launching soon so I figured I will just wait and use the balance towards that. Why not? It's my money sitting on my Google PLAY account, I should use it for what I want from Google.
I didn't want to run into a situation where I go to check out and not have enough for the item, and them stop me from using a partial balance, so I decided to fill the balance enough to cover the cost. I stopped in Walgreens and purchased $250 in Google Play gift cards.
Being all excited I sent one of my G+ buddies a hangout photo of my ten $25 gift cards "Ready to buy the Nexus 5!"
By the time I got his return message, I was already across town at work and he said, "Hey man, be careful, I don't think you can use those for devices, check the terms on the back." Well, he had a point, you should always cover your tail and read the fine print, but who really stops and thinks to do that? He pulled up some quick info online, other horror stories from disappointed customers who attempted to use their gift cards from Christmas/Birthdays/etc. and were a no go.
I then looked to the front/back of the card to see what I had done to myself, and much to my surprise, NO WORDING SAYING I COULDN'T USE IT. If you want to see the terms and conditions yourself, take a look at the picture below, this is very misleading to a consumer who picks up a gift card and has no idea that this is LIMITED to certain items. The closest thing to a warning is "Limits may apply to redemption and use".
I tried my hardest to plea with Walgreens to return them, but I knew the minute I turned back to the store, this was going to most likely be hopeless. I did call Google Play Customer Support, and spoke to several reps as well as a couple managers, who were all kind and somewhat understanding, but to my surprise, none who could tell me as the reason WHY Google does not accept gift cards for purchases such as devices. Even a couple understood that the wording of the terms on the gift card is misleading, as it is clearly NOT stated on the card.
I guess I just want others to avoid this situation, but furthermore, I would love this story to grab some attention and for Google to open up their terms to using gift cards for ALL Google Play purchases (devices, subscriptions, etc). OR change the wording on their gift cards to reflect a more clear policy.
Sadly, in the end, I'm sitting here with $250 worth of gift cards that are useless to someone as myself who spends maybe $15 a year at the most on apps/movies and is money I wanted to put towards a new phone instead. Some could blame this on me for not "knowing/checking", but the face remains that as a consumer, I was not properly informed up front AND the policy is very backwards with no explanation.
Has this happened to anyone else? How can I get this to the right people so this gets corrected?