Meijer Gift Card Fiasco
Posted: 2006-12-08. Categories: Meijer, Michigan

I would like to thank everyone who has written in with their shopping stories and apologize for not getting them posted in a timely manner. I was prepared to get them up today when another matter came up that I feel I must share with you all.

On December 5th I ordered a $50 gift card from Meijer through their online interface. At first the order appeared to go through just fine. However, I awoke the next morning to find an E-mail from Meijer, saying my credit card had been declined. How could that be? I wondered to myself.

So, I called their customer service number and was told that they would attempt to put the charges through again. When those charges were declined as well, I called the bank to see what could be the problem.

The bank informed me that the first transaction went through but the subsequent charges had been declined as duplicate charges. So, I waited for the charges to appear on my account. When they didn’t appear by December 8th, I called the bank once more. This time I was told that the first time the “charges” were put through, it was for a zero amount, which is why it was declined in the first place.

Well, now we are getting somewhere, or so I thought.

Except, crazy privacy freak that I am, when I ordered the gift card I didn’t want to use my telephone number, so I used my daughters cell phone number instead. I reasoned that since the card would be shipped to her address, if they had any trouble, they could just call her.

It turns out that she received about five telephone calls from Meijer regarding the declined charges. She obligingly passed along my telephone number each time.

It was during this mess that she received a call from a young lady at the Meijer call center. My daughter clearly identified herself to the call center employee and informed her that I lived across the country in California and was ready to give her my phone number, when the lady informed her that my credit card had been denied due to insufficient funds.

My daughter called me right away to let me know what had happened. She was just as upset as I was. Not only did the Meijer call center employee lie to her (she had no way of knowing why the card was declined), but she also broke the law in disclosing sensitive financial information to a third party.

I placed a call to Meijer, only to be placed on hold for such a long time; I simply hung up and tried another number. After receiving the third degree from an operator, I was given the name of the person I needed to contact and wouldn’t you know it, it was the name of a person I had already been speaking to.

He is a very nice young man in the Meijer Marketing Department. He had been very helpful and was well spoken, so I felt badly having to rake him over the coals about this matter.

The problem is that this is a serious matter and it is his job to handle it, so I explained the problem to him as simply and as clearly as possible.

As luck would have it, the Meijer has more than one person by the name of the lady who called me, so I’m left to fret about this incident over the weekend. The gift card I ordered for my daughter, still isn’t on it’s way to her. The bank and Meijer continue to give me conflicting information regarding my purchase. I’ve used the card several times since I attempted to purchase the gift card without a hitch.

I’m still fuming mad that Meijer had the gall to tell my daughter we were broke, had I purchased a card for a client or someone who didn’t know me well, spreading rumors like has the potential for damaging our reputation and our business. I’m tempted to file a complaint with the Attorney General’s office but will wait until Monday to see what Meijers side of the story is.

The old adage certain is true, “Let the buyer beware.”

9 Comments to "Meijer Gift Card Fiasco"

  1. Joe Ward says:

    I just finished reading alot of your stories that people sent to you. I live in Battle Creek and shop at the Meijers on Columbia Ave.

    I was in there on 11/15/2006 looking to replace a bedroom ceiling light fixture. They have several different kinds hanging from above with LARGE price tags with the product number on them. I saw one I liked and when I took it off the shelf the PRICE was at least $5.00 more than what the tag said.

    I stopped one of the employees and they said that they don’t change the tags on the displays. The price on the shelf is the correct price.

    I worked in the business for over 20 years at the management level. I do know what the laws are on pricing and scanning since I was working when scanning came into the field. The people working in the stores today do not have the P.R. to be working with customers since that was one of my primary areas in the store.

    At corporate level they could care less. They do not want to hear of problems just profit. Fred Meijer and Paul Borman (former owner of Farmer Jack) and Paul’s dad, Mr. Borman, would not tolerate the attitude the people have today towards the customers.

    I saw (back in the 80s) a manager get fired on the spot for mistreating a customer even when the customer was in the wrong. His way of handling the customer was not appropriate for the Bormans.

    To simplify the problem on pricing is simple. Rule 1: If it is posted, tagged or mis-priced then that is (as long as tags are not switched) to be given to the customer – at that price and only for one item.

    Now if they are all marked like the first item then they have the right to purchase the items for that price. Now you have to use common sense also. If you have a high ticket item then you have to take that into consideration – you know what I mean.

    Thank You for letting me get some steam off on how the industry has gone.

    Joe Ward,
    Battle Creek, MI

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hi, I just wanted to say that I work in a Meijer store, and our policy is that if an item is priced incorrectly whether it be on the shelf tag or price tag on the product we always defer to the price that is best for the customer. I can’t vouch for the employees you encountered at your store, as I don’t work in that state, but I would certainly say they were very much in the wrong. The employee should have immediately contacted the Team Leader in that department gotten approval to give you the cheaper price and had the error fixed. (PS yes, we do change two lined price tags if they are wrong) I’m sorry that you had that encounter. Things can be pretty frustrating in the store with some of the newer policy changes and I agree that some people don’t handle things correctly there, but for what they pay, and how team members can be treated, most employees don’t seem to care. That shouldn’t be taken out on our guests, though. I wish that Fred Meijer still ran the company. The company has become just another corporate ‘evil empire’. I suppose they had to, just to compete in our economy, but there certainly isn’t the same feeling of family respect that there was there a few years ago. It’s too bad that the shopper has to suffer, because shoppers create my paycheck and my bonus checks (or shall I say lack of them). Do you remember what they say rolls down hill? It starts with the lack of respect towards everyone lower and keeps building steam until it hits the team members who have no where else to roll down to, except sadly, the shopper. Not all of us think this, there are a few of us who go out of our way to help. We rarely get noticed for our effort and we don’t stay long with the company. Hmmm, I wonder why!

    I hope in the future you run into more mature, respectful people at Meijer. Some of us still believe in Fred.

  3. Anonymous says:

    amen. i have worked at meijer for over 30 years and i still love my job. the customer is always right(if they i wrong i fix the problem and explain what happened.
    say a 50 count asprin is on sale. the manufacturer decides to give 20% free. so they change the upc code. at corporate level they don’t necessarily know that meijer in kalamazoo has these 20% free bottles and that the upc is different so they scan regular price not the price on the sale sign. i don’t think the customer should have to read all the upc codes but you would know what the problem was at this point. now if we had all employees on the same page then they would also put the 20% bottle in the computer as a sale item. there are a lot of crazy things that happen in retail and it is very hard to get all employees to care. even when wages were better not everyone took the time to care. when meijer has it’s great canned good sale blue lake green beans(meijer brand) have not scanned right in 30 years. they put them in the sale stuff every year. they look like green beans but…………they don’t ring on sale. i change the price for the customer. after 30 years i know the problem but for some reason they are never on the same page on this item. just can’t get it right.
    i love meijer. fred has been a great employer but the people who are coming after fred don’t take the time to fix things. if your job is PERFECT well then congratulations. meijer is not perfect but they have been good to me for a long time. they are creating a wal mart attitude by paying wal mart wages. i don’t like to see them go there but they think the people shop at wal mart because of the prices. they shop there because they can’t tell the difference anymore. MAKE MEIJER A DIFFERENT STORE. that is why we shop and work there because we had pride in them. CHAANGE US BACK.

  4. Anonymous says:

    if you use your credit card on line you should know that the phone number has to match your credit card account. that was your first problem.
    then you tried to give meijer permission to use your daughters number, by placing it on your order.
    then you get mad at meijer for screwing up YOUR PRIVACY. sorry i’m not getting your complaint. you caused the problem with your ignorance and mishandling of your own credit card.
    sorry no sympathy from me. you owe meijer an appology. i don’t expect you to print this because sometimes the truth hurts.

  5. Retail Bandit says:

    (If you use your credit card on line you should know that the phone number has to match your credit card account. That was your first problem.)

    Gee, I order things all the time online and rarely do I ever give my phone number out. Since I don’t have a phone in my name, how in the world would my credit card company be able to match up records?

    This makes absolutely no sense at all because when my order didn’t go through I called Meijer and spoke with an employee, no less than three times. Wouldn’t they have be able to correct the problem? They tried to put my order through THREE TIMES.

    If this makes me ignorant, what does it say about Meijer employees? Of course I’ll print your letter. It just proves my point even further.

  6. tcidda says:

    the Meijer TOTS don’t have a clue.they care about $$$$$$$$$$$’s and nothing else.

    the chain is an accident waiting to happen.

  7. drew2008 says:


    I worked at meijer for almost two years now. More and more people will shop online before stepping foot inside of the store. This is due to the High gas prices that, for the moment, have seemed to level down a tiny bit. Simply put, meijer was not ready to handle the insane amount of online purchasing and requests. The site has been the same for 2 years as they have been “webalizing” all of their employees. What happened to you was wrong, but it was more than likly a misunderstanding between the employee and your daughter. Meijer did not however do anything illegal. By giving them your daughters phone number you agreed that this was the contact method to get you. All information given was perfectly legal because you designated it to that number. If you would have given your number and they called your daughters number it would have been illegal. As a matter of fact a bank cannot even call a person late on there payment unless the number given to them was given by the person owing them. I would agree this is a bit ridiculous but its the way the law is written. Did meijer screw up, yes, but keep in mind with all the identity theft and great things people do these days chargeing 0.00 to your card is simply to ensure its active. Your bank should not have declined it as everytime you go to a gas pump and use your card it does the same thing. (some charge the initial fee as 1 or 2 dollars and add the full balance later). Your not an idiot your just mad at the wrong people. Give the identity thieving bastards the middle finger first.

    Sorry For your troubles

  8. […] I had the bright idea of buying gift cards for my grown children and the grandchildren. Let’s just say it didn’t work out quite as I had planned, so I abandoned that idea. [Read about my experience.] […]

  9. […] I had the bright idea of buying gift cards for my grown children and the grandchildren. Let’s just say it didn’t work out quite as I had planned, so I abandoned that idea. [Read about my experience.] […]