WWYD: The Lost Gift Card

In today’s edition of “What Would You Do?,” another item found on the street, this time a gift card. Here’s Jamie:

I found an Amazon gift card lying on the street as I walked home from the subway, in a pile of snow. It was only $25, so not a major amount, but not pocket change, either (at least not for me!). I took it home and stared at it for a while, and then I jumped through all of Amazon’s customer service hoops to find out the owner. All they could tell me was: 1) They knew who had purchased it. 2) They couldn’t tell me who purchased it.

I said thank you and left the chatroom and stared at the card for a while before I got another email from Amazon, telling me “You may keep and use the gift card if you can.”

So I did. And I still feel guilty to this day. WWYD!? — Jamie

I’d like to think of myself as a person who tries to go above and beyond to do the right thing in every situation, but if I found a $25 Amazon gift card in the snow, I would probably not have gone through the trouble of contacting Amazon’s customer service to track down the person who bought the gift card. The gift card would probably would have ended up forgotten in a drawer at home, or I would have given it away.

Jamie, you get a gold star for all that trouble you went through. Theoretically, the person who lost the card can contact Amazon to get it replaced. Amazon told you to keep the card and use it. Don’t feel guilty at all.


Email me your WWYD experiences to me with “WWYD” in the subject line. See previous installments.



9 Comments / Post A Comment

I have a feeling that Amazon may have contacted the purchaser to issue them a new gift card, and let you use the one you found as a “reward.” Am I being to generous to their customer service practices?

bgprincipessa (#699)

@stuffisthings That’s what SHOULD have happened. I mean, maybe not the “reward” part but since she used it clearly they didn’t cancel it. But it would have been so simple to say “Okay, negate that number, and reissue a number to purchaser.” I know this is not the most analogous example, but I used to work at a public library and had people contact us and say they found lost things, saw a library card, etc. We wouldn’t give #s or addresses out of course, but we’d just take that person’s # and pass it on to the person who lost the stuff.

@bgprincipessa Yeah I suspect that was just the easiest solution that would make everyone happy without possibly breaching any privacy laws.

Plus Amazon CS is like a crack dealer — “First one’s free, kid, but Prime’s $80 a year.”

Faintly Macabre (#1,043)

@stuffisthings It’s possible. My housemate senior year of college ordered me a CD that kept being delivered, with no notification, to my on-campus address from sophomore year. Amazon willingly sent about three copies before I finally got a notification from our school’s mail services that there was a package waiting for me (at the same time as one finally reached our house, of course). I guess it was cheaper for them to keep sending it than to track down where they were ending up.

Dancercise (#94)

All these posts are making me paranoid about losing things, but hopeful that if I do, someone like this will do everything they can to find me.

Norrey (#407)

Yeah, gift cards, unlike cash, are “extras” – you can be almost totally sure that the person will still be able to make rent without it, for example. Also, it’s nigh impossible to find the real owner of a gift card. It’s too bad the person lost it, but in this case there isn’t much to be done.

lizard (#2,615)

i would totally use it. finders keepers sucker ;)

Megano! (#124)

If Amazon told you to use it, I can assume they already issued a new one, if they know who the purchaser was. Like, I would assume they would contact the purchaser?

TARDIStime (#1,633)

I think there are charities you can donate to with your gift card money – I don’t really know a lot about it but I might have considered that if it had been me.
Or if there had been something on my wishlist worth like $24.95 I would have spent it on myself because that shit’s meant to be!

Comments are closed!