Friday, January 8, 2010

Don't Get Crafty Friends Gift Cards to Jo-Ann's!

For Christmas I had asked for some items from Jo-Ann's craft store, so my brother and sister-in-law got me a gift card thinking that I could shop online or in the store. WRONG! Due to an incredibly stupid programming error on Jo-Ann's part, they have set up their website so that you have to enter an electronic card number and pin number and a plastic card number and pin number. ALL FOUR NUMBERS. If you only have a plastic gift card, you won't have the electronic numbers and if you have an electronic card, you won't have the plastic numbers. So you can't use the gift cards AT ALL online.

Of course, if you are a knitter or a crocheter, this is a big deal because Jo-Ann's carries very little stock of crochet and knitting paraphernalia. Ball winders: online purchase only. Stitch holders: online purchase only. You get the picture.

So when I called, two weeks ago and complained about this problem, I was told it would take 4 days to fix and I could go to store and use my card or wait 4 days and use it online. I waited 6 days. It still didn't work. It's been 2 weeks. It still doesn't work.

I guess I will go into a store and use the card or I won't be able to use my gift card at all. I hope this screw up is costing Jo-Ann's an enormous amount of money because they certainly aren't trying very hard to fix the problem and their customer service people are not very helpful.

Next year I will request stitchdiva gift cards instead. They have excellent customer service and actually understand the concept of gift cards.


Anonymous said...

I second your emotion! This Joann gift card is a joke. The card was mailed to me by the company itself in a Xeroxed sheet that said, to activate the card, go to URL, which of course does not exist. So scroll down through the site submenus and find the activation page - at which I encountered the problem you mentioned. So I got my friend who gifted me the card to email the electronic numbers, successfully activated it, successfully supplied it as payment at checkout (seemingly - it subtracted the card amount from my balanace), then encountered the error: "gift certificate could not be authorized for payment."

The gift card receipt with which it shipped states, " is dedicated to bringing you an unparalleled shopping experience from start to finish." Well, it certainly has been much worse than anything I've lately encountered. I've never wasted this much time trying to use a gift card and I have the feeling I'm not halfway through. I will certainly never shop there again!

spiritualmaya said...

I was just there yesterday. I love Joann's the store better than Michael's any day BUT I can understand the irritation with the gift card debacle.

Anonymous said...

I tried to purchase Christmas items , it was a special sale and the website crashed. They "generously" held over the sale for a few days but you could not purchase anything online due to the same issue. A month later, I saw a new yarn for sale and purchased it. When I got the yarn, it was 2 different lot numbers, color was not the same as pictured online. I ordered a turquoise color and got a dark green. I sent it back, $10 shipping! That was 1/14/10 and I have neither heard from them nor gotten my refund of $38. I've emailed twice and nothing. Never, never again. Rachelle

Unca Al said...

Well it's a year-and-a-half later (end of July 2011) and guess what? Apparently nothing's changed! Our situation is that we're in Canada and in the past had Joann's ship to a mail service bureau just across the border where we would pick up shipments. After a couple of orders that required manual intervention by customer service to complete an order, they advised us to buy gift cards to use to pay for online orders. So this past week, we drove to the nearest bricks-and-mortar store across the border to by a $300 card. The maximum $value card they could process through their register was $250 and they couldn't override it so we ended up with TWO $150 cards instead.

Today my wife tried to order US$250 of stuff online discovered TWO problems. First, you can only use ONE gift card per online purchase, which meant she'd have to split her order into two. OK that's annoying but manageable. THEN the FOUR number gift card entry payment problem. Guess what, we don't have a plastic card PIN number, so I guess we have to call the 1-888 customer service number. Guess what? It doesn't work from Canada! So I called the bricks-n-mortar store and after getting hung up on (by accident I'm sure) spoke to the Ops Manager. She said we shouldn't need a PIN, that gift cards purchased in store are activated at purchase time. Well she took our info, scratched her head (figuratively) and said she'd have to call HO tomorrow (alas it's Sunday today) and call us back. We'll see...

Sara Glascock said...

The Joann store in Daly City, CA is staffed by some pretty nice people. So when my Aunt asked me which craft store I would like a gift card to, I said Joann's. I recieved the card in the mail and my Aunt forwarded me the email with the electronic card and PIN numbers. After receiving my physical card, I tried activating the card online four times and I then tried activating usine the 877# method a number of times. No luck activating this card.

I decided to use the email link on the Joann webpage. I never heard back. I then wrote a good old fashioned snail mail letter. I'm still waiting to hear back. How do they stay in business? All the 50% off coupons in the world aren't worth getting ripped off out of my $50 gift card.

I've been doing my craft shopping online more and more.