UPDATED: My terrible H&M customer service experience; $200 gone, three months later, still no resolution

UPDATE: One blog post/tweet/Facebook post later, I got a call from a very helpful lady at H&M. Fingers crossed that this will be resolved soon. I’ll post any news.

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I’ve been dealing with H&M customer service over a lost $200.00 gift card since June! I’ve called four times so far, with no results.

Many months ago, I bought an H&M gift card for $200.00 to give as a gift. The recipient lost it. Luckily, I still have the receipt with all the details: the amount, card number, date of purchase, location where I bought it, credit card I used, etc. I contacted H&M through their website and received a helpful reply that advised me, “In order to retrieve funds for the lost gift card as well as cancel the card itself you must call the number for lost and stolen gift cards which is (800)230-7616.”

This sounded like good news!

However, since then, I’ve been trying to get this matter resolved, with no success whatsoever. It’s been over three months now. Before I get into the details, here’s my main point:

The first lady I spoke to told me that H&M is not responsible for a lost gift card, “because it’s like losing cash.” Here’s why I contend that this is false:

If I lose cash on the street, it’s lost because we don’t know where it is.

If I lose an H&M gift card and it remains unused, we know where the money is. H&M has it.

If I have the receipt and all the details, and the card has remained unused, then why on Earth can H&M not issue me a new card? Is their stance, “Too bad, we’re keeping your money because we can”? So far nothing they have said to me goes counter to this.

Now, here’s the history of my calls to H&M customer service…

Phone call #1: June 25, 2014

I called the “number for lost and stolen gift cards” provided in the email I received, and the lady I spoke to was not very friendly or helpful. She told me that a gift card is like cash, so H&M is not responsible for it if you lose it. I asked, “Even if it remains unused? Even if I have the receipt?” She put me on hold.

When she came back, she gave me a fax number and told me to fax my receipt and info. She said I would receive a phone call within five to seven business days. I faxed the receipt and info right away.

Five to seven business days (and then some) pass. No call.

Phone call #2: July 16, 2014

I call the same number again. The person I speak to is much friendlier (as are all the rest of the people I’ve spoken to since the first call). She apologizes, and transfers me to someone else. They confirm my phone number and address and express surprise that I haven’t heard from anyone. They tell me I’ll get that call, within five to seven business days.

Once again, five to seven business days (and then some) pass. No call.

Phone call #3: August 11, 2014

I call again, and am transferred again. They apologize again, and confirm all my info again. This time the person to whom I am transferred says she will have someone call me the same day.

No one calls. A few more days pass; no call.

Phone call #4: August 15, 2014

I call again. This is where it gets interesting. When the person confirms my info, they read my phone number to me and they get one digit wrong! How is that possible? I sent my info with my receipt after call #1, and calls #2 and #3 read my info to me and it was correct! Did someone change my phone number in the system in order to try to make me think they’d been trying to call me but had the wrong number?

Well, if that’s what they were doing, you’d think they would then call me back soon after in order to resolve the problem and show me that the ridiculous delay had been because of the wrong phone number. But, still no call!

I’d like to point at that none of the people who’ve answered my calls, and none of the people to whom I’ve been transferred, have ever actually told me that I’d be able to get a new card. They just apologize, and tell me someone will call me to discuss. To discuss what?

Anyway, here we are over a month later, and no call.

Now what?

Now what? I write this blog post, tweet @ H&M, continue calling them every week (maybe every day?), and see if anything happens.

H&M has my money and it’s completely reasonable to assume they can simply issue me a new card. Are they just hoping I’ll get frustrated and stop calling? Am I supposed to just let go of $200.00 and let H&M keep it?

The email response I received from H&M customer service at the beginning of all of this, because these four calls, said, “in order to retrieve funds for the lost gift card,” so that tells me that it should be possible to, you know, receive funds for the lost gift card. They even have a phone number specifically for lost and stolen gift cards! If they have a phone number just for this purpose, then certainly it must be there to help people replace lost and stolen cards, right? If not, then why do they have that number? Just to laugh at you?

I’ve been a huge fan of H&M for years. I’ve shopped there hundreds of times over the years, when I lived in Philly, Paris, and now New York. I order online from them, I recommend them to friends, and I’ve blogged about them dozens of times. It feels awful to be treated this way by a company that I’ve given so much money to and promoted so much on this site and others. I’m definitely done shopping with H&M until this gets resolved, if it ever does.

If anyone from H&M is reading this and would like to discuss, you can contact me at manning@manningkrull.com.

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