HARRIMAN, Tenn. (WATE) — An East Tennessee woman is wondering what it takes to have a gift card reloaded after it has been hacked.
Marsha Hickman was given a $75 gift card for Christmas but it was soon hacked. Since then she has been trying to get the card’s value redeemed. She has sent information to the card company multiple times and each time, they asked her to send additional information.
She shared with WATE that she has talked with at least half a dozen customer service representatives from MasterCard.
Hickman has sent what they needed and requested about four times. Each time she had to initiate a return call, only to be told there is yet another piece of information required.
“I went to activate the card and was told that the card had been compromised. That it was no longer eligible to redeem,” said Hickman.
The card, purchased from a grocery store, apparently had been hacked by a scammer before Hickman’s niece bought it. With the balance at zero and the money drained, she reached out to the card issuer.
“So I said, ‘What do I need to do to get it replaced since it was a gift and it was in a jacket?’ They told me they needed my name and address and phone number and they needed a copy of my compromised card front and back,” said Hickman.
Without a computer at home, Hickman typed a letter, included relevant information and made a copy of the card and card jacket. Then she traveled to the library where she faxed all of the information requested by customer service.
Then she waited.
“When I finally called them after more than three business days, they now tell me they needed the receipt. So, I tell them I didn’t have it, it was a gift,” said Hickman.
It took three weeks, but Hickman’s niece got the receipt to her.
“It was Feb. 5. So once again, I went back to the library and faxed all the information I sent the first time, plus the letter designating to them that they got the receipt. So I waited several business days, I give another callback, they said, yes they got it that it was up in management office, they were reviewing it and someone would call me shortly,” said Hickman.
Weeks went by and she heard nothing about her card being re-loaded.
“So when I called back when no one called me shortly, I called back, they said, ‘Oh, you didn’t send your license,'” said Hickman. “So, here I go back to the library with my ID.”
So earlier this month, another letter was sent including now her photo ID.
“And I talked to several people and they said they hadn’t received the driver’s license and I needed to send it again. So I typed up another letter,” said Hickman. “I’ve contacted them four times. It’s been terrible. Not so much that I didn’t get to use the gift card. It’s the principle of the matter now. It was bought in good faith, it was compromised from the beginning. The MasterCard people didn’t seem to be obliged at all for customer service.”
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WATE’s Don Dare contacted MasterCard’s corporate office about the issue.
They responded that a customer service team is looking into Hickman’s situation to help her resolve the matter.
A spokesperson from MasterCard told WATE, the customer care team doing the investigation is a different group than the one she’s been dealing with since January.
MasterCard sounded optimistic that the issue will be resolved.