Debenhams gift card refused on their website

I spent a good few hours looking to buy goods from debenhams.com on 8th January 2009.  I only had a gift voucher for £15 to spend.  I selected some costume jewellery from the blue cross sale which was such a bargain that the extortionate £4.50 delivery paled into insignificance.  I paid with my gift voucher got a confirmation of order email and order number.  Half an hour later though I received another email cancelling my order and declining payment.  The email had the reassuring words that “no money had been taken from my account”.

I went back on to the Debenhams website, tapped in my gift card number to find that the monies had been debited from the card!  Checked to see if the goods I had originally ordered were still available and guess what?  They were!  Straight away I sent an email to debenhams.com only to get a cheery reply with a promise of a reply within 5 working days (how disgraceful).

I rang to complain getting a ‘customer service assistant’ who obviously had no empathy with ‘the customer’ at all.  He even insulted me further by saying ‘maybe I didn’t have sufficient funds on the card’!  This was even after I had explained everything I have included thus far in this article.  I was told that my gift card could take 18 days to have the money refunded.  I stated that I simply wanted the goods I had ordered and paid for, to which he offered me no help or apology.  Having not reached a satisfactory outcome with the ‘customer service assistant’, I sent yet another (quite angry) email to Debenhams about this!

I phoned the following day complained to another operative who put me through to The Contact Team.  The lady on the other end of the line couldn’t explain why this had occurred but assured me she would look into the matter.  I was still not offered any apology.  After taking both my phone numbers and email I was told she would be in touch on Monday.

E-commerce. Problems ordering onlineHaving heard nothing I phoned Debenhams again (it was now Friday 16th) and the member of staff I was dealing with was not in apparently.  She had arranged the money to be put back on my card I was told.  Great…  but I only wanted to buy my goods.  I have not had a phone call email or an apology which I pointed out to the customer assistant.  Yes I got a half hearted apology and an excuse like ‘there had been a mistake in the computer system’.  I stated this just wasn’t good enough asked who I could take this further with. Of course she didn’t want to know.

I will be taking this further.  Fair enough, £15 isn’t a huge amount of money and I am sure if I had been one of their corporate customers or if I had a wedding list with them I would have got adequate ‘customer service’.  Wake up Debenhams those £15 sales from normal people might just be the thing that helps you ride this recession and keeps you trading!

By: Ragdoll Lady

19 Responses

  1. eilad2000 10/03/2013 / 4:12 pm

    I had a problem trying to use gift cards, I wanted to order a pair of trousers costing £17.50 but was unable to do so as you can only use one gift card at a time and I have 3 x £10. I phoned customers service to be told they are aware of the problem but so far there is no solution.

  2. Anaannnaa 30/12/2011 / 11:18 pm

    Oh, I'm not the only one with problems then! I was given a gift card for 20F, i wanted to buy a gift online for F33,60, so i though they will take those 20F and the rest will be taken from my debit card, but it didn't happen….they took whole amount from the debit card saying that i havn't got enough money on a gift card and i can only buy up to F20!
    ok, i had another try then…
    i spent more than an hour to find proper goods for F20, i gave the pin number and the card number and again they took money from my debit card !!!!
    so i need to call them again
    today however, i spent more than an 1h speaking with Next customer service as they messed up with my order, they cancelled it and now the items are out of stock :( !!! Why shopping online is so difficult….

  3. Elbows52 22/01/2011 / 2:58 am

    Totally agree with other posts here: Beware. Debenhams online must be avoided at all costs. Truly THE most incompetent customer service I've ever had the misfortune to come across. I ordered online using a gift card back in mid November. The goods (intended Christmas presents) never arrived and as they had no despatch tracking number to look up, I had absolutely no idea if they had been sent out/would arrive in time. I then had the inconvenience of having to spend numerous hours chasing them up by telephone (hanging on for ages and ages then getting feeble excuses and no action) and emails (waiting and waiting for days on end to get proper responses and not the automated replies variety that just serve to buy them extra time in not assisting and helping you further your complaint). Early January; receive email telling me that the items have been lost in transit. You don't say, really? Geniuses. Had to find time to write more emails, make more phone calls to now get them to refund my money. Have only just received refund today. Disgraceful. After I've spent this gift card money – by going to the actual shop and getting the actual goods I've paid for – that's it. I'm cutting up the Debenhams Gold account card I have and will not give them any more custom. Plenty more other shops deserve your hard earned.

  4. Jess 03/01/2011 / 8:01 pm

    woops I meant cant in the below not can, I cant pay £25 from a gift voucher and then further more on my debit card

  5. Jess 03/01/2011 / 8:00 pm

    it is an absolute joke that I can pay £25 from a gift card online and the rest on my debit card, I'm after shoes in the sale and every debenhams I have been to have not had them in stock so I have no other option but to buy them online! its ridiculous!

  6. Shane 02/01/2011 / 2:32 pm

    I ordered some menswear from Debenhams on-line and would advise others to avoid this Company. I have found that the concept of treating customers fairly, morally and honestly is wasted on their Call Centre staff.

    I received an e-mail confirming receipt of my on line order indicating delivery of my purchase in three to four workings days. When I did not receive the customary e-mail advising me that my goods had been dispatched, I telephoned to query the matter. I was sarcastically told the reason you have not received the e-mail confirming dispatch is because "the goods have not been dispatched." When I indicated that I had been advised in writing that delivery would take place in three to four working days, I was told that Debenhams manage to dispatch items in that time frame; not deliver them. I found the person to whom I spoke officious and supercilious bordering on rude.

    His Call Centre Supervisor later apologized and told me that the items which I had ordered had been "picked" but "not wrapped up and dispatched." I was told that I could not cancel my order despite Debenhams' failure to deliver within the times advertised but I could refuse to accept delivery and just pay the delivery charge. What a cheek ! What a shower, they are !

    Go to John Lewis, I say. They may be bureaucratic and make mistakes but at least they are good about putting things right.

  7. Buttercup 21/12/2010 / 9:10 pm

    Thanks so much for your posting, I was on the internet trying to findout where I could buy Debenham gift cards from, I was going to buy at least 4 of £20 upwards, but having read what you have written, I would want the people that Im buying for to go throught the same bad experience aspecially as the customer service is so bad! So House of Frazer here I come!

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