24 to 72 hour lag time between gift card purchases and actually receiving the gift card
I just wondered how many other AARP members are aware that in some cases, there is a 24 to 72 hour lag from the time you purchase a gift card until you finally receive the gift card in your email and can actually use it?
I saw a "one day only 25% off plus free shipping" sale on one of the sites that AARP offers gift cards for, so I figured "why not save a few more bucks and buy a couple of the gift cards from AARP?" Huge mistake! That lousy $4 of extra savings caused me to lose out on the purchase of the products at discount pricing. I also lost a fair amount of time with calling AARP to try to figure out what was going on as well as loosing what little patience I have left during these days of COVID stress.
When I made the purchase this afternoon, I received an email within a few minutes from my credit card company verifying that the transaction had taken place. However, the email from AARP Rewards providing the gift card numbers hadn't arrived within an hour after the purchase was confirmed which prompted the phone calls to AARP. Here it is 6 hours later and still no gift cards. I was ultimately told by the AARP Rewards supervisor that there is a 24 to 72 hour lag time from the time of purchase until the gift cards came.
I've never heard of such a thing and know from buying gift cards elsewhere that these types of transactions are almost always completed electronically within a few minutes. Additionally, I have never seen any notification of the delay in receiving gift cards after purchase on the AARP Rewards site.
Are others aware of this? Have any of you had issues in this regard?
With the recent addition of the frustrating "sold out" labels in AARP Rewards, this latest issue with actually getting what I paid for (this was a cash transaction--not a "points only" transaction) has caused me to withdraw my membership from AARP. I might reconsider when COVID is behind us, but I need less frustration and change at this time, not more.
I'm sorry to hear about your problem. I've never purchased anything from AARP because like you said the small discount that they offer isn't worth the time and then having to wait 24 to 72 hrs is ridiculous. I know when I've redeemed points for a gift card, it took no time at all. Just saying
Finally got the email with my gift cards, but the sale with the vendor is long gone. I explained my situation to the vendor and they graciously offered a (lesser) discount which is wonderful customer service on their part. Sadly, in the last day the have run out of stock of the item I was hoping to purchase with the gift cards and even if it were in stock, Christmas delivery can no longer be guaranteed.
Overall, several days and three phone calls to AARP Rewards to chase down the gift cards I bought was anything but "rewarding". Now that I finally have the gift cards, I can't use them. Time for a break from AARP.
Might give AARP in general another try once COVID is over, but I don't need any more headaches during COVID.
Thanks Teri. Obviously there are still some delays because I still haven't received the email with my gift cards.
I also agree with lucyp061351 that overall AARP is doing a good job in other areas. The AARP Staying Sharp, Driver Safety Course, and modules/articles that educate future retireees on how Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, etc. work are very useful tools and worth the price of the membership.
Still, I can't stand being yanked around and taken advantage of and as lucyp061351, AARP is ultimately responsible for oversight of the AARP Rewards program.
My hope is that with starting this thread, I can increase awareness of the gift card purchase program pitfalls so that others don't get stung. Honestly, folks, there are better ways of buying gift cards these days so learn from my error and look outside of AARP before deciding.
It's also my hope that my gift cards are sent to me soon so that I can avoid taking a complaint against AARP as a whole to the Better Business Bureau based solely on the gift card purchasing program. The clock is ticking.
@gw1202 I can understand your frustration with your experience. This happens all the time but to be clear, while AARP.ORG is ultimately responsible for the Rewards Program please know that all of the problems that have plagued this program lies with Merkle Inc aka HelloWorld. Somebody in AARP corporate should be monitoring their inaction's to be sure. There is very little transparency or oversight. Overall AARP.ORG is doing a pretty good job in it's other areas, but someone is letting this administrator play loose with the members. Just Saying