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Sunday, 18 November 2012

Why You Want to Avoid Sainsbury's Gift Cards

We changed to BT Infinity Broadband last month. Compared to the last time we changed provider it went quite smoothly. I haven't yet seen the sort of top speeds they advertise, and occasionally the download rate drops to under 1 Meg, but by and large it's a big improvement.

Part of the deal for this package was £50 of Sainsbury's vouchers. After they hadn't turned up or even been mentioned by BT for a few days after installation, I decided to contact BT. Not an easy option: I eventually had to register a fault. They agreed that we were entitled to them, although I got the distinct impression that if I'd kept quiet that would have been the end of it. They promised to dispatch the vouchers within 21 to 60 days! Why not in the next post?

Several weeks later two £25 Sainsbury's gift cards arrive. Unlike other gift cards I've received, these needed to be registered online. Groan. So off I head to their site.

Now I find out that to register a card I first need an account, and to have an account I also need to have a nectar card ("click here to register one"). I will try to condense the next twenty minutes of frustration and aggravation; suffice to to say that Sainsbury's now have my date of birth, memorable date and memorable place. (For anyone else trying this procedure, when they mention the 'Proceed' button, they mean the 'Submit' button.)

Finally I can get in to register the two cards. Why did I need an account? Well, now I can go online whenever I want to check the balance in these cards. We've just got back from Sainsbury's having spent the £50 in rather less time than it took me to register. The balance on the cards is now zero, and as I left the cards at the checkout, that's what it will remain until the end of time. Not coincidentally, the end of time is roughly when I will next try using Sainsbury's online facilities.

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