General Question

SergeantQueen's avatar

What happens if you go negative on a pre-paid gift card you didn't buy?

Asked by SergeantQueen (11230points) January 15th, 2020

It was a gift from my job. I don’t recall ever having to register my name and I don’t know if they keep track of who got what card number. I’m somehow negative 23 cents? What do I do?

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13 Answers

SergeantQueen's avatar

I didn’t even think it could go negative but it says I am.
It’s an AMEX business gift card.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

Call the phone number on the card and ask. If it were $100 I would be tempted to lay low, but for 23 cents I could not contain my curiosity.

SergeantQueen's avatar

Yeah I guess I answered myself with this one. Not sure why I even posted here. They said it’s an anonymous card so it’ll probably be ignored. Otherwise I could send them a cashiers check but uhhhh its 23 cents so I’m leaving it.

Pinguidchance's avatar

Report back to me privately when you’ve run it up over minus $1,000.

luigirovatti's avatar

It is possible to go into a negative balance on a prepaid card for two reasons. A merchant could post through a transaction months after they got authorization and some merchants in the US will process cards offline (without contacting the issuer) even if the magnetic stripe tells them they’re not allowed to. Both of these are very unlikely though and the second is impossible if your not going to be using it in the US.

Yes, it has to be repaid though, it will say that in the terms and conditions. Yes, they will also be able to send debt collectors. So, in short, the cardholder is liable.

snowberry's avatar

Debt collectors to a card holder? That only works if they know who the cardholder is. If for example, the gift card was used to buy a firearm, they could track that because the card holder had to show ID and sign paperwork, but if the card was used to buy food or clothing, there’s no way to track that.

elbanditoroso's avatar

What surprises me is that it let you go negative in the first place.

kritiper's avatar

They catch it at the check stand when you try to buy the item that takes you under, and they ask you to pay the difference.

LadyMarissa's avatar

I have never encountered this situation. I have had a card where I wasn’t sure what was on it. When it was swiped, it deducted the amount left on the card & then I had to pay the difference.I always assumed that you couldn’t go over the balance.

@SergeantQueen The postage to return the 23 cent would almost triple your loss & that doesn’t include the price of a cashiers check. My bank won’t issue a cashiers check for anything under $100 so that might not be a viable option for you. Any chance you could add some funds to the card so they could recoup the 23 cents without any real loss to you???

SergeantQueen's avatar

No, it’s non re-loadable. Doesn’t sound like they are going to pursue it.

LadyMarissa's avatar

It would cost everyone involved more than the 23 cents to collect it. They should have procedures in place to not overpay, so they must not be too worried. It’s a tax write-off on their part albeit a tiny tax write-off.

SergeantQueen's avatar

@LadyMarissa Apparently it was a “Forced transaction” So whatever I was doing forced it to go over.

SergeantQueen's avatar

I didn’t force it, it was a vending machine.

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