Shoppers Drug Mart Issuing Empty Subway Canada Gift Cards


Subway Canada Gift Card

Apparently some of Subway Canada’s gift cards that Shoppers Drug Mart stores are giving out during their promotions are turning out to be empty. I’ve gotten several complaints about this. This is probably unintentional from Shoppers Drug Mart and Subway Canada but the way they treat their customers once the empty gift card is reported in unacceptable. Also, how hard could it be to check these gift cards have the correct amount before handing them out?

Here’s a complaint from Carolyn D, one of the people who had this problem:

(copy of letter to Subway corp) & (copy to Shopper’s Drug Mart)

Recently, after purchasing over $50 of product at Shopper’s Drug Mart, I received a Subway cash card worth $10.  As I am diabetic and on a small fixed income, I usually do not buy any type of fast food or eat in restaurants.  However, since the card expired today, I decided to use it.  I purchased a 1/2 sub and a vegetable only salad. Total $9.12.  I was embarrassed to find that the card showed no balance.  Fortunately I had $10. so was able to pay for the purchase which I did not want anyway.  I drove back to the Shopper’s who issued the card.  They denied any responsibility and told me to call the number on the back.  It was apparent that this has happened before.  Calling that number gave me a lot of voice mail but no resolution.  I called another Subway who told me that they have had quite a lot of them that are no good.  I am so very angry.  I want my $10.00 refunded.  I do NOT have money to waste on take-out food.  This was my first and l ikely my last visit to a Subway store.  What’s more I will likely limit my purchases at Shopper’s Drug Mart as well.  How do large companies like yours succeed when you treat the public with such disdain?  I will write to my local TV station ombudsman and my local newspaper if necessary.  I find this despicable.   Your stores should have been told to honor the cards and then you reimburse them instead of having customers spend what is now 1 1/2 hours and more than 2 liters of gas trying to take advantage of this so-called FREE offer. This is worse than FREE offer of a card usuable at restaurants that don’t exist in Chilliwack! Carol

Carolyn D


31 responses to “Shoppers Drug Mart Issuing Empty Subway Canada Gift Cards”

  1. Janette Fox says:

    I too was embarrassed when I stopped at Subway today to redeem my free $10 gift card from Shoppers Drug. I did not have the money to pay for the sub I ordered. I feel Subway owes us another card, as this one can no longer be of use.

  2. J says:

    Happened to me too, luckily the subway place I went to gave me a gift card with $10 on it in return so I didn’t have to pay for the meal out of my pocket. I’m guessing they probably knew about this empty card business and rather lose $10 than lose a customer forever. I feel sorry for you. 🙁

  3. Waffle says:

    Wow this is a awesome scam , they got you to spend money and then your happy with a blank gift card . Somewhere someone has $100’s of dollars worth of Subway cards and are eating like a King . Sell 10,000 cards , thats like $100,000 in free food , i have been boycotting Shoppers since the last scam they pulled , too bad no one else wanted to do the same , what can i say ?

  4. WaffleIron says:

    Just over a year ago, I won a Subway gift card from a TV station. When I went to use it, the card had no value. My guess is that this is a typical Subway problem.

  5. Tina says:

    Wow, she’s getting mighty pissed over $10. Also, she had the option to walk away when the card didn’t work. It’s not Subway’s fault she still bought the sub. If it were that serious to me, I’d have walked away.

  6. Panda Power says:

    I used to work at subway and the cards often read 0.00. They are a little tricky to read in the machine. By that I mean all you have to do is press the right button and then swipe it. Really, teenagers work at subway and they don’t know how to use the machine.

  7. James says:

    I had a similar problem before. I got a free $10 Subway gift card from a $50 purchase at SDM a few months ago. Right after I received the gift card, I went to the Subway to use it but the cashier told me it’s not “activated” yet. The manager came over and said the same thing. He said that the Subway head office has to “activate” it in order for people to start using it. He asked me to call the head office (Why can’t he call the head office and how is that the customer’s problem?!). This makes me think it’s more Subway’s fault and not SDM. I was upset but bought the subs with cash anyway. A week later I went back to the Subway. This time I asked the cashier to check the balance before I placed the order. The card was activated by that time and I was able to finally use it. Can’t believe how much trouble that is.

  8. Jackie says:

    I had the same problem when I tried to use the card I received from Shoppers. The gal at Subway said it had a zero balance. So I went online to the Subway card web site and entered the card number. Sure enough it showed up as having the $10.00 on it. To resolve this issue I just transferred the $10.00 to the other Subway points card I have registered online. End of my problem.

  9. Richard says:

    My wife tried to use our $10 Subway card from Shoppers last night and was told that it was empty or not activated. The card is expired as of today… I’ll be writing to Shoppers.

  10. kingy says:

    ive never had a subway card but do you have to activate it before the $10 shows up?? could that be the problem?

  11. Curt says:

    Isn’t their a number on the back of the card to check your balance?

  12. melmobarrie says:

    I was also turned away at subway but not wanting to drive around, I emailed them instead. Their automated response said due to high volume, it would take 2 weeks to reply. I guess they changed their mind when they saw other similar emails so today (less that 24 hours after my original email) I got a reply in which they said they were crediting my optimum account with 7000 points. I am not sure what that works out to. Anyone know?

  13. Yvonne says:

    7000 optimum points is equal to $10, so you buy $10 of items @ Shoppers and redeem the points so you don’t have to pay for the items. Hope that helps

  14. Mirian says:

    Shoppers Theft Mart. Never liked shopping there as I found the service lacking, especially if you are looking for things they advertise and they can’t find it. They must work on a strict Hitler-like regime as they could not think outside of the box, let alone, think.

    Even a complaint email was never returned. So much for customer service.

  15. Richard says:

    I also received an automated e-mail reply that there could be a delay of up to two weeks in getting a reply from customer service due to “high volumes”. However, customer service then e-mailed a couple of hours later and have credited my Optimum account with 7000 pts (which is worth $10). Wonder what they are doing for those who are not Optimum members… In the meantime, I tried to check the balance on the Subway card online (which requires registering it first) and it showed the card being loaded on March 13 (the day before the promo started) with $10, no other transactions, and a zero balance. Who knows what went wrong…

  16. Charles says:

    I agree with the sentiments above that the companies involved should get their combined rears in gear and realise that this is going to cost both of them – not only for this promotion if they end up reimbursing, but in the future who would ever buy a Subway giftcard for anyone if they think it might not work? Who would go to Shoppers in order to take advantage of any giftcard promotion if they think Shoppers may not be activating them properly or giving out fakes?

    Although I have to say with reference to the complaint letter: why on earth is someone going to a store to buy products in order to get a gift card to a restaurant that they do not enjoy/frequent, and then spending 1 1/2 hours to get there? Seriously, has the bad economy warped us so much that we’re willing to do anything when we see “free”? Even if the giftcard had worked, you’d be better off saving your time and gas money and buying a local meal that you enjoy…

  17. Jenness Hoffos says:

    same here my card was useless…i tried 2 times before sept.6th to use it…ended up having to pay for my subs so in the end shoppers cost me $30 instead because of the whole spend $50 to get it plus the 2 times i had to pay subway. Subway called a number and all they said was sorry its empty…go back to shoppers…well i finally remembered when i was in there today and one lady was nice about it and the other lady spoke to me like i was a complete idiot…..in the end it seems to be a rip off…good to see i wasnt the only person with this problem…maybe next time they will do it right and TAKE FAULT WHEN THEY ARE WRONG!!!!

  18. Deb says:

    Letter sent to Shoppers Drug Mart………..

    I am writing to you about the “free” gift cards (particularly gas cards) that you give away as a promotion and incentive to customers to spend x number of dollars. I have received 3 gift gas station gift cards from you for Petro Canada and Shell Stations. Upon filling my car with gas and presenting my gas card, I find out that the card has no value and is empty. The first time I thought it was just a mistake, after the third time I was convinced that this is a scam. In doing a little research online, it seems there are websites and blogs popping up all over condemning SDM of using this as a means to get more money out of people and giving away bogus cards. Shame on you for continually doing this to customers that you so-call “value.” I guess I will have to buy at London Drugs where a gift is still a gift, and not a means to be embarrassed at a gas station.

  19. mcminsen says:

    This is crazy! Did ANYBODY get any satisfactory answers from these companies? To say “Buy this, get this bonus” and the bonus is bogus is FRAUD!

    Even good companies will have a big problem sometimes but they get on top of it right away and apologize and make amends. It’s called damage control and I really have to wonder if there’s been any done here. Sheesh!

  20. Jack Arno says:

    Come on folks ! Let’s use our BRAIN once and a while !
    Before leaving the Shoppers Drug Mart Store …. have them swipe your FREE
    BONUS card and verify that it is “loaded” with the proper amount that you qualify for. That’s realtively simple to to!
    And it saves all that embarrassement at Subway or the Gas station.
    Try it ….. you’ll like it !

  21. Adela says:

    Wow, this is madness. I’ve never received a Subway card but only because I didn’t go on days that they were offering it. But to such read these things, I don’t think I even want to go on days that they’ll be offering it. But the only thing I did go was when they offer Esso gas cards and since I don’t drive, I always give them to my friend who did give me lifts or we’d go out to stores stuff like that, there has been never any problem with Esso $20.

  22. Adela says:

    Also, I’ve received Future Shop gift cards, too and never really had any problem. But it’s unfortunate for some people here. Having to read these, I am shocked.

  23. Lulu says:

    As a former SDM employee I can verify some of these comments with a couple of statements. First of all, THEY(SDM) KNOW THE CARDS ARE NOT ACTIVATED but really do not care and they(the employees) are told to pass the blame onto Esso, Subway etc as they already have your money and do not think you will return your purchase, you really should though as this is a real scam.
    Secondly, the reason I am a FORMER employee is for reasons such as the above mentioned comments like ”Hitler-like” regime…but I think the final straw was when my boss actually said this statement to me as we were planning our sales targets for the year….”CUSTOMER SERVICE IS NOT A PRIORITY FOR 2009”…..enough said.

  24. Lois Suttles says:

    SDM should be ashame of themselves for sending out bogus flyers about any blank gift card for 1 cent.

  25. Mel says:

    I just got scammed by Shoppers as well. I bought a 35$ visa card and they charged me 39.50 …an extra 4.50 as “activation fee” . When I told them I didn’t want it any more they said I had to call Visa…actually turned out to be “Peoples trust” a gift card company and they said they do not charge for activation and the company itself must be doing this! Shoppers is charging customers 4.50 for a 35$ card …that’s over 10%!!!! There is a very small print on the front of the card but you can easily miss it … not that 4.50 is much but it’s a real rip off ….Shoppers Drug Mart is really trying to take advantage of people!! Buyer beware!!!

  26. Joan says:

    I also bought $150 in gas cards, gave them out at gifts for people helping me move, threw the receipt away as I believed the cashier had done their job properly, by swiping the cards and I was in the middle of a move. To find out my friend went to pay for gas only to find the card was empty. Tried to go back and correct the situation only to have the manager tell me to “call the number on the back”. It’s all a scam, I will never buy another gift card for anyone or from any where.

  27. Bee says:

    I too was scammed! Bought two $25 La Senza cards to give as stocking stuffers. BLANK. After a very heated discussion with a Shopper’s Drug Mart “Manager” nothing was done.

    La Senza finally rectified the problem…somewhat reluctantly but very politely by calling Head Office. That took two tries and alot of waiting!!

    Shoppers was also selling gift cards for an Indy Race that was CANCELLED. I stopped a man from buying them. He had no idea the race had been cancelled. Would have been out hundreds of dollars.

    I refuse to buy any gift cards at Shoppers! Do yourself a favour and go to the actual store and get the card you need.

    Shoppers are dishonest!

  28. Tracy says:

    Yup. Same thing happened to me. With a $20 dollar ESSO gift card. WTF?? I pumped my gas ($40 worth – I had 20 cash and the gift card) then went in to pay. The guy informed me there wasn’t any balance on the card. I know no one else used it since it was in my purse until I took it out on my way to the gym. Anyway I was held ransom until my Mom could come and bail me out with the other 20…

  29. shelly says:

    shoppers drug mart at rexdale, toronto ON lacks customer service.

  30. nick says:

    Shopper has had this problem for years and they should be honest about it and find out why they have this problem. A lot of cards need activation but the customer should be told when it will be activated.

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    I shall be coming back to your weblog for extra soon.

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