A woman on TikTok is calling out CVS after allegedly selling her a faulty gift card—then accusing her of being a scammer when she tried to return it.
In a video with over 68,000 views, TikTok user Emilee (@lovem_or_losem) says she went to CVS to buy three Visa gift cards: two for gifts, then one for herself as a way to keep her budget in check.
However, after purchasing the gift cards, she went to a grocery store to utilize the one she purchased for herself, only to discover that the CVV code and four of the numbers were missing. This rendered the card unusable.
“I can’t get past the automated customer service because it’s missing numbers,” Emilee explains.
She then attempted to seek help from the CVS location where she bought the cards.
@lovem_or_losem @CVS Pharmacy WONT BE SHOPPING HERE ANYMORE! #dobetter #cvs #scam #wow #wtf #money ♬ Oh No – Kreepa
At the CVS, she claims the manager sorted through all of the other gift cards and found that none of the other ones were missing numbers. The manager then allegedly told Emilee that the store had issues in the past where customers bought gift cards, removed the numbers with nail polish remover, then attempted to return them.
“I’m sorry, did you just imply that I’m trying to scam you?” Emilee asks in the video.
The manager then allegedly gave Emilee the customer service number for CVS and wished her good luck.
In a follow-up, Emilee says that while the store manager had not reached out to her at the time of recording, her initial video caught the attention of CVS’ social media team, who escalated the case.
@lovem_or_losem Replying to @lovem_or_losem @cvs doesn’t value their customers 🤔🙄💛 #cvs #ohno #dobetter #fail #no #wow #diy ♬ Sneaky Snitch – Kevin MacLeod
“I know it’s not CVS’ fault about the Vanilla gift card. I know that! What I don’t agree with is how they handled the situation,” Emilee shares. “There is contact information that CVS could have provided me, but instead [they] accused me of scamming CVS.”
“The way I see it, CVS scammed me out of $100,” she concludes.
In the comment section, users noted that gift card transactions were generally non-refundable.
“I worked at CVS for a decade. it says on the receipt that all gift cards are final sale. Once CVS activates the card it’s out of their hands,” wrote a commenter.
“this is every store that sells those gift cards. its out of their hands once its sold,” echoed another.
Still, users agreed that CVS could have handled the situation better, with many noting that the manager could have taken further steps to help Emilee get her money back.
“The manager can call Sales Auditing dept,” stated a user. “they can research the transaction and typically give you your money back.”
Incidents like these have put many off buying the cards for good.
“I don’t use those anymore,” wrote a commenter. “I’ve been burned too many times.”
The Daily Dot reached out to CVS via email and Emilee via Instagram DM.
Update 7:15am CT November 13: In an Instagram DM exchange with Daily Dot, Emilee says that she has made some progress in resolving the issue.
“Unfortunately, no, I wasn’t able to get past the automated system; however, I did go to another CVS location and the young kid was kind enough to shine his phone flashlight bright enough you could see the faint outline of the numbers that were once on the card. I was then able to contact Vanilla gift card and they sent a replacement because the money was still sitting there,” she explains. “Just a faulty card, I was told.”
That said, she says she’s “still bothered that CVS corporate doesn’t take their customers feedback seriously,” noting that CVS corporate has still not reached out to her beyond the aforementioned contact with the social media team.