How to refuse a gift

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2011
How to refuse a gift
9
Sun, 01-05-2014 - 7:54pm

Is it okay for me to tell someone that I do not want a Christmas gift from them?  Every year this person gives me a gift card. I try to use it later & find out it has a zero balance on it, it has expired, or something else is wrong with the card and I cannot use it. I don't want to make an issue out of it, so how should I just tell her I no longer want any Christmas gifts? Would it be okay to say "don't feel obligated to get me anything this year"?  And if she gives me a gift anyway, would it be terribly rude for me to just hand it back to her? I really do not want these anymore.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2013
Fri, 01-24-2014 - 2:00am
I think you can tell beforehand that you value her telephone call on Christmas more than any gift and that her pleasant voice on the festive occasion really peps you up and puts you on cloud 9.
Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Mon, 01-06-2014 - 9:14pm

No I do not think you should regift a gift card with a zero balance. My response was regarding unwanted gifts in general.

I disagree with your husband that it is rude to tell someone that the gift card doesn't work. Like others said, when I spend my money on something I expect it to work, and if there is a problem I would like to know. You can phrase it in a polite way. Since it has happened repeatedly the woman probably doesn't know how to activate the cards. Do you think she is purposely giving you empty cards?

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Mon, 01-06-2014 - 6:39pm

I have read the thread and I guess I am a little confused.

You do enjoy giving the person gifts, correct?  But you don't want any gifts from her because she only gives you gift cards that don't work.  Is that correct also?

Where I am a little lost is why you would not tell a person that the gift card they gave you didn't work?  Like another person said, I would want to know if I had paid for a gift card that didn't work.  I realize you can't go back at this point and try to fix anything from the past, but you can do something if it happens again.  It is even plenty early enough to address it now if she just gave you one a couple weeks ago.  

Then, graciously accept her answer for the problem (I don't know if these are honest mistakes, or not), what ever that may be, and then maybe you can mention the possiblity of not giving the cards anymore.  And if she continues, check first before trying to use it.  

Good luck!

Serenity CL making a second marrige work

Serenity
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2011
Mon, 01-06-2014 - 11:29am

My husband told me it is rude to let the person who gave it know the gift card does not work.  So I don't feel I can contact her about it.  Even if the problem can be corrected with the original receipt and all, I am tired of trying to use cards that don't work.  Actually, after my experience with gift cards, I don't give them as gifts anymore. I just give the person cash or buy them a gift they might like.

I suppose the only thing I can do is avoid holiday get-togethers and stop doing gift exchanges.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 01-06-2014 - 10:56am

I don't think there is any way for you to keep giving her gifts and tell her that you don't want to receive any from her.  My elderly aunt told me that she didn't want anyone to buy her birthday gifts any more and she said that she was not going to give us gifts either--just a card.  Now if she had said that she didn't want any gift but she kept giving them to us, then of course I would feel obligated to buy her something too.  or my cousin moved out of state and it got hard to keep mailing things to each other so we just decided to stop.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-12-2011
Mon, 01-06-2014 - 3:47am

  I would call her and say do you still have the receipt for the card and tell her that it did not work and say, I think maybe they forgot to activate it. There was a problem with the target gift cards they were saying the cards had a zero balance when they didn't. If I had given someone a gift card that they were unable to use, I would want to know because I pay good money for them and I would be upset to know I had given someone one that didn't work and they said nothing to me. I think it is only right to let them know it did not work. Most people would not knowingly give a gift card to someone that had no money on it, so let her know and give her an opportunity to correct the problem.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Sun, 01-05-2014 - 11:52pm

There are dozens of sites that will show you what the balance is on a gift card.  Check before you go.  In addition, more than once, I gave gift cards, only to have them NOT work.  I have learned that certain banks, gift card kiosks in grocery stores, and gas cards are the most susceptible.  Simply ask the gift giver for the gift reciept, and the vendor who sold the card will reload it.  Also, if the gift giver is elderly, they may not really understand how the cards must be activated.  Do NOT assume that the gift giver is cheating you.  Do not be rude.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2011
Sun, 01-05-2014 - 8:25pm

You think I should re-gift the card? Seriously? The cards do not work. They don't have money on them. I would not give somebody a card like that. Re-gifting it is not an option.

It is embarassing to tell someone that the gift card they gave you does not work, or has no money on it. I feel very uncomfortable doing that.  I would still like to give her a gift every year at Christmas, but I do not want another card from her. Now she has startedd giving my young daughter these hokey cards, and my daughter was very upset when she tried to use it at a toy store and they would turned it down.

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Sun, 01-05-2014 - 8:12pm

IMO it would be rude to hand a gift back and say "no thanks". Better to graciously accept it and then later you can use it or regift it or throw it away.

You could tell her that she is not obligated anymore, but why does she feel obligated now? If you give her something then she will continue to feel that she has to get you something. If you don't give her anything then she must have her own reasons to give to you. Have you ever told her that the gift cards don't work?