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Selling 'groceries only' gift cards


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#1 Montro

Posted 24 November 2012 - 02:25 PM

I was at Woolworths yesterday and a guy approached me and asked if I was doing a $50 shop.  I told him no, as I was only getting about $20 worth of goods.  He then told me that he had a $50 Woolworths card that he purchased a couple of days ago, but that morning his electricty had been cut off due to non-payment of account.  He told me he had an 18 month old baby at home and he was unable to heat up the little one's bottles due to no electricty.  Would I give him $50 for the card?

I thought of the baby and went to the service counter, where the card was duly swiped and the operator confirmed that there was indeed $50 on it.  So I gave the guy a $50 note and he gave me the card.  Thanked me profusely and told me how kind I was.  He then told me I could buy cigarettes on the card, and I told him I didn't smoke.

I got home and entered the card details on the relevant website, which gave me an expiry date and I then read that the card is a 'groceries only' card and is not to be used for the purchase of tobacco products or alcohol.  The card was issued by a charity.

I'm hoping the guy did indeed take my $50 to have the power reconnected.

Would you purchase such a card from someone, or would you refuse?

#2 kristylee21

Posted 24 November 2012 - 02:28 PM

I prob would of done the same as you, check at the service counter that it had the right amount of money of it and purchased it....
But maybe im gulible in believeing stories.... anyway you still have $50 to spend on groceries

#3 Nanaimo Girl

Posted 24 November 2012 - 02:28 PM

Generally those cards are given out by charity organisations for people who can't afford groceries. The same charities can also help those people with payment of bills.

Chances are he is going to be spending the money on alcohol/drugs/cigarettes.

#4 wilding

Posted 24 November 2012 - 02:30 PM

QUOTE (Nanaimo Girl @ 24/11/2012, 02:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Generally those cards are given out by charity organisations for people who can't afford groceries. The same charities can also help those people with payment of bills.

Chances are he is going to be spending the money on alcohol/drugs/cigarettes.


yyes.gif

#5 Mrs Lannister

Posted 24 November 2012 - 02:31 PM

The coles ones actually say on them ' not to be used or tobacco or liquor'

No I would not buy one off someone. The amount of times I have had people put food back so they can afford cigarettes..... Fine if you are on your own but most of them have children with them

#6 SplashingRainbows

Posted 24 November 2012 - 02:34 PM

I wouldn't have, same reason as PPs - the chance the money won't be spent as intended.

Sadly, some people (who no doubt ruin it for others) will say anything to get finds for their next hit. If funds were indeed that tight it sure isn't going to be long before there is no money to buy milk to put in the baby's bottle.

#7 Holidayromp

Posted 24 November 2012 - 02:36 PM

QUOTE (Nanaimo Girl @ 24/11/2012, 03:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Generally those cards are given out by charity organisations for people who can't afford groceries. The same charities can also help those people with payment of bills.

Chances are he is going to be spending the money on alcohol/drugs/cigarettes.


Also if he is getting help with his electricity bills chances are he is on a hardship programme which will ensure the continious connection of his electricity.

Chances are noone is going to see that money only himself.

I would never pay anyone money to take a card off them because they may not want the card but the kids and partner may want the food that it could buy.

#8 Feral_Pooks

Posted 24 November 2012 - 02:36 PM

You'll never know. It's well and good to say charities can help with power bills too. But they can't always. I've had charities say to me "look, we can give you some grocery money, then you can use your money for the power bill instead of the groceries" which was fine, except I could live on like $20 a week for groceries but I needed more for the bill. Having said that, it would be weird for his power to be cut, usually they will arrange a payment plan or extension for you so you can keep power.

#9 bek_p

Posted 24 November 2012 - 02:37 PM

Not sure what I'd do but we wince got one as a thank you for filling out a survey so it's not just charities

#10 katbalou

Posted 24 November 2012 - 02:42 PM

I would be very dubious about the story, and probably wouldn't have time to check out whether the card was legit.  Besides, $50 isn't going to pay the electricity bill.  The same charity that gave him the grocery card would have been the best bet to go to for help with his electricity account.  Sounds dodgy.

#11 Greatmum

Posted 24 November 2012 - 02:44 PM

No way would I buy one off someone.  He was given one for groceries only for a reason.  He is off to buy his drugs now.

#12 Oriental lily

Posted 24 November 2012 - 02:51 PM

The story sounds lke a crock.

I would not have bought it of him.

My mum in the past have been given those charity cards.

They just don't hand them out willy nilly.

They need to come to your home and interview you. A charity is not silly enough to give you a voucher while your currently sitting in the dark and not even able to heat up a babies bottle.

They would do te best to keep your electricity on or at east direct you to a shelter of some sort.

#13 ms flib

Posted 24 November 2012 - 02:54 PM

scammer!

He had the baby there because people are always kind when there's a baby involved.

#14 Feral_Pooks

Posted 24 November 2012 - 02:57 PM

I think it's always better to err on the side of being kind, OP, so please don't be upset or stop being so kind to people.

#15 aidensmum

Posted 24 November 2012 - 03:00 PM

I wouldn't have bought it.  It would have been issued by a welfare agency and by buying its encouraging people to approach them for gift cards so they can flog them down the shops for cash.  I'm sure the welfare agencies don't have enough to assist all the genuinely needy people that are referred to them, so they don't need dropkicks scamming them.

#16 emnut

Posted 24 November 2012 - 03:01 PM

I would refuse - we often have these cards that we give to clients and they are grocery only for a good reason (also it does state on the actual card that you cannot use it for alcohol/tobacco usually so check for that - this is at least the case for the woolworths ones we distribute)

ETA for those saying that those charities who provide the cards often provide assistance with utility payments - actually usually they don't & can't - instead will refer you to a financial counsellor who arranges for you to be placed on the company's hardship programs & then it is still up to the consumer to meet the payment arrangements that are agreed on.  Disconnection is not done as quickly but you can & will still be disconnected for non-payment

Edited by emnut, 24 November 2012 - 03:04 PM.


#17 LoudMuffin

Posted 24 November 2012 - 03:03 PM

QUOTE
Generally those cards are given out by charity organisations for people  who can't afford groceries. The same charities can also help those  people with payment of bills.

Chances are he is going to be spending the money on alcohol/drugs/cigarettes.


This!

When I was a single parent in rougher times I got one for them from anglicare over christmas, I went and spent it on groceries, it didn't even occur to me to try that kind of switcheroo. You were being very nice but those are intended to make sure people spend them on what they and their families actually need. People like that make it so much harder for people who actually need and really appreciate the support sad.gif

#18 Stronger

Posted 24 November 2012 - 03:04 PM

No I would not have bought it at all. There is a reason why the charities give out the shopping cards instead of cash...because cash would be spent on drugs/alcohol/cigarettes/electronic toys/phones and sadly this is where I think your $50 has gone.

I really hope that his family is not sitting in the dark and going hungry sad.gif

You tried to do the right thing though OP.

#19 Montro

Posted 24 November 2012 - 03:06 PM

I swear if you look up 'naive' in the dictionary, you'll see a photo of me!

I did get a bit suspicious when, after I paid him for the card, he then started wandering casually around the supermarket, before leaving without buying anything.  I thought that he'd be hotfooting it down to wherever one goes to have one's power reconnected, instead of hanging about the supermarket.

Ah well, live and learn.  Just hope I don't get asked again, because I am a bit of a sucker for a sob story (especially one which involves children.)  My answer, though, will be a firm NO.

#20 Feral_Pooks

Posted 24 November 2012 - 03:06 PM

Meh. He could have bought it off another person for 30 or 40 and now made a little profit. Like I said, you'll never know.

#21 Feral Becky

Posted 24 November 2012 - 03:11 PM

He is off to get a hit

#22 MrsLexiK

Posted 24 November 2012 - 03:12 PM

I was on the wish gift card site the other day you can buy grocery only cards yourself. Having said that I wouldn't have bought it off him as I have a strict budget and only keep the bear minimum in my account as in $20 as I put things on credit and transfer it out the bills account straight after (so everything paid off in full) so likely I wouldn't of have $50 to give him and I am not paying a cash advance fee.

#23 a letter to Elise.

Posted 24 November 2012 - 03:13 PM

Sorry OP, but he was probably a junkie.

#24 #YKG

Posted 24 November 2012 - 03:20 PM

TBH electricity or gas can not be disconnected due to non payment after 5pm on a Friday states other the SA where it can only been done Monday to Thursday. No company can disconnect on a weekend. He is more then likely selling for cash for not very legal reasons and there I would say is no child. A child at 18 months would be mostly on solids so that for me would get multiple alarm bells. I forgot to mention you cant reconnect for non payment on a weekend. I doubt The call centers are open today, after working in a couple Res is the only one I know of that does have the call centre open on a saturday

Edited by YellowKittyGlenn, 24 November 2012 - 03:26 PM.


#25 Feral_Pooks

Posted 24 November 2012 - 03:26 PM

Or he could be using the money for car repairs, or his internet bill, or women's lace undies. Or even, for a power bill.




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