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Please use caution when purchasing gift certificates.
There are many online retailers that also have brick and mortar (B&M) stores. Buying gift certificates online might be a great convenience, just make sure to read the fine print when purchasing them.
Many online retailers, although they share the same name as their "sister" company, will not accept a gift certificate from one another. One example is if you try to buy a gift certificate at ToyRUs.com. That certificate cannot be used anywhere but online at ToysRUs.com. Likewise, if you buy your Geoffrey money at a B&M ToysRUs store, you cannot use that to pay online. Don't assume you can use your certificate anywhere. If in doubt, e-mail the company's customer service department.
Many consumers are leary of using their credit cards online and rightfully so. Here's a great alternative-Webcertificates.
A Webcertificate can be used at ANY online retailer that accepts Mastercard. You are given a Webcertificate number (looks like a Mastercard number) and an expiration date. Webcertificates are manually funded through your personal credit card. (You do not use your own credit card number at retailers, you use your unique Webcertificate number--less chance of abuse this way) You specify how much money you want to add to it, from $1 on up. It is valid for 12 months from the most recent activation date.
You can also send Webcertificates to other people as gifts. Go to http://www.webcertificate.com, choose a card design, a denomination, and the e-mail address of the recipient and your gift is sent. Your recipient can spend the money at as many retailers as he/she would like up to the gift limit. This is great gift idea for those occasions when you just don't know what to get.
Here are the fees associated with webcertificates:
Purchase a Webcertificate in denominations of:
$20 - $49 $2.95
$50 - $99 $3.95
$100 - $200 $4.95
Add funds to Webcertificate Account $1 - $50 $1.00
Webcertificate "Plastic" Card $6.95 (This is a great feature if you want to use it at local stores instead of online).
Check out their website for more information.
It's official--Flooz is now another .com statistic as they have intentions of filing bankrupcy. This was posted on their website:
" We regret to inform you that Flooz.com, Inc. has ceased operations. The offices are closed and the company will file for bankruptcy protection.
Flooz.com has been adversely affected by dramatic changes in capital markets and the general slowdown in the economy. Flooz.com had been in merger discussions with a number of companies but was unable to find a suitable partner.
We wish to thank all of our customers, merchant partners, service providers, employees and investors for their support."
If you recently purchased Flooz using your credit card I strongly recommend that you dispute the charge with your credit card issuer.
If you have a large sum of Flooz in your account and cannot dispute the charge I recommend you file a claim with the bankrupcy court.
There are many people that are aware of credit card fraud and other problems with payment over the Internet. So with all these problems, are there any other payment alternatives? You bet there are!!
*Online gift certificates
See the links located in my Guru Resource Center for additional information.
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|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|