In 2010, Ontario Power Generation (OPG) in conjunction with Toronto Hydro, had a "refrigerator roundup" to get old (working) fridges out of peoples homes/basements. I had a fridge and a freezer that I was willing to have picked up.
Not only is the service free, but they were offering a $25 reward to participate. In late June I scheduled a pickup. The crew that showed decided they could not fit the fridge up the stairs and out of the basement (this, despite the fact I took it down there when I moved in.) So they took the freezer.
It was suggested that I reschedule another appointment: perhaps another crew might have more luck? In July, a more experienced crew came and quickly got the fridge out of the basement. (Time cost: 2 days off work waiting for service personnel.)
* 3 months later, no $25: no credit on my Hydro bill, no coupon.
* I called and they said, wait for your next bill. Nothing
* I called again and they said they would "look into it": Nothing
* I called again and was told I was not eligible (it was now 2011 and I had my appliances removed in 2010): I gave them the facts and they said they would look into it: Nothing
* June 2011: I called and stayed on the line until I got them to have a supervisor return my call "within 2 days". There was a message on my machine 4 days later.
* I received an RBC Visa gift card embossed with "25 dollar value" in the mail August 2011.
* November 2011: I went to the movies and used it to pay for the $19.50 admission. It was declined.
When I called RBC's 1-800 number (and waited online for 17 minutes), I was told the amount on the card was now $19 (which is why the purchase was declined) and that *I had been charged a fee of $1.50 for each month past the 6-month grace period*.
That's right. I, the end consumer of the gift card, was being charged a $1.50/month fee for not using the gift card *within 6 months* of issue date.
After several calls to their customer service dept, RBC still refused to refund or credit the $6.00.
1. Clearly, OPG had these gift cards sitting around and mine had "expired" before they sent it to me.
2. OPG/Hydro has appalling customer service.
3. Never use a Visa-type of gift card. Get one directly from a vendor, who are by Ontario law not allowed to have expiry dates on them.