Has this happened to you before?

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El Corte Inglés Spain’s major department store Credit: Shutterstaken

LAST year for my birthday I was very kindly given some gift cards for my favourite large store El Corte Ingles.

As I didn’t really need to buy anything immediately I put them away and then when I decided to have a little shop I took them out and went off to treat myself. I had a look round, found a few bits and went off to pay for them. I had seven of these gift cards but didn’t actually know how much they were for so I asked the assistant to check for me.

She swiped them and told me four didn’t work. So I asked why? And she said it was to do with the magnetic strip and asked if they had been in my pocket. Well of course they had been in my pocket. This was now becoming reminiscent of my other nightmare scenario of getting my hotel key card then going to my room which is located about 12 miles from reception and finding that my key card won’t work.

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No matter how slowly I swipe it or how fast I try and insert it in and out of the cavity provided, the light will not turn green. I, of course, do all the checks like making sure it’s the right room number before trekking back to reception, dragging my suitcase don’t forget, and asking for a new key.

By now there is a different person at the desk who decides that she needs to see my ID again before she can give me a new key. I’m told not to put it in my pocket near my credit cards or telephone!


Back to the store and I am now being told the same thing by the sales assistant. OK, no problem, just re-activate the cards. No, you have to go to customer services and get it sorted. Of course, there is a massive queue but eventually get it sorted.

But what I did do was get them all merged so I only had one card. The point is if they know what causes the problem and it’s happening all day every day, as I was told by the hotel and the store, why don’t they fix it?


It can’t be that difficult surely in this day and age when everybody has a mobile phone and credit cards.

I’d love to know how many of you this has happened to.




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