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'Annoying headache' | Kroger customers complain gift cards don't work

Two women in Katy said they bought the gift cards on Christmas Eve, the same day Kroger's credit card systems crashed temporarily.

KATY, Texas — Some Kroger shoppers are frustrated that gift cards they bought as Christmas presents didn't work when their loved ones tried to redeem them.

Allison Ormand said she bought several gift cards, including a Visa, an Amazon and a multi-pack of three $20 Xbox cards.

When her son tried to use them on Christmas morning, they got a response that the cards were "invalid."

"It was a little embarrassing," said Ormand. "Trying to explain Santa Claus having to activate cards from the North Pole – maybe there was an elf asleep on the job.”

On Ormand's community Facebook page, another woman said her Ulta gift card was not activated either.

The problem does not appear to be widespread.

RELATED: Kroger warns customers about fake 'Christmas groceries' giveaway posts

RELATED: Nightmare before Christmas: Kroger credit card machines crash, leading to crazy long lines

Allison used cash – coincidentally – on the day the supermarket’s credit card systems crashed.

"The sale was able to be completed if the card didn’t activate – that was kind of surprising," said Ormand.

She said she called customer service for Visa and Amazon, and they were able to activate the gift cards. However, she said Microsoft could not activate the Xbox cards in the multi-pack because the bar code on the packaging did not correlate to the individual cards inside.

Ormand then tried calling the third-party service that packaged the gift cards, Gift Card Mall, which also told her they could not activate them.

”I hadn’t ever thought about this issue before, but I don’t think I’ll ever buy a multipack of gift cards again," said Ormand.

Kroger initially told Ormand they couldn't activate the cards and gave her an 800- number to file a claim for a possible refund. But late Friday afternoon, Ormand said Kroger reached out to her and said to expect a refund in the next seven days.

KHOU reached out to Kroger to see if the crashed credit card systems played any role in this problem, and to see if they have tips for customers in this situation to fix it.

We are still waiting for a response.

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