Consumers have expressed great frustration at not being able to activate One4All Gift Cards.
Thousands were left unable to use electronic money cards during the height of Christmas, the busiest shopping period of the year.
Those who are having problems with the cards are unable to reach the phone helplines due to the huge increase in inquiries.
The market-leading One4all Gift Card is a very popular Christmas gift, while many companies use the cards to give their employees a tax-free bonus at this time of year.
Hundreds of companies have chosen the cards this year to reward employees for their efforts during the pandemic.
The company benefits from a tax break that allows employers to award tax-free bonuses of up to €500 per year per worker if the money is transferred through a gift card rather than cash.
Anti-money laundering rules mean that if the value of the cards is more than 150 euros, they must be checked online before they can be used.
Dozens went to social networking sites to criticize the problems of activating the cards.
Angry customers complained of « serious customer service issues » while trying to activate SIM and ID cards.
One person on Twitter said she was trying to activate the card to do her Christmas grocery shopping, but One4All keeps crashing when she tries to do so.
“And I stay disconnected when I call customer service,” she said.
Others said the card provider’s phone lines went unanswered.
Some people said they were waiting days for gift cards to be delivered to them.
One person claimed that the company was not responding to multiple emails, and claimed customer service from the card provider was « appalling ».
The card issuer said it has seen an increase in sales of One4all gift cards this year.
“Employers and companies have recognized the tremendous efforts employees have made during the year and reward their employees with gift cards, and many of these companies are buying One4all gift cards for the first time to express their gratitude.”
She said EU anti-money laundering legislation means that a photo ID is necessary for e-money gift cards worth between 150 and 500 euros.
« This extraordinary increase in the volume and value of gift cards purchased by employers to reward their employees means that gift cards naturally take a little longer to process. »
One4all said, « We appreciate our customers’ patience while we respond to every inquiry. »
The company behind the gift card scheme was valued at €100 million when An Post sold its controlling stake in 2018. It is now owned by Blackhawk Network, a global financial technology company headquartered in California.
« Spécialiste de la télévision sans vergogne. Pionnier des zombies inconditionnels. Résolveur de problèmes d’une humilité exaspérante. »