Tuesday, May 12, 2009

When Gift Cards Go Bad! A Rant!

Today I got a notecard from Elate! many of you may know Kellie Iwish the designer. Kellie was using a gift card system and got a warning that there was a security issue. She and other stores were advised to discontinue. See the note below.

As many of you were already aware, Escort DeFarge, creator of the TMC store card system, had announced a security issue with his system. He recommended that, while the risk was low, designers should disable their store card systems to avoid potential loss. I hesitated to take these steps, because I know how frustrating manually redeeming a store card can be for both the customer and the designer, and I knew that many people had recently purchased store cards during the sale earlier this year. I didn't want to put such an inconvenience on all of those people. I decided instead to put my trust in my customers and hope that no one would abuse the system if given the opportunity.

For months the system continued to function properly and people were able to use the cards purchased for them. Unfortunately, as was bound to happen, a customer's card recently malfunctioned. Instead of letting me know that the card was not working properly, this person abused the system to get a large amount of merchandise for free. While it wasn't completely unexpected that someone would eventually take advantage of this bug, it was disappointing.

Kellie being the sweet and trusting person she is decided to hold off. The system was giving her no problems...Unfortunately the worst happened. One of the gift cards malfunctioned and became a no limit card.

This person used the malfunctioning card to purchase 23,000L worth of merchandise from Elate!

Kellie knows she made a mistake by not heeding the warning, but I wanted to get the word out to others. As Kellie said;

[17:36] Kellie Iwish: I was foolish not to deactivate the system. I hope other designers don't make this same mistake and end up being taken advantage of by evil people.

I did not ask Kellie the name of this person, but she did tell me that said thief been banned from the sim in which her mainstore resides. Sadly, this is probably the worst that can be done. There are no jails in SL.

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