How a Security Camera Saved Me 25 Bucks

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photo source: Jeepers Media

So a couple weeks ago I was in Walmart, purchasing a gift card for our neighbor who kept an eye on our house while we were away. I had kids with me; we bought various items; confusion reigned. The next day no one could tell me where the gift card was.

It plagued me for days. Where was it? I remembered the clerk handing it to me, but it was no where to be seen. I felt like I had lost my marbles.

About a week later I was back in Walmart and decided to ask about it. I figured that it was probably a lost cause, but sometimes “just asking” has helped in the past.

At Customer Service, my problem was passed on to four different “associates” before the plain clothes security guard came out of his little office to tell me that he had watched the surveillance tape.

“You put it in your wallet,”he said.

Me: You know, I did. But I remember that I wanted to close my wallet and that was going to crush the cardboard holder of the card. Do you mind watching the tape a little bit farther to see what I did with it?’

He went back to his office and three minutes later he came out smiling. “You know. You’re right. You did. You started to put it in your wallet and then you pulled it out and put it on the counter next to your wallet. When you left, you left the card on the counter and the clerk picked it up and put it next to the register.”

Amen. Hallelujah. I had not lost my mind, just a gift card! They found the gift card at the register where I had paid, matched the number with the one on my receipt, and I went on my merry way, card in hand.

If I hadn’t asked, if the security guard hadn’t been willing to look at the tape, I’d be out 25 bucks! Instead, everyone’s happy. I’m thrilled.

And now, if only I had surveillance cameras for every area of my life!

Is a personal shopper worth it? I know personal shopping can work. This instance worked for me. I know the shopping service can work for some people. It works for my friend.

This is Frugal Friday. As an experiment, I’ve brought back the link-up. Feel free to share a recent frugal post of yours below. Those that are spammy or off-topic will be deleted. Recipes do not count unless you’ve made it very clear how prepping the recipe will save us money.

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  1. I hope that got a shout out of appreciation to the staff – that’s an AWESOME story 🙂

    1. Of course! The security guy and I were thrilled to have solved a mystery. Plus, I bet he starts watching the tape until folks walk away. 🙂 The Customer Service manager wasn’t thrilled because there was a log that was supposed to be completed by the clerk. The tape was the last resort.

  2. I am shocked you were able to track down that GC. Good job!

    I live in Dayton oh and we’ve never had a cosco until yesterday, a new Cosco opened? I have a Sam’s membership but because everyone says coscos prices on some things are so amazing I want to run over and buy a membership? So far I have refrained, mostly because of the crowds, but I will probably eventually check it out???? For now i’ve saved $55 membership fee?

      1. Hi! This is a timely comment you made. I’m trying to decide if it is worth it to keep both memberships. We certainly have used them both, but not sure about renewing them both right now. Why did you prefer Costco?

        1. It’s been years since I did my comparison. There’s no Sam’s Club anywhere near me. but I felt like Costco was laid out better, more streamlined, larger aisles. The selection was more upscale/gourmet. And the overall vibe was just a little more relaxed. I felt it was really similar to the difference between Target and Walmart, honestly.

  3. How cool is that! Great persistence on your part, too. We had a situation where store security cameras saved us $100 – we got charged for a $100 gift card that the guy ahead of us was trying to buy unsuccessfully. Somehow it got charged to us, right in line behind him. It was when we were newly back in the U.S. and I remember wondering why our grocery bill got so high so fast, but chalked it up to increasing prices until back at home several days later I looked more carefully. We went back to the store and the store manager came up with the idea to check the surveillance cameras, and saw exactly what happened. Happy day for us. Maybe not so much for the clerk who make the mistake?

  4. That is an AMAZING story. My jaw is literally on the floor. Walmart is a place that I only shop when I have to. No matter what store or what state I am in, they drive me crazy for many reasons. My stepfather works in security for them, and he would love this story. I generally find their employees very unhelpful, and that’s if I can even find one that speaks English. But that’s a whole nother thing.

  5. saving money. Every time my kids are in the car they want to stop for some kind of food. We were at the HS basketball game the other night they wanted the concession stand. I had no meal ready at home. Did a mini pantry challenge for the night and threw together a concoction we will purposefully make again!!