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After my little rant about my frustrations with chapters.ca, I got an email from a social media person offering help with the gift card thing. Pleased, I gave her the number on the gift card, as well as the fact that PH had had it checked at the local Coles and the card was functioning and reading a full balance.

She sent that information to some other bloke who emailed me and said he had manually transferred the money onto my account online. I emailed him back thanking him and asked him why the card wasn’t reading.

Turns out it’s because only SOME of the numbers on the card were relevant.

For anyone else having this problem, you should ignore any numbers preceding the digits 604883 in the barcode. Any preceding numbers are irrelevant (they tell Chapters where someone bought the gift card, which apparently their website is not set up to do).

Good to know.

I have suggested that they leave instructions to this effect on their website, because the chance of someone intuiting that “604883” is the place to start in a string of 30-odd digits is virtually nil.

Anyway, there’s a happy ending – once I had the online balance transferred for me, I only had to try and place the order three more times for it to actually go through (the first time was my fault – I forgot a coupon code and had to go back. The second time, when I had reviewed the order, and clicked “place order” it returned me to the beginning of the checkout process again. Third time was the charm).

Four of the five books should be winging their way here via Canada Post. The fifth is a used book and will take a little longer to ship.


Dear Chapters,

Your website is glitchy and badly set up, but I appreciate that your customer service is on the ball enough to find and respond to my complaints. I appreciate that. If they hadn’t done that, I likely would have given up and ordered the books from Amazon.Although I have to say, I hope your online process becomes much smoother in the future.