Macy's website sells discontinued items, can't give woman refund

FREMONT, Calif. (KGO) -- With so many physical stores closing, millions of us are shopping online. But what happens when you add something to your cart, pay for it, and then don't get it?

It happened to Veronica Cambra of Fremont - and what's worse, nobody could figure out how to give her money back.

"They didn't understand what I was saying,'' Cambra recalls. "It was like talking to my dog."

QUICK TIP: What are the rules for gift cards?

Cambra was still fuming in February after she didn't get items she ordered from Macy's.com back in November. And she still didn't have her money back.

"It was so frustrating, after more than an hour on the phone, and they didn't hear what I was saying,'' Cambra said. "There was no clear answer for if or when I was going to get my money back. Why should they get to keep it?"

Her ordeal began when Cambra went online to shop on Black Friday. She purchased several items including a North Face men's jacket and an I.N.C. wrap dress from the Macy's.com website. She says the jacket and dress had been promoted as sale items. But a week later, Macy's sent her an email saying the two items were "discontinued."

"So first off why are they advertising items on Black Friday that are discontinued?" she wondered aloud. "But I thought, 'OK, I'll just get my money back."

However, it was not so simple. Cambra had paid for her Macy's order using four $100 gift cards, plus her credit card. Macy's said it would refund her money onto the gift cards. But Cambra had already thrown them away.

RELATED: How to protect the gift cards you buy at the store and online
"They kept saying they wanted to refund the gift cards and I kept saying, 'but I don't have the cards,'' she said. "I said, 'Why can't you cancel the cards and issue a new gift card?' They said, 'Oh this is difficult, it's going to take a long time.'"

She says she spoke with supervisors but no one could provide another way to refund her money. Macy's did give her a coupon for 25 percent off her next purchase, but she says there were so many exclusions, she couldn't use it.

"I just wanted my money back." she says.

Cambra contacted 7 On Your Side. We contacted Macy's. The company did not address the refund difficulty, but said:

"We work to ensure that no matter how our customers choose to shop - in store, online or by Macy's mobile app - they have a great experience. If not, we make every attempt to resolve the issue. Sometimes due to the demand of a specific item, we may not be able to fulfill and will notify the customer. "

And Macy's put her $165 refund onto her credit card after all, adding a $100 gift card as a bonus. "It was great to have somebody listen,'' Cambra said. "Thank you Channel 7 On Your Side....it feels like family that has my back."

Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.
Copyright © 2019 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.