Big W Ultra-Slack When It Comes To Activating iTunes Cards

Big W Ultra-Slack When It Comes To Activating iTunes Cards

Big W’s online store is a frequent source of discount iTunes gift which we’ve often highlighted on Lifehacker. However, there’s one apparent downside to the bargains: the online division appears to be pretty inefficient when it comes to actually activating the cards so you can use them.

Several Lifehacker readers have commented on our most recent Big W post that when their cards were received, they hadn’t actually been activated. If individual cards aren’t activated, then they can’t be redeemed (a precaution which means there’s no value in a shoplifted iTunes card).

Blogger and tech journalist Alex Kidman (who, yes, is my brother) had the same problem. He eventually got it resolved, but only after repeated contact with Big W. The moral of the story? Big W online doesn’t seem to do a particularly good job of selling usable iTunes cards, so bear that in mind the next time they have a special. And whoever you buy cards from, make sure they’re activated in-store before you leave.

Online Sales In Australia: You’ve Got To Get It Right First. Then The Customers Will Come. [Alex Kidman]


  • Had the exact same problem – 2nd time in as many purchases that BigW Online has left me with a disappointing shopping service – I sent through a complain email last week, but never got a response. They’ve lost me as a customer, and I’d guess many feel the same way I do.

  • Same experience. It was easier to resolve with Apple than with BigW’s online customer service. By easier, I mean multiple emails and scans of receipts, etc.

  • I ordered 12 the day promotion started,

    Got a email the next day saying there may be delays in shipping out the cards due to the high volume of sales.

    Got another email the same day saying the card may not be activated when i received them, and to wait a day or 2 if thats the case.

    2 days later, i got my cards.

    I’m assuming they sent the same email i got to everyone. If thats the case, would you rather big w not send any cards out until they were all activated? and it’s not like they didn’t warn the buyers.

    I bought a few cards from JB HIFI when they had a sale on, they didn’t ship the cards out until the actual promotion finished! which was a week and a half AFTER i put the order through. and i only found out they were doing this when i called them!

    • “it’s not like they didn’t warn the buyers”.

      A week later, the quantity of email I’ve received from Big W can be counted on the fingers of no hands… so I’d say they didn’t warn the buyers at all! That’s an issue whether the cards were discounted or not, and really speaks to the heart of the problem; their communication isn’t what it should be. Had it been an in-store purchase, they should have been able to rectify it immediately. If I hadn’t chased it up, I suspect I’d still be waiting…

      (to its credit, Apple sent me an email the day after indicating they’d noticed that I’d been able to activate them, but apologising anyway.It wasn’t much, but it was something)

  • Seems that the sheer bulk of ppl with the same probs has led to a change. I called this morning with the same problem. The operator who received my call took the details of my purchased cards and activated the cards on the spot.

  • Far out, have a listen to you sooks. You are getting these iTunes vouchers at 33 or more percent off, just suck it up, it’s a minor inconvenience for a large cost saving.

      • Bad customer service ie not delivering the said product is inexcusable and is partly why Australians are increasingly shopping online Overseas.

        I bought some of the cards last week and they still have not been delivered.

  • I had the same problem but it got sorted out over the weekend. It just took them a while to activate the cards.
    But as mentioned, buyers were indeed warned about the delays, twice in fact. So, in a sense, you get what you pay for. 😛

  • I’ve bought iTunes cards from Big W twice recently when they had specials and both times the cards arrived the following day but weren’t activated for another day. No problem, given that I got $60 worth of cards for $35 each time I can certainly live with this.

    And for the record, in the most recent instance I received two additional e-mails from Big W advising that the cards may take a couple of days after receipt before they are activated. Call it what you like but I call that good customer service.

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