Google Refusing to Redeem Gift Card

I recently purchased three individual $50 gift cards at 10% off from Safeway

10% off Google Play & Spotify Premium Gift Cards @ Woolworths

One of the redemption codes is illegible after I scratched off the label. Part of the letters/numbers came off with the label. This is the first time this has issue had occurred to me so I contacted google.

Their response was:

Please understand that we've thoroughly reviewed your account and can confirm that you don't meet the conditions for us to redeem the value of the gift card to your account. Per our terms of service, we aren't responsible for gift cards that have been lost, stolen, or destroyed.

I highly recommend to contact the retailer where you purchased the gift card, and let them know about the issue. Please make sure to bring the gift card and receipt with you. The retailer may have a solution for your damaged gift card.

After speaking to the staff Safeway, they referred me back to google as they were unable to exchange the gift card.

After escalating the issue further with google, their response is

Thanks for contacting Google!

This is XXX and I am one of the account supervisors.

I am sorry to know that your gift card was damaged and you can't redeem it. I have fully reviewed the account and I noticed that we have already provided the one time courtesy redemption to your account.

You don't meet the conditions for us to redeem the value of the gift card to your account. Per our terms of service, we aren't responsible for gift cards that have been lost, stolen, or destroyed. Thank you for understanding

I explained to a Google support member via chat the one time courtesy redemption was a technical issue on their end. My google account/email was registered in two countries as I was living overseas for a couple of years. I had already changed my billing country back to Australia but had issues redeeming my Australia google play gift card. They have refused to budge and am not sure what to do next.

EDIT 25/9

Link to image of card

Google play

After over a dozen guesses and getting angrier after each failed attempt, I finally guessed correctly the scratched off letters.

I was hesitant to spam guess the code at first in case my account got locked.

Related Stores

Google Play
Google Play


  • When you google this problem, heaps of people say the issue was resolved using the troubleshoot links….

    Seems to be a common problem…

  • Since when google started caring about 50$. Anyways try with retailer and google one more time via diffrent route .

    • Yeah, or speak to Woolworths store manager directly and force the fact that Google has told you to speak to them. Can only keep bugging them

  • Post a pic of the damaged code, I'm sure someone here will be able to sort it out for you.

  • It might be a PITA but have you tried combinations with the garbled letters?

  • There is a warning on them saying to scratch gently

    • As I have mentioned in the comments, I regularly buy gift cards and this is the first time this has happened.

      The label/glue was firmly stuck on and came off in chunks. The other two gift cards I purchased along with this were perfectly fine.

  • Had a similar issue with a Skype gift card ages ago, was told to go back to the retail store multiple times, but either side refused to do anything.

    I put in a support ticket on Nov 28, 2013, from there the usual go back to the retailer, I kept strong and they did eventually side with me with a resolution date on Aug 8, 2016.

    Ended up taking 3 years of emails but finally got a voucher coupon in replacement, so don't give up !!!

    • Was it worth it in the end spending 3 years of time for the amount?

      I fully agree on the principle, but that is one long game. I hope you still used Skype after 3 years :)

      • A good portion of that time was the Skype support team saying "We need to escalate this to our manager" and never getting a reply back.

        Then saying we have submitted a voucher request and it "Takes Time" to generate a internal voucher code.

        Overall it was just about the principle, think I used the voucher for 1 or 2 calls then the rest of the credit expired :(

    • Sorry to hear it took so long for Skype to resolve your issue. I felt extremely annoyed when they verified my serial code was valid for redemption when speaking to Google on the online chat but they couldn't help me out, even with proof of purchase.

  • User error?

  • Oh gosh, I have had this issue with google play gift cards, seems like the scrathies they use is the absolute most horrible quality! This has happened to me many many times, I never have contacted google but have just tried reading the code with immense difficulty. Usually 4-5 times and it finally works.
    I half expected trying to redeem this code is going to be a pain.

  • How did you even manage; just bought one and scratched as hard as I could with a 10 cent piece and the code wouldn't come off. Did you use a blade or something?

    • I used my finger nail, I had no issue with the other two gift cards. But the card in question, the label/glue was firmly stuck on and came off in chunks and subsequently took part of the code with it.

      I buy 10 ~ 15 gift cards per year and this is the first time this has happened to me.