You know what's annoying about gift cards? You often end up with a tiny little balance that isn't enough to do anything with. Oh, if it's a card for Target, or a generic American Express gift card, you can figure out how to use the difference. Or Amazon, they just stick it in your account for next time. But when it's a really oddball small company? There's a handful of quarters down the drain.
Not so long ago, I had a gift card for a small company - given out by a bicycle store so that we could purchase a personalized ID bracelet. The bracelet cost a tad over $20 (with shipping), and the gift card was for $25. I was all set to lose the difference, because I wasn't going to be ordering more than the one bracelet, until I got to the end of the on-line order. There, there was a query: "Would you like to make a charitable contribution to one of these six organizations?" Hell, yeah, I'd like to do that. It was the perfect way to use up the $4 that was going to be otherwise left on the table.
As it happens, Ride ID has a pretty strong charitable impulse. From their website:
As a privately owned company, we are not forced to serve the profit hungry interests of outside share holders or investors. Rather, we maintain the luxury to serve those things that we deem important: our Customers, Employees and our Communities.
Road ID is proud to serve and support our local and national communities. Service is not a secondary obligation; it is a primary function of our business. Each year, Road ID sponsors and supports thousands of grassroots Running and Cycling events across North America. We do this because we believe these events are the lifeblood of active and healthy communities.
Additionally, "Road ID Gives Back" is an ongoing program where we donate a portion of every order to one of six excellent causes. This program allows each customer to specify which organization should benefit from his or her order. This program was launched in October 2007 and benefits the following organizations: Arthritis Foundation, Lance Armstrong Foundation, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, National MS Society, Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the Wounded Warrior Project and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).
Why I am telling you this? Because it's great customer service, and we all know how much I like good customer service.
Nope, no one paid me to say nice things about Road ID, just like nobody paid me to vent about Joe Coffee.