Connor Loughlin's grandmother had nothing but the best intentions.
For Connor's 16th birthday this year, she sent him a $50 Best Buy gift card to use however he wanted.
On July 30, the Elk Grove Village teenager went online and used the card to purchase a new computer monitor.
The $50 didn't cover the entire cost of the monitor, so his mother, Judy Loughlin, used her debit card to pay the remaining $119.98.
According to the Best Buy website, Connor's new monitor shipped July 31.
But when it hadn't arrived almost a week later, he started getting nervous. His father called Best Buy on Aug. 5 and a representative reassured him the monitor would arrive any day.
Ten days later, Judy Loughlin called Best Buy's corporate headquarters in Minnesota. She was told that although a shipping label was issued, the unit was never sent to the U.S. Postal Service, she said.
"I told her I wanted my money refunded and I did not want the monitor anymore," Loughlin said. "She assured me I would receive a refund within three to five days."
So began a frustrating dance. For weeks, she waited for the money to be refunded, and for weeks it remained missing, Loughlin said. She called several times in late August and again Sept. 12, eventually getting an executive director, she said.
"I explained the entire case, and he refunded the amount that was paid by my debit card," she said.
Because Connor had thrown away the gift card after using it, the Best Buy representative promised to send a replacement $50 card, Loughlin said.
But the replacement card never arrived, so in early October, Loughlin emailed What's Your Problem?
"It's so infuriating," she said. "I have tried to do everything systematically to get this money back."
Loughlin said her son has since bought a new monitor at another store but he should not lose his $50.
"This is a kid's gift card," she said. "(Best Buy) just dropped the ball, and their customer service is so lousy."
The Problem Solver called Best Buy's headquarters and received a return call from Lynn Girocco, a senior executive resolution specialist.
On Monday morning, Girocco called Loughlin.
"She has assured me she is sending my son a gift card," Loughlin said Monday afternoon. "She apologized for all the drama."
Loughlin said Girocco promised to send a $100 gift card to replace the $50 gift card, doubling the amount in an effort to make up for previous problems.
"She kept apologizing, and she was really lovely," Loughlin said. "But most people don't want to jump through a million hoops to get a resolution."
Girocco said the problem started when Best Buy ordered the monitor from the vendor but the vendor never fulfilled the order.
The replacement gift card should arrive in about two weeks, she said.
"We did $100 just for the inconvenience," Girocco said.
How Connor will spend the money is unclear, but it is a much nicer problem to have.
"I called my son and said: 'They're sending you a new gift card,'" Loughlin said. "He was very, very happy."