If I received a $60 gift cards but the company won;t honor them, what are my options?

The company filed Chapter 11 in the spring and got permission to sell assets. They say they don’t have to honor gift cards but it seems like bad business practice since they are staying in business. After being told for months they would eventually accept them, now the employees of my local store are saying they will not honor them ever. I have tried contacting corporate several times and have been ignored all but once, where they just copy and pasted the same statement on their website about the bankruptcy. They did not address my request to cash in. Do I have any recourse?

Asked on August 28, 2011 Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You don't have any effective recourse, unfortunately, for two reasons:

1) Legally, it may well be the case that the Cha. 11 bankruptcy has eliminated their obligation to honor gift cards, since bankruptcy will generally restructure and eliminate debts and allow the disclaimer of many contractual liabilties. While it's not certain this is the case (it depends on the plan), it is likely.

2) Even if they were still legally obligated to honor the card, if they refuse to, the only way to get them to honor would be to sue. Even if you sued in small claims court, for the amount of money you describe, you'd at best more or less break even, or come a few dollars ahead.


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