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Gift Card Hell: Crazy Custy Doesn't Agree with Expiration Date


Carolanne 002

From allisonelle, Tales From Retail:

So this one is from last year while i was working at a small arts supply store. We didnt have reloadable gift cards, but had paper gift certificates you could purchase that were good for 5 years. The paper gift certificates were automatically generated by the cash register once the customer paid for it - but the cashier could not manipulate the expiry date on the gift certificate.

So a woman comes in and buys a 50 dollar gift certificate (GC) for her daughter's birthday and looks at the expiry date after it has printed out and this is the exchange the customer (c) and I (m) had:

C: Why does this GC expire in four years instead of five?

M: Let me see - oh no look here the GC expires exactly five years from today

C: No - it says in expires in 2020, and its 2015. That means it expires in 4 years.

M: I'm sorry - but 2020 is five years from now ma'am , it is currently 2015.

C: Yes - but it is half way through the GC should expire in 2021.

M: Im sorry to have to disagree with you - but the date today is april 30th 2015, and the GC Expires on april 30th 2020. Thats exactly 5 years - to the day.

Then the customer gets angry...

C: Are you an idiot - or a crook? You are ripping me off of a one year that this gift certificate should be valid for.

All the while her arms are folded and she is tapping her foot really aggressively with impatience

M: I don't believe I'm either. Look if I was born today, my first birthday would be april 30 2016, second birthday april 30th 2017, 3rd 2018, 4th 2019, and 5th april 30th 2020 - correct?

C: I don't see what your birthday has to do with anything. You're a crook, and a liar, and I won't ever shop here again!

She then rips the GC in half, throws it on the ground, and storms out of the store.

Honestly if I could - I would have made the GC good for one more year if I could of - but if you didn't think your daughter was going to use the GC - why are you even buying it??

I was happy to never see her again.





It's appalling how many people can't count, even when they don't need a second hand worth of fingers.

As I understand it, though, that kind of gift certificate - paid for with money - it's illegal to *ever* expire, as a result of a massive lawsuit against Subway.


Particularly funny is that she threw it away...

Some gift cards don't technically expire... but there's a lot in the weasel words about fees after 3-5 years that will eat it up eventually.


Well, she just threw money out the window for nothing. Just be glad she didn't demand a refund.


Google- "In 2009, Congress passed the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act, which set consumer protections for gift cards based on many state laws. The law provides that gift cards cannot expire within five years from the date they were activated and generally limits inactivity fee on gift cards except in certain circumstances, such as if there has been no transaction for at least 12 months. The federal law creates a floor for regulation and leaves room for state regulation on redeeming gift cards for cash and unclaimed property provisions."

So... the store was exactly within the minimums set by Congress, assuming this was set within the US. I would assume individual States are at liberty to expand upon this restriction.

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