Q: I acquired a present card for Christmas to Greenhouse Tavern in downtown Cleveland. As you might know, they closed in February. When the upcoming closure was introduced, we have been on a cruise and couldn’t rapidly go and use it. By the point we returned dwelling, they have been closed. I attempted to contact them by way of two avenues. They’ve a list for Staff Sawyer HQ (216-443-0511), which both doesn’t ring in any respect or goes instantly to a busy sign, and Sawyer’s Restaurant (216-860-1236).
By way of that quantity I acquired an electronic mail deal with of firstname.lastname@example.org. I requested them if they may refund my cash or permit me to make use of it of their restaurant. The reply was that it was underneath totally different administration and they might not honor it.
If this was a $50 present card I might simply let it go, however the present card we acquired was for $400. That’s some huge cash to simply let go! Is there any recourse for us or is that this simply misplaced cash?
S.M., North Royalton
A: Reward playing cards to eating places and shops are dangerous, particularly native companies with one location that may shut their doorways in a single day. Within the case of Greenhouse Tavern, the restaurant introduced in early February that it might shut Feb. 16. Then it closed with out warning every week sooner than deliberate.
“Eating places and shops, even ones which have an extended observe document, can shut with little warning,” stated Sheryl Harris, director of Cuyahoga County’s Division of Client Affairs. “Instances involving closed companies will be difficult to resolve.”
Legal guidelines defend present card holders from getting slapped with charges if the playing cards aren’t used immediately. However there’s not a lot to guard you if the corporate goes out of enterprise.
Harris’ robust recommendation: If you happen to ever get a present card to any enterprise, use it as quickly as attainable. Many individuals (me included) are responsible of holding on to present playing cards for a “special day.” Then we overlook concerning the presents or the corporate goes out of enterprise.
Your finest wager at this level: In case your present giver purchased the present card with a bank card, she or he can dispute the cost along with his or her bank card issuer. I’d strongly suggest submitting that dispute ASAP. Disputes ought to be filed inside 60 days of the assertion date containing the cost at problem. So hypothetically, in case your present giver purchased the cardboard proper earlier than Christmas and the bank card assertion was issued in mid-January, the 60-day window would shut in mid-March. Like, proper now.
A couple of native eating places stated they might honor Greenhouse Tavern present playing cards at a fraction of the worth however most of these gives expired in February.
Anybody who bought or acquired unusable present playing cards to Greenhouse Tavern or any enterprise can file a criticism with the Cuyahoga County Division of Client Affairs at (216) 443-7035 or consumeraffairs.cuyahogacounty.us
Another excuse for customers to make use of present playing cards sooner vs. later: There are numerous state and federal legal guidelines, however a single-store present card’s worth may begin to evaporate in two years if it hasn’t been used due to charges that may be imposed.
Murray is The Plain Seller’s personal-finance author. Due to the quantity of requests, she can not assist everybody who contacts her. To succeed in her: email@example.com. On Fb: MurrayMoneyMatters. On Twitter: @teresamurray. Earlier columns on-line: cleveland.com/moneymatters
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