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National Retailers Agree To Replace Lost Gift Cards

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National Retailers Agree To Replace Lost Gift Cards

Old 02-25-03, 02:54 PM
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National Retailers Agree To Replace Lost Gift Cards

http://www.local6.com/sh/money/stori...102252003&ts=H

Posted: 2:24 p.m. EST February 25, 2003

Eighteen national retailers have agreed to replace customers' lost, stolen or damaged gift cards.

The policy change mirrors one put in place by home improvement giant Home Depot last spring, after two New York residents complained to the state Attorney General's Office that the Atlanta-based company refused to replace their lost cards.

Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has received no additional complaints. But after the settlement with Home Depot, his office began reviewing other retailers' gift card policies and found they also lacked consumer protections.

Every company Spitzer contacted agreed to reform their policies on the ever-popular gift cards, which did $38 billion in sales last year.

Retailers agreeing to the reforms include Best Buy; Bloomingdale's; Borders; Circuit City; CompUSA; Disney Stores; Eckerd; J.C. Penney; Kohl's; Macy's; Musicland; Nordstrom; Sears, Roebuck and Co.; The Sports Authority Inc.; Target; Toys 'R Us Inc.; and Waldenbooks.


I've never lost a card, but this is a no-brainer in my opinion. Why should consumers suffer because they lost their cards. Maybe charge a very small fee to replace the card, but it is the consumers money.

Chris
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Old 02-25-03, 03:05 PM
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I had never considered buying a gift card for this reason, they were not replaceable if lost. Plus, I never really understood the point of a gift card, other than as a gift for somebody else.
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Old 02-25-03, 03:05 PM
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Now I can understand if somebody washed their GC or some other disaster greeted the little plastic thing (and it would no longer work). And if a Police Report can vouch for a theft occurring, then yes a replacement should be offered. But just because someone misplaces or loses a GC, they should not be rewarded.
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Old 02-25-03, 04:35 PM
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ummm, why not petition the govt for the same policy regarding money?!


This is another example of removing the consequences for reckless behavior. Gift Cards should be treated by the recipients the same as cash. Actually, some gift card literature even makes that statement.
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Old 02-26-03, 12:20 AM
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Originally posted by sracer
ummm, why not petition the govt for the same policy regarding money?!


This is another example of removing the consequences for reckless behavior. Gift Cards should be treated by the recipients the same as cash. Actually, some gift card literature even makes that statement.
Having worked for one of the major Department Stores mentioned in the article above, I feel this is a great step in the right direction.

People do lose things from time to time, and since these cards have a bar code, magnetic stripe or unique serial code, there is no reason why a new card shouldn't be issued in the event of loss or theft.

You'll notice below that the agreement only allows for a replacement card in the value of UNUSED credit. If the card is lost or stolen and someone else uses it then you're out of luck. On the other hand, if you are able to cancel the lost or stolen card before it is used by someone else you can now get a replacement card.

Sound's like a fair plan for everyone!

My only recommendation is that I would charge a nominal fee for each replacement card.

-----

Here's the rest of the article from MSNBC:

...Spitzer focused on retailers prominent across New York state but hopes others follow suit, Pritchard said.

“The action by these companies should set a standard for the entire industry,” Spitzer said.

The retailers promise to deactivate and reissue lost, stolen or damaged gift cards, which many consumers mistakenly assume come with the same protections as credit or debit cards.

Companies have long viewed gift cards — the equivalent of paper gift certificates — the same as cash, and therefore, untraceable and nonrefundable if lost or stolen.

Under the agreement, customers can get another gift card — for the amount remaining on the one being replaced — if they can provide an original sales receipt, valid identification and proof of payment, such as a canceled check or credit card statement.

The 18 companies will phase in their policy change, as they print new cards and put up new signs, Pritchard said.

On Tuesday, Web sites for CompUSA and Best Buy continued to post a disclaimer that gift cards “cannot be replaced if lost or stolen.” Officials for the companies did not immediately return phone calls.

Last June, Home Depot agreed to pay $45,000 to cover the cost of Spitzer’s investigation. Agreements with the other 18 companies involved no money, Pritchard said.

Last edited by rich-y; 02-26-03 at 12:24 AM.
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