De-gifted: Gift card loses value, customer didn't know

De-gifted: Gift card loses value, customer didn't know

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by BILL MCGINTY / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @billwcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on August 7, 2013 at 6:14 PM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 7 at 6:20 PM

MATTHEWS, N.C. – Ronnie Woyciechowski was thrilled when he received a $50 Harris Teeter gift card from a family member. But Ronnie says after he used it once, debiting roughly $6, he put the card away and didn’t use it for quite some time.

Little did Ronnie know the value of his now $42 gift card was slowly and quietly ticking down. The big print on the front of the card is easy to read, but it’s the small print on the back of the card that said it would decrease in value by $2 a month if it wasn’t being used. Ronnie had no idea.

“No one told me to read the back of the card, and no one ever said when I used it that it would lose its value,” Ronnie told NBC Charlotte.

Ronnie says he questioned a clerk at the Matthews store on Weddington but says he was told, “Sorry, that’s the policy.”

“Was I just making a $42 donation to Harris Teeter?” Ronnie said.

He then wrote a letter to their customer service but didn’t hear anything back. His next letter went to the NBC Charlotte Consumer I-Team.

We emailed Harris Teeter to inquire about the gift card. They emailed back right away with good news. Harris Teeter apologized for the deduction on Ronnie’s card and then offered to replace the $42 in value, which they did the next day. Harris Teeter also wanted NBC Charlotte to tell their customer base that if anyone else lost value on their gift card and has the paperwork to prove it, they will gladly replace the value.

Gift card laws vary by state. Most cards do not lose value and shouldn’t ever expire, but it’s important to read that fine print on the back to make sure. The link here is a guide to each state’s gift card law, and NC and SC have been broken out for you as separate links.

When you buy a gift card for someone, ask the clerk if there are any restrictions, especially if the business is local and small.

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