When did the public become so impersonal that we can’t even spend the time to buy actual gifts for loved ones? The multi-billion dollar industry for gift-cards has given companies a leg-up on their consumers. We are at the mercy of remembering to use these gift cards to purchase items, but in fact a large portion of cards are never used or have unused balances remaining on them. Often, there is even an expiration date on the cards (that isn’t easily noticeable), but this point will be saved for a different blog.
Consumers should not bear the burden for a company’s filing for Chapter 11 and eventually going into bankruptcy. Most often, the company remains in business after filing, so there should be no reason that a consumer’s rights should be taken away. The company owes the consumer a product or at least its money back. The companies, in essence, are stealing from individual consumers and this kind of behavior is unacceptable. The public should not have to “write-down” the value of goods it would have received from its gift cards as losses. It is also worth noting that without these consumers, many of these retailers would not be in business to begin with.
There should be a law that protects customers from being robbed of their gift cards. As we all know, laws take forever to be put into action, so use your gift cards as soon as you get them so you don’t fall victim to the machine.