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Press Releases

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02/13/2020

Consumer Alert: Consumer Protection Encourages Consumers to Use Restaurant Gift Cards Immediately

Agency reports increase in complaints about restaurant gift cards

Thursday, February 13th, 2020 – The Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) is encouraging consumers to use any restaurant gift cards they received over the holidays as soon as possible. While gift cards are always a topic of high interest, DCP typically receives most complaints about gift cards in the beginning of the calendar year. 


Over the past year, we have also seen an increase in complaints specific to restaurant closures, which is likely due to heightened consumer awareness rather than an actual increase in business closings.

 

Year

Restaurant Closure Gift Card Complaints

2017

28

2018

29

2019

35

 

“Consumers should be able to enjoy the gifts they receive, especially after the holidays” said Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull, “The longer consumers hold on to gift cards, the more likely it is for them to forget about them, or lose them completely. We’re asking consumers to use any unused gift cards they have at home as soon as possible.”

Here’s what consumers should know if they receive a gift card:

  • If you receive a gift card, use it as soon as possible.
  • When possible, register your gift card. That will likely help protect you, and give you access to your funds even if your card is lost or stolen.
  • If you have a gift card, and a business closes or plans to close, contact them as soon as possible to learn about their gift card refund policies. If you have any issues, contact DCP.

 

While gift cards don’t expire in the State of Connecticut, if a business closes, there is no guaranty consumers will get their money back, especially if a business files for bankruptcy.

 

Consumers who need to file a complaint may contact DCP at dcp.complaints@ct.gov.

 

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Media Contact:
Lora Rae Anderson
lorarae.anderson@ct.gov
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