Is The Unused Gift Certificate Gone Too If The Business Shuts Down?

5:11 PM, Oct 14, 2013   |    comments
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High Point, NC -- A business - gone. Along with it, a viewer's hard earned cash. Maybe not?

It all started with a gift certificate. You probably have a few in your purse or wallet. Gift cards and gift certificates are a gift-giving staple. They're great because you get to spend it on what you choose - and use it when you want. But what happens when you go to redeem it and see a closed sign - as in out of business? That's what happened to one of our viewers, so she asked 2 Wants to Know Call for Action for help.

At stake - a $70 gift certificate for Ambiance European Salon and Day Spa. She went to their location on Phillips Avenue in High Point to collect her hour of relaxation. Instead, her blood pressure shot up when she found out the spa was closed for good. Her fear - the $70 her mom spent on the gift certificate was gone.


Call for Action tracked down the business owner. She says she decided to retire when her landlord raised her rent. She says she reached everyone she had names and numbers for before she shut the doors in April. But she's agreed to send our viewer $70 out of her own pocket.

Now - not everyone's going to be so lucky. So we kept looking for another solution. Here is what we found:

  • When a business shuts its doors, it's supposed to give the state the names of people who have outstanding gift certificates -- and enough money to cover 60 percent of their value.
  • Then  you can call 919-508-1000 or go online to the state's unclaimed money department and see if you can collect. It's a bit of long shot but definitely worth checking.
One other idea: If the gift purchaser used a credit card to buy the card or certificate, they can try to dispute the charge on their credit card.

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