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Is this legal?

nkarma

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 13, 2009
Messages
636
Is it legal to give a gift certificate for a service say a massage or something and then charge the person more because the price of the service has increased since buying the certificate?

The story is I got a gift certificate as a gift for a cooking class that has a one year expiration date. I went to redeem the gift certificate and they said I owe $20 more because the prices have increased. However my gift certificate directly states it is valid for "one Date Night couples cooking class." It does say the value at the bottom.

I know it is only $20 but it is the principle to me. I also understand that if I got a gift certificate to a store and prices increased on the items sold there, then I would be SOL. But this gift certificate directly states that I it is valid for a service AND has an expiration date to use that service. What do you think?
 

dragonfly411

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 25, 2007
Messages
7,378
I think that as a good business they should allow you to redeem it without the further charge. If it had stated only a dollar amount then fine, but it states a service.
 

amc80

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 18, 2010
Messages
5,765
nkarma|1311359868|2974717 said:
Is it legal to give a gift certificate for a service say a massage or something and then charge the person more because the price of the service has increased since buying the certificate?

The story is I got a gift certificate as a gift for a cooking class that has a one year expiration date. I went to redeem the gift certificate and they said I owe $20 more because the prices have increased. However my gift certificate directly states it is valid for "one Date Night couples cooking class." It does say the value at the bottom.

I know it is only $20 but it is the principle to me. I also understand that if I got a gift certificate to a store and prices increased on the items sold there, then I would be SOL. But this gift certificate directly states that I it is valid for a service AND has an expiration date to use that service. What do you think?
It doesn't seem right. It would be the same as getting a gift certificate for a free shirt and then saying you owe money because the price has gone up. What state are you in?
 

amc80

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 18, 2010
Messages
5,765
CA has some of the strictest laws out there for gift certificates. I have a bunch of lawyer friends I can ask, if you'd like.
 

nkarma

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 13, 2009
Messages
636
AMC, if you don't mind. But it is only $20 and I don't want to waste yours or your friend's time. It just irked me and I may try to argue with them some more.
 

amc80

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 18, 2010
Messages
5,765
No biggie! I just texted a lawyer friend. She said as long as the value for the certificate is in terms of a good (the class) and not a dollar amount then you shouldn't owe anything.
 

jewelerman

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 30, 2007
Messages
3,101
i agree that the cost does not matter when the service is what the cert. is for...your get a cooking class regardless of the cost.Call the owner/management and let them know you are ready to redeem the coupon for your free class.
 

jewelerman

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 30, 2007
Messages
3,101
Im still thinking about your situation.How can a gift cert be purchased and have a year experation date and the store expect you to pay more AFTER its been paid for?Thats like a jewelry store allowing you to put a diamond in lawaway for $1000 and then when they mark the diamond up in a year asking you for $1000 more because prices have gone up!They have an oblication to give you what you paid for unless its stated in writing on the coupon that there would be service charges. i think they are trying to put one over on you.
 

amc80

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 18, 2010
Messages
5,765
Also- assuming the person who gave you the gift certificate paid money for it (rather than won it or was given it by the store or something), it can't have an expiration in CA.
 

Tacori E-ring

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
Messages
20,039
That is really unethical and bad business! I am surprised any business would risk losing a client and referrals for $20. You should not have to pay a dime.
 

Clairitek

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 21, 2008
Messages
4,881
amc80|1311366784|2974794 said:
Also- assuming the person who gave you the gift certificate paid money for it (rather than won it or was given it by the store or something), it can't have an expiration in CA.
I've heard the same thing about gift certificates in CA. No expiration date. They're breaking at least one rule there. The other thing seems fishy, too. Poor business practice.
 

amc80

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 18, 2010
Messages
5,765
From another lawyer friend (I have lots of them)-
"It seems the contract is complete on your end. The contract was complete when money was exchanged for the promise to perform."
 

nkarma

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 13, 2009
Messages
636
Thanks all! I agree and will send another email asking them to honor the service that is described on the gift certificate. This was a paid for well researched gift from a friend.

The one thing that is weird is that the certificate states the service in bold print center of the paper, but on the bottom in small print it does say $XXX value.
 
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