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DCrane Law
DCrane Law, Lawyer
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I have (2) gift certificates that have expired in PA. one

Customer Question

I have (2) gift certificates that have expired in PA.
one is from a restaurant in the amount of $50.00 that shows a expiration date of 12/09/11. It is a gift from my daughter and family.
The second one is a gift certificate from the Summit Inn in the amount of $150.00. It says (in very small print - less than #8 font) printed (not hand written) an expiration of one year from the date of issue, which was Dec 6 2010. This was also a gift from my daughter.
My wife and I were in an auto accident on Aug 16, 2011 and have not been able to use them to this date. We are now ready to make reservations to use both of them, but I am not sure if I can use them. I live in South western Pa. (South of Pgh) Thank you, Roy & Barbara Butt, Connellsville, Pa. My e-mail isXXX@XXXXXX.XXX
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  DCrane Law replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the post, I am happy to assist you by answering your questions. I am sorry to learn of your accident, is your question whether you can force either merchant to accept the gift certificate beyond the expiration date?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


What does Pa. FTC law say about expiration of gift paper certificates?

Expert:  DCrane Law replied 2 years ago.
Thank you Roy, PA law holds that gift certificates are written contracts to perform a service or deliver a good by a specified date upon presentation of the certificate. However, should such certificate expire (i.e. contract expire), the issuer has no legal obligation to perform the service or product after the expiration period. Bear in mind that "money on a gift card cannot expire for at least five years from the date the card was purchased, or from the last date any additional money was loaded onto the card. If the expiration date listed on the card is earlier than these dates, the money can be transferred to a replacement card at no cost." Also "cards produced before April 1, 2010, that list a short expiration time or inactivity fees in the first year may be sold through January 31, 2011. However, no matter what a card says, consumers still are protected by the new rules."
For your reference, see http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2010/11/giftcards.shtm The FTC is the Federal Trade Commission and does not itself issue laws, but enforces federal law. Please let me know if you need additional guidance or have any follow up questions.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
Please cancel my credit card auth. I am not paying for incomplete answers.
Thank you,
Roy
Expert:  MDLaw replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for using the JA website. Please remember that this site is intended to provide general legal information only.

What further information are you needing?
Expert:  DCrane Law replied 2 years ago.

Can you elaborate on how you find the answer incomplete? Is it that you are seeking info on PA law? If so, PA law is trumped by federal law, per the supremacy clause. If you are seeking the actual federal laws, please let me know and I would be happy to provide them.

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