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Good Moring Tina,. I own a Small Skin Care Salon and I had a

Good Moring Tina, My...
Good Moring Tina, My name is Dagmar. I own a Small Skin Care Salon and I had a customer come in with a 3 1/2 year expired Gift Certificate. The expired date was printed on the gift certificate. We did not honor the gift certificate. Does this fall under the gift card law and can not expire for 5 years? we have since changed over to gift cards and can not look up to see if this is valid or not.
JA: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: South Carolina
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: no
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Just that I am willing to give her money back or a new gift card. They just said that I was violating Federal law.
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Answered in 17 minutes by:
11/23/2017
Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 120,242
Experience: JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
Verified

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

Here is the SC law on gift certificates:

SECTION 39-1-55. Gift certificates; expiration; notice of expiration and conditions relating to use.

(A) As used in this section, "gift certificate" means a certificate that is issued or sold by a person engaged in the business of offering goods or services for sale at retail and that entitles a recipient of the certificate to the delivery of goods or services from the person who issued or sold the certificate. This term includes a gift card used for the same purpose as a gift certificate.

(B) A person shall not issue or sell a gift certificate which provides that the certificate expires before the first anniversary of the date on which the certificate is issued or sold. However, a person may issue or sell a gift certificate which provides for an expiration date before the first anniversary of the date on which the certificate is issued or sold as long as the expiration date is on the front of the gift certificate in capitalized letters in at least ten-point font. A gift certificate that contains an expiration date which does not conform to this subsection expires on the first anniversary of the date on which the certificate is issued or sold.

(C) A condition relating to the use of a gift certificate must be stated clearly on the certificate, the envelope, or covering of the certificate, or the receipt given to the purchaser of the certificate, if the condition provides that the certificate decreases in value over a period of time or that a fee is charged against the balance of the certificate after a certain period of time.

A gift certificate that does not state clearly a condition described by this subsection may be redeemed at any time for the original value of the certificate, less any amount charged against the balance of the certificate by the consumer.

(D) This section applies only to a gift certificate issued or sold on or after the effective date of this section.

HISTORY: 2005 Act No. 2, Section 1, eff July 1, 2004
. See: https://law.justia.com/codes/south-carolina/2016/title-39/chapter-1/section-39-1-55/

So, the gift certificate under the above SC law can indeed have an expiration date before 5 years and the law is above. However, most businesses in goodwill still will honor them.

Please do not forget to leave positive feedback by clicking on the 5 stars at the top of your page, as the experts are not employees of the site and get no credit for spending time with customers unless they leave positive feedback. Thank you.

Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 120,242
Experience: JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
Verified
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Customer reply replied 25 days ago
Thank you. This makes me feel much better. The Husband of our customer was not very nice and upset my front desk staff. Telling them that I was not from this country and did not know what I was doing.

Thank you for your reply.

The SC law is on your side, but quite honestly for goodwill that is why most companies simply honor them, especially since the company did already get paid for the gift certificate.

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