May 12, 2008

Bankruptcy and My Gift Cards


Receiving store gift cards for Christmas, birthdays or Father's Day seemed like such a good idea at the time. Of course, I'm the type of brother that lays the gift card down on my desk and never thinks about it again. Recently someone reminded me that the following stores filed for bankruptcy:
  • Hollywood Video
  • Levitz
  • Sharper Image
  • Performance Team Freight
  • Linens n Things
  • Circuit City
  • Bed, Bath and Beyond
I looked through the pile of junk on my desk and discovered that I have a gift card from Circuit City and Hollywood Video. I'm heading to both places this week to see if I can salvage anything on either card. However, based on recent Wall Street Journal article, I may be ish-out-of-luck.

What about you? Do you have unused gift cards laying around the house?

13 comments:

Hagar's Daughter said...

No Villager can't say that I have any unused gift cards. I use them ASAP or I'll forget. It only happened once, and once was enough. But I use the gift cards because someone spent their hard earned money on me. To not use it is to throw away money.

Let us know how you made out. Circuit city is still in business.

MsMarvalus said...

I use my gift cards promptly, because usually when I get them, it's because I requested it toward something that I really wanted...

I didn't know that half of these stores on this list had filed for bankruptcy...maybe I need to hit them up for some sales stuff!

Regina said...

I read a post a few days ago about these stores filing for bankruptcy. I am waiting for Circuit City to have a going out of business sale!
I don't usually hold on to gift cards, and I usually get the pre paid master card kind so I can use it anywhere! I hope you get something good with your card!

AJ said...

I started redeeming my gift cards over a month ago when I saw companies struggling. I still have one or two more to go. I'm reminding all family and friends to do the same.

Great post!

Villager said...

All - Sheesh, I'm always the last to figure ish like this out! I found another gift card for DSW, which I take it is a shoe warehouse. They are not on the bankruptcy list ... but, I need some new sneakers (do they still call 'em 'sneakers'?)...

clnmike said...

I am the gift card Grand Master, it is capotilism's greatest gift to the man who hates shopping. I pass them out like candy on birthdays and christmas. I'll have to be more aware of these stores closing shop though.

Symphony said...

After 24 months of non-use Friday's restaurant deducts $2.00 every month (service fee).

Many of them have little catches.

Villager said...

Mike and Symphony - My lesson-learned is to immediately use any gift cards that I'm given. No delay. No procrastination. Go immediately to the store and use the dayum things...

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

Hi there!

You may want to find out if you can still use them online!!

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!
Lisa

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Villager said...

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austinchu said...

I work for a company that manages and tracks gift cards, and I've blogged about how to file a claim for your sharper image gift card on savvywallet.com;

1. File a claim with the federal bankruptcy court. Follow these steps:
A. Because The Sharper Image's bankruptcy was filed in Delaware, you have to visit the Delaware Bankruptcy Court Page. Scroll down to Sharper Image.
B. Fill out Form 10 from the Federal Bankruptcy Court.
C. Download, print and sign it, and mail it to:
Kurtzman Carson Consultants, LLC
Jonathan Carson
2335 Alaska Avenue
El Segundo, CA 90245
310-823-9000
310-823-9133
D. If you have trouble call the Bankruptcy Judges Division at 202.502.1900. Explain your situation, and they will walk you through the process. You will get a person on the phone as well.
E. Take these steps to file a claim with the Federal Bankruptcy Court

2. Take advantage of the offer from competitor The Sharper Image's competitor, Brookstone, to give a 25 percent discount to anyone who surrenders their Sharper Image gift card or certificate.

3. Try filing a claim with your credit card issuer, if you used a credit card to buy a Sharper Image gift card
A. Request a refund from the card issuer.
B. American Express is 'working on behalf' of it's card holders who submit such claims, even if the submission is beyond the 60 day statutory limit. This will be on a case by case basis.
C. Also, AMEX cardholders who opted for the Sharper Image gift card as membership rewards programs can return it and have their rewards points re-credited to your account. MUST DO IT WITHIN 60 DAYS

4. Also if a card that you gave or received was purchased from LeverageCard.com, Leverage has a bankruptcy policy that allows cards that are purchased via LeverageCard.com to be replaced with any retailer of choice.

Villager said...

austinchu - Wow! Thank you very much for sharing this detailed information on how to deal with these gift cards...