BUFFALO, N.Y. (WWTI) — After a company sold illegal gift cards to Western New Yorkers for over two years, the New York Attorney General has secured refunds for customers.
According to Attorney General Letitia James, a lawsuit against the company “Simply Certificates” has been resolved, following the sale of expired gift cards. James stated that the company violated New York state law that requires a five-year period before a gift card can expire.
The lawsuit filed earlier this year found “Simply Certificates,” profiting from the sale, as well as charging customers with undisclosed reissuance fees for the gift cards. The company will not be required to refund or exchange certificates for customers at no charge.
The Attorney General also stated that the company will be required to pay a fine of $10,000 to the state of New York.
“At a time when so many are hurting financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic and recession, this will put money back in the pockets of New Yorkers,” said Attorney General James.“The greedy practices of Simply Certificates are simply unacceptable and illegal. Let this serve as a warning to any company that seeks to steal from New Yorkers: We will hold you accountable.”
All consumers who purchased a gift card between December 25, 2016 and August 4, 2020 ca request an exchange at any time but must submit a refund request by December 31, 2020.
The lawsuit was handled by Assistant Attorney General Christopher L. Boyd and Senior Consumer Fraud Representative Karen Davis, under the supervision of Assistant Attorney General-in-Charge of the Buffalo Regional Office Michael Russo. The Division of Regional Affairs is led by Deputy Attorney General for Regional Affairs Jill Faber and overseen by First Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Levy.
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