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Should a Gift Certicate Come with an Expiration Date? [POLL]

Last Saturday with the temperatures passing ninety, I was cleaning out my truck and found a gift certificate for a spray tan that my sons had gotten me for Father’s Day back in 2011. I must have thrown it in the glove box with the intent to use it and completely forgot about it. So on this very hot day, the idea of getting a tan without having to bake seemed like a great idea.

Gift Cards
iStockphoto, Thinkstock


When I got to the tanning place, I realized that the Gift certificate expired 12 months after purchase. That was about a year ago. The girl behind the counter looked surprised to see the gift certificate and told me that they don’t even make them anymore. I didn’t want to make trouble so I just left it there as a souvenir and treated myself to a spray tan in the name of my sons.

But since then, it’s been on my mind. Why should a gift certificate in which you pay full price for an item or service come with an expiration date? We’re not talking about a coupon which offers a savings for a limited time. I can understand putting something in the fine print that if the price changes by the time you use it you’ll be charged the difference, but to just lose your money due to an expiration date, just seems wrong. Has this ever happened to you?

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