California retailers still refusing to refund gift card balances under $10

Contacting the consumer advocate at your local newspaper or TV station can be a great way to get a company that is shirking its legal, moral, or ethical obligations to pay attention and do the right thing.  So I pay attention to those consumer advocates with great interest to see what publicly shamed company is doing an about face this week.

And this week it appears that gift card issues have gained the ire of the San Jose Mercury News’ Action Line advocate Dennis Rockstroh and he reports being contacted by hundreds of people reporting that many retailers still refuse to give them cash for gift card balances under ten dollars, more than two years after the law compelling retailers to refund such balances too affect.

The reason this continues to happen is that most people don’t put up a fight, thinking it isn’t enough money to be worth it.  But it is, because it keeps happening over and over to tens or hundreds of thousands of people, adding up to millions of dollars.

If this happens to you, I urge you to report the retailer to the California Department of Consumer Affairs, the Better Business Bureau, your local consumer advocate, and anyone else you can think of.