I recently was cleaning out an old drawer and was lucky enough to find a $50 gift card to a Japanese Restaurant chain called Makimono. I had been there a few times and completely forgot I had this gift card. I was excited and invited a friend to enjoy a nice Sunday lunch with me.
We ate at the Pickering Makimono location and had a great time with a couple of beers and some GREAT all you can eat sushi (and other great food). Just look at the food! You can see why I got a gift card the last time I ate here.
My friend and I racked up a $62 bill and I gave my gift card to the server, expecting to only pay $12. This is when my experience took a turn for the worse. The manager, not my server, came to the table and told me that they could not accept my gift card. I double-checked that it was for the correct restaurant, which it was. She told me that unfortunately they switched their gift card system a few years ago and the system she has would not accept this card. I hadn’t realized it was more than 3 years since my last visit, but regardless, I informed her that it was not legal to not accept gift cards after a certain time.
It took almost 10 awkward minutes of arguing (in a very polite and respectful manner by both parties) and me having to embarrassingly tell the manager that I had lunch here with the intention of paying for both my friend and I, but now I didn’t have enough money to cover both of our lunches. She finally said that she would call some other store or manager and try to clear it. After a few minutes she returned and said it went through and I only owed $12.
Even though everything turned out well in the end, I feel that the manager was trying to pressure me or guilt me into not using the gift card, and potentially throwing it out thinking it was expired.
I write this post as a warning – if any of you have gift cards to any store that is still in business, remember that it is illegal for them to no longer accept them or have them expire. Fight for your consumer rights!