I purchased a gift certificate for Weiler's Deli in Canoga Park last year from Restaurant.com. By California law these gift certificates NEVER expire. When I went into the restaurant with my family, they refused to accept the gift certificate saying that they no longer dealt with restaurant.com, but it didn't matter they have to by law recognize previously purchased gift certificats. Unfortunately I contacted the Department of Consumer Affairs and this is the email I received back:
"Thank you for contacting the Department of Consumer Affairs (Department). Although this is an issue that does not fall within the regulatory authority of the Department, we would like to offer alternative resolution
options and information.
In California, since January 1, 1997, it has been unlawful to sell a gift certificate containing an expiration date. For information regarding this matter, we recommend that you refer to the California Civil Code 1749.5 and California Code of Civil Procedure 1520.5. You can access the Civil Code via the Official California Legislative Information web site at
www.leginfo.ca.gov, or, if you have question to this topic, you may contact the Legislative bill Room at the following:
Legislative Bill Room
Capitol Bill Room
712 R Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
Telephone: (916) 445-2645
In the event you are unable to resolve this matter with the assistance of a local consumer protection agency, we suggest you consider consulting with a small claims court advisor. The Small Claims Court is a special court where, for a minimal cost, two parties may settle their disputes without the use of legal representation and the cost of attorney fees. DCA created Using the Small Claims Court, a publication that provides a general
overview of the system to assist consumers who are considering whether to file a claim in Small Claims Court. The handbook also provides a list of small claims advisory services, which offer assistance with filing small claim actions and are available free of charge in most counties. You may access Using the Small Claims Court via the Department's website at
We also suggest you review the Department's newest publication, entitled "Consumer Self-Help, Tips & Resources to Resolve Consumer Complaints"........please check it out on our Web site at http://www.dca.ca.gov/r_r/consumer-selfhelp.pdf. This brochure offers tips to consumers on how to resolve their own complaints, resources they may contact for assistance and also includes a sample complaint letter to a business.
We hope you find this information helpful. Again, thank you for contacting the Department.
So since the gift certificate was only worth $25 it wasn't worth fighting in small claims, but it should be noted amongst the public that Weiler's Deli does not follow the law!