A proposed class action claims Dunkin’ Brands misrepresents the value of its gift cards by failing to disclose that gift card holders will be unable to redeem any remaining funds on their cards when the balance falls below a certain amount.
According to the 11-page case, Dunkin’ and subsidiary SVC Service II, LLC offer reloadable gift cards intended for use at their coffee and snack shops and represent that the cards’ value “may not be redeemed for cash, check or credit unless required by law.”
The suit alleges, however, that this representation is misleading because Dunkin’ fails to disclose that its gift cards are completely non-refundable, “even in situations where state law requires it.”
Per the case, although at least 10 states, including Massachusetts and New Jersey, require retailers to provide a cash refund up to a certain amount for a gift card’s remaining value, Dunkin’ refuses to do so.
“These small balances add up,” the complaint contends. “Defendants have distributed millions of these cards to Gift Card purchasers and holders throughout the United States. Thus, Defendants have acquired at least millions of dollars in revenue to which they are not entitled.”
The lawsuit alleges that at the point of sale, consumers who purchase Dunkin’s gift cards remain unaware that they come with “unfair, deceptive, and illegal conditions.” Per the suit, Dunkin’ fails to disclose that its policy is to never allow customers to redeem a card’s remaining balance, even in states that require retailers to do so.
One such state is Massachusetts, the suit says, where the purchaser or holder of a gift certificate is permitted to request the remaining balance in cash if it is $5.00 or less. Per the case, New Jersey and at least eight other states have statutes that require retailers to provide cash refunds of up to a certain amount for a gift card’s remaining balance.
The plaintiff, a Manchester, New Jersey resident, says he possesses a Dunkin’ gift card with a remaining balance of $4.54 but has been unable to redeem it due to the defendants’ policies and practices.
The lawsuit looks to represent anyone in the U.S. who possesses a gift card maintained by Dunkin’ Brands and SVC Service II, LLC.
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