North Texas

Toys R Us Shoppers Concerned About Unused Rewards Points, Gift Cards

As Toys R Us stores prepare to close nationwide, many customers are wondering what will happen to their rewards points.

Beth Clark of North Richland Hills thought she had more time to use her points, but the customer was greatly disappointed when it was time to cash them in.

When Clark's nephews ask her for something, she has hard telling them no.

"I never had kids of my own so they were like mine," she said.

And when it comes to toys, there's one store that stands out among the rest:  Toys R Us. She's been shopping there for about 30 years, and when she heard about its plans to file for bankruptcy, she was hurt.

"But then it was like, I have rewards points. I need to see about using those," said Clark.

She's a Toys R Us credit card holder, so Clark called Toys R Us and had her points converted into 115 rewards dollars.

"I was told they were good until April 15th, even though it says 60 days on the certificate, she reiterated at least 5 times that it was only good until April 15," she explained.

Last weekend, she and the kids went shopping at a Toys R Us store in Hurst. When they got to checkout, she said her nephew's gift card worked just fine, but her rewards dollars were turned down. 

"I was told they were no longer accepting those," Clark said.

She explained she just got the certificate and was informed it was good through April 15th.  But she said the cashier said they were not acceptable. She didn't want to disappoint the kids so she paid for the toys out of pocket.

But she wasn't going to let it go. Clark said she called Toys R Us again and was told Toys R Us and the liquidation company chose not to accept them anymore.

"I know they're going out of business," she said. "But you still have an obligation to the people that shop there and enter the programs that you began."

Clark's concerns are not uncommon. When a store closes for good, rewards points and even gift cards are often impacted. Consumer Attorney Jerry Jarzombek said consumers can file a claim against a company in bankruptcy court. 

But is it worth it?

"By the time they file a claim or get an attorney to file a claim for them in bankruptcy, that would far diminish or surpass the value of any claim they have for a gift card," he said.

We've also heard from consumers who are concerned about the warranty on their toys and electronics.

"If a person has manufacturer's warranty, the manufacturer's warranty will always be good no matter where they purchased the toy. If it's a warranty specific to Toys R Us, then the warranty is gone," said  Attorney Jarzombek.

If you're taking advantage of liquidation sales, he said be careful what you buy.

"All sales are going to be final so you're not going to be able to take it back," the attorney explained.

Meanwhile, Beth Clark now believes her rewards dollars are long gone. She encourages all parents heading to Toys R Us to bring cash, just in case.

We reached out to Toys R Us and the company confirmed that rewards dollars are no longer being accepted. An executive told us it's likely that the consumer was misinformed about the date, and that the court process has been confusing.

As for gift cards and other store closure concerns, here are Samantha Chatman's Solutions: 

-If you have a gift card, use it fast. The company said they'll be honored through April 21st, but as we saw in Clark's case, things can change, so use them as soon as possible.

-Consider buying gift cards with a credit card.  If they can't be used for some reason, your credit card company should back you up.

-If a business closes and they haven't delivered you your stuff, send the company a letter.  Their mail is most likely being forwarded.  Also, talk to a neighboring store or to the landlord to get a forwarding address.

-If the company files for bankruptcy, the money gained from selling their assets goes to their creditors and employees. Anything left over will go to the customers who are on the record as losing money.

-To get on the record, you can file with the attorney general's office or file a police report.

Bed Bath & Beyond is allowing customers to exchange their Toys R Us gift cards for e-gift card credit that can be used at or in Bed Bath & Beyond stores. Bed Bath & Beyond will offer only a portion of the original Toys R Us gift card amount, and the offer ends Thursday at 11 p.m. CST.

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