Call Kurtis: Can Prepaid Cards for Services Expire?

NATOMAS (CBS13) — Most Gift cards can’t expire in California. Daily deals like Groupons allow you to use the original amount you paid into them after they expire.

Shannon Carlson of Natomas wondered if this applied to prepaid cards for services too.

She brings her daughter to indoor playground Climbaroo in Natomas which normally costs between eight and ten dollars a visit. Shannon bought what is called a Joey’s VIP Play Pass which allowed ten visits for $60. However she noticed the card had an expiration date after six months.

“How is this legal?” she asked.

We brought the issue to consumer attorney Ian Barlow.

“These play passes may not fall under the gift card law,” because Barlow says these VIP cards don’t’ come with a cash value, like gift cards do.

“What the consumer is buying is the play pass itself,” he said.

He says Climbaroo may consider having some flexibility with that date to keep customers happy. We reached out to the company. Senior operations manager Paul Benvenuti says they have “extended the expiration date on dozens of VIP passes…The last thing we want is for someone to purchase a pass and not be able to use all the visits.”

Shannon says she was able to use her VIP card after it expired.

I” want to continue going there my child loves to go there, but I don’t want them to expire and i don’t want to lose the money.”

Climbaroo also told us it keeps track of the visits in their computer system in case someone loses their card. The company says the Joey VIP pass is a promotional pass, not a gift card.

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