Man Says Macy's Froze $1,100 in Gift Cards

What happens if you lose a gift card and when you find it again years later it's no longer any good?

A Newport Beach man called I-Team's Randy Mac for back up.

Initially, Fred Piroumian was told his cards no longer had value, then he was told to file a claim. Once the I-Team got involved he got the answer he wanted.

We've all stood in Piroumian's shoes. You move, you misplace things.

"Totally gave up," he said. "Totally thought they were gone."

Five years after they were lost, Piroumian found them tucked away in a box.

But when he called to check the balance, he was told they were no good, he said.

Macy's froze his gift cards, he said, and said he had to fill out a claim to get anything back.

"Gift cards that are for a specific store cannot have an expiration date," said Rigo Reyes, chief investigator for LA County's Department of Consumer Affairs.

California's gift card law prohibits gift cards from expiring.

But Reyes said stores can freeze a gift card if it hasn't been used for a while, and can ask that you submit a claim.

"As long as the consumer gets his money back, following the steps that the company put in place, and it has got to be reasonable."

Because gift cards are often compromised, stolen or lost, if significant time passes, some stores may have procedures for you to follow to get them reactivated.

Macy's assures us they asked for this consumer's information simply to confirm his identity.

The I-Team reached out to Macy's, which said Piroumian's cards were purchased before California's gift card law went into effect "back in the days when Macy's gift cards expired." And that's what happened to Piroumian's.

A spokesman for the company said, "Macy's gift cards purchased in recent years never expire."

All Piroumian's cards were reactivated.

Piroumian is frustrated he felt he had to call for help getting his own money back.

"Nobody ever wants to go through this, even if it is resolved quickly," he said. "Nobody wants to have to fight again for what's theirs."

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