Thursday, September 4, 2008
We previously mentioned that a class action was recently filed against American Express here in the Eastern District of New York. The complaint alleges that Amex's gift card practices constitute a breach of contract, unjust enrichment and conversion. Namely, Amex tells retailers to refuse "split tender transactions," which leaves a small balance on the gift card; then, Amex assesses a $2.00 monthly fee to maintain the gift card, essentially consuming the remaining balance. Here's a copy of the complaint: Download AmexClassActionComplaint.pdf
It is worth noting that Eniola Akindemowo (Thomas Jefferson) has done quite a bit of thinking about the nature of stored value cards, including gift cards. She raises some interesting questions about whether we should think of these cards as contractual in nature. Check out her work on the subject.
[Meredith R. Miller]