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Posted on Fri, Aug 31, 2012 : 8:31 p.m.

Borders does not need to compensate unused gift card holders, judge rules

By Lizzy Alfs

Consumers who got stuck with unused Borders gift cards will not be compensated by the defunct bookstore, the Wall Street Journal reports.

A bankruptcy judge ruled against a case this week from two consumers who got stuck with $125 in unused gift cards to the former Ann Arbor-based bookstore chain — which closed its stores last year as part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy liquidation.


A judge ruled against two consumers who said they should be reimbursed for their unused Borders gift cards. file photo

The individuals said they should be allowed to file late claims for reimbursement because Borders did nothing to inform them of the claims deadline.

But Judge Martin Glenn of U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan disagreed: he said Borders wasn’t required to individually notify every gift card holder, according to the report.

He said because gift cards are not intended to be used by the purchaser, Borders had no way to trace card holder’s identities.

Read the full Wall Street Journal report here.

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at



Sat, Sep 1, 2012 : 5:04 p.m.

So glad those with cards did not get redemption. The reason being is Borders did make mention almost every where to get those cards redeemed before they closed. After that? Nothing. I still have my Borders reward card on my fob for old times sake. Barnes and Noble sucks. IMO


Sat, Sep 1, 2012 : 4:41 p.m.

I know of several former employees that told me they were told my management to push giftcards as hard as they could even when they knew things were past the point of no return and the stores were getting shut down. ...that's hte only thing that gets me here.


Sat, Sep 1, 2012 : 4:52 p.m.


Soft Paw

Sat, Sep 1, 2012 : 4:36 p.m.

Many gift cards remain unused - one reason retailers like them so much.

Dog Guy

Sat, Sep 1, 2012 : 1:47 p.m.

Did Borders have a going-out-of-business special on gift cards?

Jan Tripp

Sat, Sep 1, 2012 : 1:43 p.m.

Here in Ann Arbor it was hard not to notice Border's downward spiral. Maybe not so big a deal elsewhere in the U.S. After the bankruptcy announcement, I cashed in several Borders cards I had. I pay more attention to my gift cards after I had an bad experience years ago with a gift card that silently changed me a monthly "maintenance" fee. It had a zero balance when I went to use it. Even if the judge allowed it, I imagine you would be the millionth person in line to get your $125 debt paid by the bankruptcy court. Good luck!


Sat, Sep 1, 2012 : 12:40 p.m.

I had a couple of Borders gift cards that I stored "someplace special". I finally found them just after the expiration date. My fault completely. I'm pretty slow to redeem gift cards anyway and should try to do better.


Sat, Sep 1, 2012 : 1:39 a.m.

Way to stick to your loyal customers....


Sat, Sep 1, 2012 : 4:39 p.m.

@ GoNavy What does it matter if they made it back to borders? Borders already received the money from the purchase of the gift-card. I can't see how not going back to redeem the card makes you "un-loyal."


Sat, Sep 1, 2012 : 6:22 a.m.

If you're so clueless as to ignore the almost constant reminders that Borders was going bankrupt and could not, would not be able to reimburse gift card holders after closing their doors 6 MONTHS after announcing their liquidation then you're NOT loyal, just ridiculous. Open a newspaper or read a news website once in a while.


Sat, Sep 1, 2012 : 2:49 a.m.

Billy - How loyal is a gift recipient? The "sticking" happened to the poor guy that bought the gift card for someone who didn't care enough to use it right away. PALEEEEEEEEZE!!!!!!!!!!


Sat, Sep 1, 2012 : 2:02 a.m.

How loyal was the customer who was unable to make it back to Borders in time to spend the gift certificate to begin with? ...And we wonder why they went out of business.

Tom Todd

Sat, Sep 1, 2012 : 1:13 a.m.

Again the working class take it on the chin from the rich and powerful.

5c0++ H4d13y

Sat, Sep 1, 2012 : 10:54 a.m.

Gift card redemption is the civil rights issue of our time.

Angry Moderate

Sat, Sep 1, 2012 : 2:31 a.m.

Do you have any suggestions about how Borders should notify every individual who has one of their gift cards? Do you want stores to take down the name and address of the person you're buying the gift for every time you buy a gift card?