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Closed business leaves gift card holders empty handed

Posted at 7:05 PM, May 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-03 19:24:41-04

COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. -- Gift cards are some of the most popular gifts around the holidays and as birthday presents. But what happens when the business you have a card for closes?

Some viewers reached out to CBS 6 Problem Solvers.

A local woman said her father was left empty handed when a Colonial Heights business closed, just weeks after Christmas.

gift cards

December 24th, Kristen Gandarillas picked out what she thought was the perfect gift for her dad.

The next day, her dad agreed seeing the $50 gift card for Tri-City Surf N Turf in Colonial Heights.

Less than three weeks later, the gift became a disappointment when the father and daughter discovered the doors closed.

"Their sign was still there, there was still chairs and what not in the building, but there was a sign on the door saying they were completely closed," said Gandarillas.

Others with gift cards discovered the locked doors and word of the business closing spread across social media. The gift cards couldn't be redeemed.

Tri-City Surf N Turf

Tri-City Surf N Turf

Tom Gallagher with the Better Business Bureau said  they haven't received any complaints about the business but he did notice a spike in inquiries in January.

"We were getting 10, 12 in that range of the last four or five months, a big number for a very small operation," he said.

When asked what that meant Gallagher said "They were trying to figure out whats going on."

Gallagher said its important to continue to support mom and pop small businesses and that most times gift cards can be redeemed.

Tri-City Surf N Turf

"Small businesses are the backbone of the community so we've got to support them," he said.

Gallagher said if you have concerns when buying gift cards to small businesses, you can always buy a generic gift card which can be used anywhere and tell the person you are giving it to, they can use it at a small business.

CBS 6 reached out to the owner of Tri-City Surf N Turf but did not hear back.