Are Bon-Ton gift cards worthless?

May 11, 2018

A retailer that was once well-respected in the Buffalo area has turned to ripping off its customers. But state lawmakers say there's not much they can do.

Assemblyman Robin Schimminger (L), Assemblyman Ray Walter and Bon-Ton customer Donna Baker outside Bon-Ton's Sheridan Dr. store.
Credit Chris Caya WBFO News

With little notice, Bon-Ton stopped accepting the gift cards that it sold at its ten local stores shortly after filing for bankruptcy, last month. Assemblymen Ray Walter and Robin Schimminger alerted the public outside Bon-Ton's Sheridan Drive store, Friday morning. Walter says gift card holders can file a claim in Bankruptcy Court. But he says it takes a lot of searching on Bon-Ton's website.
    
"And then, if you make the phone call to the number, all that you get is a recording. And it says, that 'the message mailbox is full.' So they're really hiding the ball. And if you ask any of the employees, in here, they don't have any information regarding this whatsoever." Walter says, since gift cards are essentially cash, "Bon-Ton is stealing" from its customers.

With stores still open and selling merchandise, Schimminger is "demanding" that Bon-Ton give customers more time to use their gift cards. WBFO News attempted to reach the company but Bon-Ton is also not accepting phone calls or email.