A Territory Ahead gift certificate left behind

Elise/Shutterstock
Elise/Shutterstock
When Ed Probst tries to redeem an 11-year-old gift certificate, the company stonewalls him. How do you get a business to honor a debt from 2001?

Question: I was doing my annual end-of-the-year file clean-out and found a $200 gift certificate from 2001 from Territory Ahead. There is no expiration date.

In December, I went online to place an order. Of course, there is a spot on the checkout page to enter a gift card number, but it would not accept the number. So I called the 800 number to place the order and gave the gift certificate number to the agent, who was confused. So she had to ask her supervisor if it was acceptable.

After a few minutes she was back on the line and walked through the order with me and then said everything was all set. Stupid me, I never asked for a confirmation number. I waited a few days and never got a confirming email.
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Amazon offers fastest holiday purchase refunds, study says

The returning of gifts is almost as time-honored a tradition as Christmas itself.

Merchants are quick to take your cash, but they sure take their time with a refund — unless you’re doing business with Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, or LLBean.com. They were the three fastest online retailers, according to a new study by StellaService, issuing refunds within about four days.

The slowest? That would be Dell.com, which took two weeks, and Avon.com, which still hasn’t returned Stella’s purchase (naughty, naughty!).
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A holiday surprise from the travel industry

Sometimes when you travel, it’s the little gestures of compassion that make the biggest difference — especially during the holidays.

For Becky Brand, it was the bus driver on Washington’s L2 line who went out of his way to help her during Thanksgiving week. “While I was struggling with a heavy suitcase in the rain, he made my day by stopping to let me on instead of having me run to the bus stop a block away,” says Brand, who works for a legal advocacy group in the capital. “Although a small and random act of kindness, it made my holiday week and definitely gave me something to be thankful for.”

Jenny Block remembers the nameless American Airlines employee who answered her plea on Twitter. Her cousin had been left in a coma after a traffic accident, and she needed the airline to bend a flight change rule. Block, a writer who lives in Dallas, received an immediate reply: Of course the airline would help her.

“You won’t believe this part,” she told me. “It happened on Thanksgiving morning.”

Oh no, that part I would believe.
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