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What to do with $500 of gift cards for a closed restaurant

Written By Scott Joseph On July 31, 2020

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Dear Scott: I have about $500 of gift cards for Souplantation [Sweet Tomatoes] that are now worthless. I tried the credit card company and they said they couldn’t do anything for me.

Do you have any ideas on how to receive at least a partial refund on these cards?

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Gentle Diner: Garden Fresh, parent company of Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes, closed all 97 restaurant locations in May. Although the restaurants were popular, a help-yourself salad bar concept did not seen tenable in light of a pandemic. According to Sweet Tomatoes, “…refund options are limited at this time.” The company suggests that you dispute the charges with your credit card issuer, but you’ve already done that.

The company also says “there may be an alternative option available through the court in the future.” But that would probably mean that you would get in line behind all other claimants and creditors in the bankruptcy procedure.

It’s a long shot, but you may want to inquire how to make a claim with the California Southern Bankruptcy Court. The case number is 3:2020bk02477.

Good luck.

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