Consumers are left with passes and gift cards no value after the closing of COVID-19


The pandemic has affected a number of canadian companies – some to the point of not return – but consumers are not unharmed.Brenda Mihalicz of Carstairs, Alberta, has purchased passes of the season for his nephews at Shakers Fun Centre in Calgary, last Christmas. The centre was then closed its doors at the beginning of march because of COVID-19 and it has never reopened.

The Shakers Fun Centre is a Alberta businesses to permanently close because of the pandemic.

New world / Tom Andriuk

A notice on the website of the company has stated that due to the pandemic, and the economy, it would be closing permanently. He advised the holders of a season pass to go on their website to get a refund.

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“When you went on the website of the Shakers, there was a statement indicating that we will be closing, please follow the procedure to request a refund,” said Mihalicz. “So this is what I did. ”

She has received an e-mail saying that his request had been received, but weeks later she had still not received his money and the website was closed down.

“Their Web site had completely disappeared. As if it had never existed. “

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Global News has found the founder and owner of the centre, Christine Buhr, who told us in an email: “The process takes a little more time than we had hoped. Some refunds have been issued, the stock will be issued as soon as possible. ”

Buhr added that the Web site was operational for two full months after the closing of the doors.

“We are determined to close our business so honorable,” she said. “We made an honest effort and good faith to repay all of the world. “

The Shakers Fun Centre Calgary firm closed its doors during the pandemic.

New world / Tom Andriuk

Alex Don is a lawyer and president of the all-new national Initiative of canadian lawyers (NCLI). It is a network of more than 400 lawyers and law students available to provide free legal advice for all Canadians affected by COVID-19.

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He told Global News that consumers could not do much in case of bankruptcy or insolvency.

“There are literally what we in the legal field call a “cascade” of creditors, ” said Don. “So there are priority claims, and claims guarantees, and claims no guarantees.”

Don stated that if a company had just closed its doors, but had not filed for bankruptcy or insolvency, it was still waiting for any responsibility. If he has filed, he said that it was difficult for a consumer to recover the money – but not impossible.

“One thing a consumer can do is check with his bank or his credit card used. It is possible to challenge the transaction due to non-receipt of goods or services. “

Don has also suggested that consumers consult the Web site of the government of Canada for more information on the bankruptcy filing, as well as the Office of the superintendent of bankruptcy.

Global News has also contacted Service Alberta. A spokesperson told us that the pandemic of COVID-19 has been very difficult for the companies and their customers.

“Consumers in Alberta who have a gift card, the store credit, guarantees or loyalty points that a company has permanently closed due to the pandemic are encouraged to contact the company or the people involved in the landfill – about products that the consumer holds.”

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He went on to say that if a company had filed for bankruptcy, the provincial legislation could not address the problems that consumers might encounter later on.

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Don stated that a court action is an option, but consumers should determine if it is worth the effort.

“It would depend really on the amount that you have on a gift card”, he said. “If you have $ 20 on a gift card, I would not recommend to initiate a judicial procedure. “

The Shakers Fun Centre in Calgary is one of the many victims of the pandemic

The Shakers Fun Centre in Calgary is one of the many victims of the pandemic.

New world / Tom Andriuk

Global News has connected Mihalicz to Shakers to facilitate its repayment. At the beginning, he was told that they could not find his request, but she eventually recovered 87 $.

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Nevertheless, she said that this would not have had to come up with this.

“I don’t think a customer should even have to ask for a refund because you know who are the holders of a subscription “, she added.

“You should have easy access to your billing and reimburse your customer. Peasy easy. “

Shakers has once again posted a notice informing the holders of pass how to access a refund.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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