Lawmaker wants Toys R Us to issue cash refunds for gift cards

Toys'R Us to close US stores leaving void for toy loversMore

Toys'R Us to close US stores leaving void for toy loversMore

The company said it will accept Toys R Us and Babies R Us gift cards and honor loyalty-based "rewards dollars" and "endless earnings" for the next 30 days.

It isn't yet clear exactly when each Toys "R" Us store might close.

And many shoppers are looking to cash in on unused gift cards.

The closure of the iconic retailer marks the end of 70 years in business and puts about 33,000 at risk.

Schumer wrote that the company should honor gift cards particularly after it gave its customers "the "all clear" during the all-important holiday season.

There are no guarantees you'll be able to recover the full value if and when the company declares bankruptcy.

Schumer said that once the liquidation is complete, gift cards could be "as worthless and unwanted as a lump of coal in a stocking".

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It's up to the bankruptcy court to decide if Toys "R" Us can honor the cards. "It would be a sad toy story if those same consumers got gamed by a Toys "R" Us closure and were left holding useless gift cards that were meant to bring a smile to the face of a child", Schumer wrote. However, once the 30 days are up, they will no longer be valid.

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-New York, sent a letter Wednesday to the acting chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission, asking her to act to ensure that consumers have time to use their existing gift cards.

Unable to compete with other retailers, Toys "R" Us has lost market share to better capitalized toy sellers.

So if you've got Toys R Us gift cards lying around, you might want to buy something soon.

"It's sad, but we came today because we had a couple of gift cards left and we wanted to spend it before the store closed down", said Jason Richards, a Beaumont resident.

Even if the chain had chose to honor gift cards until the bitter end, customers might not find anything worthwhile to spend them on after a few weeks of going-out-of-business sales.

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