A lawsuit was filed alleging that not exchanging department store gift certificates that were accidentally damaged while washing clothes in a washing machine was an act of passing on damages to consumers.
According to Yonhap News on the 25th, Mr. A, who runs a law firm in Daegu, filed a lawsuit against E-Mart at the Seoul Eastern District Court on the 21st, asking to exchange Shinsegae 100,000 vouchers with serial numbers damaged and bar codes.
Mr A claimed that if the gift certificate was not exchanged in time, he would have to pay interest of 6-12% per annum.
Mr A accidentally put a gift certificate in the washing machine while washing clothes in September last year. Some of the gift certificate serial numbers and barcodes have been removed. In November of the same year, he visited E-Mart’s Banyawol store in Daegu and asked for a gift certificate to be exchanged.
Although part of the serial number of the gift certificate has been removed, it is possible to know that the issuer of the gift certificate is E-Mart, as well as the type and amount of the gift certificate.
E-Mart said, “Mr A’s gift certificate serial number has been damaged, so we cannot confirm whether it is valid or being used. It is also stated on the back of the gift certificate that we are not responsible if the gift certificate is damaged.”
E-Mart explained that just as a bill cannot be used if it is lost, if the serial number or barcode of a gift certificate is damaged, it is the same as the lost one.
Along with this, Mr. A said, “E-Mart claims that the gift certificates were produced by the Korean Mint, but there seems to be a problem with the quality. The 1,000 won bill doesn’t erase its serial number even if you put it in the washing machine, but the gift certificate didn’t. It is doubtful that easily damaged ink was used on purpose.”
He continued, “The terms and conditions of the Fair Trading Commission clearly state that even damaged gift certificates can be exchanged, but on the back of Shinsegae gift certificates, we are not responsible for damaged gift certificates ‘, which is different from the terms and conditions, and it passes the damage to users. “
In addition, he explained, “Because there must be many victims like me, I filed a lawsuit on their behalf for public interest purposes.”
Regarding this, an E-mart official said, “Even if the gift certificate is damaged, if there is more than 60% left, it will be exchanged and no cost will be charged. We try to do our best from the customer’s point of view. It matters if the gift certificate is valid or in use. We are reviewing what to do with the provisions identified on the back of the gift certificate as being different from the Fair Trading Commission’s terms and conditions.”