Got a Simply Certificate that expired too soon? Help is possible

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(WIVB) — Simply Certificates were popular at stores and kiosks across Western New York. Problem was, they expired in a year, while the law says they should be good for 5 years.

A court order has allowed a lot of folks to get their money’s worth, but others are still trying.

“Marie,” as we will call one of the Simply Certificates customers, received $150 worth of the certificates from her children, but she told us they expired before she got a chance to use them.

She saw the stories we did on a consent order Attorney General Letitia James got against the certificate’s issuer, Red Lion LLC of Kingston, Pennsylvania, and followed the instructions to get her money back.

“I photocopied all of my certificates, and I had $150 worth. I sent in the certificate form to the company and the address that they asked me to,” Marie said.

We reached out to Simply Certificates, and an attorney for Red Storm, the Pennsylvania company that issues the notes, and they are reviewing Marie’s claim.

“I am just trying to get my money back because I feel bad, my children spent this money on us and they do not have the money to just throw away. They gave us a gift and we could not use it.”

An attorney for Simply Certificates released this statement to News 4:

“Simply Certificates has no record of having received a request from Ms. S— prior to the December 31, 2020 claim deadline, or after. We were first advised of Ms. S— request today, and the documentation shows it was likely mailed within the claim period. Simply Certificates will honor her claim. Simply Certificates willingly agreed to replace or refund certificates that were inadvertently issued with expiration dates that were too short following a change in the law. We have processed all of the requests we received successfully. In a very small number of cases we have learned that either the request or our response did not reach its destination, and we have promptly followed up to satisfy each of those requests.”

The Attorney General’s office declined to comment since this is an ongoing case. However, if you are having difficulty exchanging a bogus Simply Certificate, or getting a refund you can file a complaint with the Attorney General, here.

Al Vaughters is an award-winning investigative reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 1994. See more of his work here.

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