Sorry if this is off topic, but thought it was the best site for this question:

I was just on Shutterfly and noticed that I had an expired prepaid plan. I live in California and remember there are some consumer protections regarding gift cards. Does anyone know if the Shutterfly's prepaid plan qualifies as a "gift card" and if so, whether it's legal for them to expire?

  • This is going to be state-specific and depend on exactly how the law, and the prepay contract, were written. – keshlam May 11 '15 at 14:47

I found this article describing someone who bought a discount pass for an "indoor playground". In the article, an attorney is quoted:

“These play passes may not fall under the gift card law,” because Barlow says these VIP cards don’t come with a cash value, like gift cards do.

“What the consumer is buying is the play pass itself,” he said.

Shutterfly has terms on their website saying:

Please note: the plan itself has been purchased to buy the physical products at a discounted rate, but the physical products (prints, cards, calendars) have yet to be purchased.

This certainly sounds like an attempt to move the prepaid plan out of the gift-card category. In other words, by putting money into the prepaid account, you have purchased the privilege of obtaining future services from Shutterfly at a discounted rate.

Of course, I'm not an attorney, so I'm just repeating secondhand (or actually thirdhand) information here. You would probably have to consult a lawyer to find out if you could really sue Shutterfly under California law.

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