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I was given a gift card in the amount of $50. I used $18, leaving a balance of $32. We went to a restaurant for dinner, and the bill came to $33. I gave them the gift card and $1 to pay the bill. I left the tip for the waitress at the table. When they ran the gift card through, it said there was only a $26.66 balance on the card so I paid $6.34 to pay for the bill.

I called the company to find out the transactions that were on the card. They said that the restaurant received $32 and that $18 was to the other company and that the balance on my card was zero. I finally was able to talk to a person. They told me that when these cards are used at a restaurant, the company "holds back" anywhere from 15 to 24 percent of the balance to make sure the full amount of the bill is paid. I asked them how the restaurant gets this money. They couldn't tell me. I said their actions constitutes fraud and that I was going to report them. They said that the $5.34 will be posted back to my card, but it would take three to four days.

How much of this gets refunded and how many people has this happened to? It states right on the card "No fees after purchase."

Laura Alvin

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