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Shuttered Grand Rapids Spa to Pay Back Remaining Balances on Gift Cards Purchased During 2018 Holiday Season
October 15, 2019
LANSING - Customers of a Grand Rapids spa that shut its doors on New Year’s Eve after selling gift cards for the 2018 holiday season will soon be reimbursed through a $19,500 settlement with the Michigan Department of Attorney General.
After receiving several consumer complaints against Crown Jewel Spa and Salon earlier this year, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel launched an investigation into the company and its owner, Julie Salisbury, for several violations of the state’s Consumer Protection Act. Nessel served investigative subpoenas to gather additional evidence from Ms. Salisbury and her husband, Greg Salisbury, and a separate company he ran that served as Crown Jewel’s landlord. Ultimately, the Attorney General sent a notice of intended action, notifying the Salisburys and their companies that they would soon face a lawsuit if they failed to respond with an assurance of voluntary compliance.
Instead of facing litigation, the couple acknowledged that gift cards were sold even though the building used for Crown Jewel was in foreclosure, and the company did not have a reasonable likelihood of providing the services for which the gift cards were sold.
The settlement agreement the company and its owners entered into provides relief for affected consumers and resolves the following violations of Michigan’s Consumer Protection Act:
- Advertising or representing goods or services with intent not to dispose of those goods or services as advertised or represented;
- Representing or implying that the subject of a consumer transaction will be provided promptly, or at a specified time, or within a reasonable time, if the merchant knows or has reason to know it will not be so provided;
- Failing to reveal a material fact, the omission of which tends to mislead or deceive the consumer, and which fact could not reasonably be known by the consumer; and
- Gross discrepancies between the oral representations of the seller and the written agreement covering the same transaction or failure of the other party to the transaction to provide the promised benefits.
As part of the settlement, all consumers with remaining balances on gift cards purchased from Crown Jewel between Sept. 1, 2018, through its closure, will be reimbursed, and will receive an additional 10% on their remaining balances. The company will start making payments to affected consumers within 30 days of the effective date of the agreement.
“This company exploited the holiday season by selling gift cards, knowing it would soon close its doors, with no regard for the consumers that would be left in the dark and the gift cards that couldn’t be redeemed,” Nessel said. “They are now paying the consequences.”
Consumers who believe they are owed a refund and have not received payment from the company within 120 days, should file a complaint with the Michigan Department of Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division.