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Channel 2: Call Collett: Spa closes unexpectedly, customer left with gift cards

By: Rebecca Collett

A Lowcountry woman received a gift card to a local spa for her birthday.  When she called to book her appointment, the business had shut down.  Stuck with the gift, she called Count on 2 investigator Rebecca Collett for help.

“I would go twice a year,” Rebecca Dixon explained to the Count on 2 team.  Gift cards to Sandalwoods Spa in Summerville were her gift of choice from family members for Mothers’ Day and other holidays.

Most recently her father bought one on March fifth for Rebecca’s birthday.  By March 18th a new business was remodeling the old Sandalwoods space.

“I called you because I know you help a lot of people with things that aren’t fair,” she told Rebecca Collett during a sit down interview.

According to business license records, Lorri Campbell owned Sandalwoods.  She now goes by Lorri Hagerman.  Since closing the store, she moved out of state to Wyoming. She has not responded to requests for comment on selling the gift cards so close to shutting down the business.

A new spa has completed renovations and moved into the space. According to Summerville records, the news business license is under the company name of “Tomorrow By Dyana”.  The license was issued on March 8, 2017 but the business owner filed a Notice of Change Form to move the company to the 105 South Cedar address on March 26, 2018 and The Winchester Spa and Salon opened the first week of April.

“It’s in the same spot, and I feel like she should take over the debt,” Rebecca Dixon explained.

News 2 reached out to Dyana Winchester , the owner of The Winchester Spa and Salon about honoring the gift card sold to customers of Sandalwoods.

“We are willing to accept the gift certificates, we just need to break it up a bit,” she explained.

She is offering would-be clients the option to use gift cards half at a time.  If a patron comes in with a $100 gift certificate for a massage, they can use half toward the massage.  The client will have to pay the other half of the cost of that massage.  On the next appointment, the customer can use the balance of their gift card.   Here’s why.  Dyana told News 2 she can’t absorb the cost of free services so soon into opening.

Rebecca Dixon says the situation is simply unfair.

“I should not have to pay out of pocket to use my gift card,” she explained.

With more and more brick and mortar businesses going out of business, consumer experts warn to use gift cards may not be the best gift.  But if you have gift cards, use them quickly.

And if a store closes before you can redeem them, some credit card companies will reimburse you for the lost money.  There is a catch.  You may have a limited time to cash in on a refund.

All is not lost for Rebecca Dixon.  Local spa, Skin Help Studio at Belle Hall,  offered her a  90 minute birthday massage at no cost.

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