The Dayton Daily News: Another reason to loathe it

This has been bothering me for 2 days. On Monday, November 24th, 5 days before the biggest shopping day of a very desperate retail season, the lead story reads “Beware of the risk of a gift card.”

As if local business isn’t being squeezed enough.

Working with quite a few, financially solvent, small businesses in Dayton- I can honestly say that articles like this can inflict major damage to their businesses.

Maybe we should all hang signs in every store front- that we’ll give 25% off any gift card purchase to anyone who brings in a cancellation notice to the Dayton Daily News? I’m sure Cox Enterprises would just love to see their paid readership sink even lower.

The “story” begins with fear- delivered via “Consumer Reports”:

With so many stores and restaurants in financial jeopardy these days, Consumer Reports recommends giving cash instead of gift cards this holiday season, or risk being a Grinch.

Yet it ends:

The Miami Valley Better Business Bureau said it has received no complaints about gift card defaults and that some companies declaring bankruptcy, including Circuit City, still are honoring the cards.

Experts say to avoid some gift cards.

Considering the majority of the newspaper’s revenue comes from advertising that is paid for, by the very same people who they insist on disparaging in this crap story, I can’t think of a better example of biting the hand that feeds you.

It’s irresponsible of the Dayton Daily News to publish this rubbish – it’s akin to yelling “Fire” in a crowded theater. Please let the paper know that we would prefer to read real news- instead of the National Enquirer.

The editorial page address is [email protected]

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8 Responses

  1. David Lauri November 25, 2008 / 9:49 pm
    I’m no fan of the Dayton Daily News, and you may be right that their story doesn’t count as news and that there are other things they could be writing about, but come on, gift cards are opportunities to throw away money. Good only one place even if that place stays in business. And how do you know what places are going to stay in business? Sharper Image, anyone?

    http://gizmodo.com/359888/sharper-image-suspends-gift-card-redemption

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  2. In the 'burg November 25, 2008 / 10:55 pm
    I’m giving all my friends Websitetology gift cards this year.

    :-)

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  3. David Esrati November 25, 2008 / 11:47 pm

    @david
    Some companies handle gift cards correctly- putting the money into an escrow account- only to be drawn down when spent.
    And while companies like the sharper image may do things like deduct some money each month- and put an expiration date on a gift card- my clients- like http://www.228coco.com and http://www.jennaclaire.com and http://www.preenapothecary.com and http://www.gaminestyle.com and http://www.pinkyscout.com and http://www.bakehousebread.com all offer gift cards for different reasons- and to help their customers share the wonders of locally owned and operated businesses.
    None will abscond with your dough- (Bakehouse will even turn your green into more dough).
    It certainly isn’t front page news- and, there is no distinction between national and local in the story.
    Generalizations didn’t count as news in my father’s day on the copydesk. But then again- back then, news was journalism and was still an honorable profession.

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  4. David Lauri November 26, 2008 / 10:33 am
    Mmm, Coco’s! Great restaurant. But then I really liked Blue Moon, too. Glad I didn’t get a Blue Moon gift card right before they closed. :(

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  5. David Esrati November 26, 2008 / 11:27 am

    @David
    I believe all Blue Moon Gift Cards were honored or refunded.

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  6. Gene November 26, 2008 / 1:12 pm
    Ironically I just cancelled my subscription to DDN – it officially ended the 23rd of November. They are a bore, among other things that rhyme with bore.

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  7. GladGirl November 27, 2008 / 11:32 pm
    WDTN news is running this same story tonight on “Black Friday” eve. They did have some good information so I appreciated it. One thing they didn’t mention was the versatile cash / debit gift cards you can buy at local banks. You just have them loaded with the dollar amount you want and they are good anywhere. But of course the way banks are going these days I’m not as confident in those either.
    Unless you are giving corporate gifts I would think just some plain old nice crisp bills would be the best route.

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  8. David Esrati November 27, 2008 / 11:37 pm

    @glad-
    Note- the banks charge for the cash debit gift cards- plus the local business takes a 3% hit.
    Gift cards from local viable businesses- are not a bad thing. Ask if they have an escrow account or not- before buying if you are that worried.

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