For Immediate Release
District Attorney Announces $85,500 Settlement with Taco Bell Over Gift Card Violations
Santa Rosa, CA | June 14, 2023
District Attorney Carla Rodriguez announced today that Taco Bell Corporation and its wholly owned subsidiary, GCTB LLC, entered a Stipulated Judgment which orders them to pay $85,500 for violations of California’s Gift Card Regulations. The money includes civil penalties, restitution, and costs to resolve allegations of violating California Civil Code section 1749.5, relating to the redemption of gift cards with a value of less than $10.
The complaint, filed in Ventura County on behalf of the District Attorney’s Offices in Ventura, Los Angeles, and Sonoma counties, alleged that Taco Bell, its franchisees, and its corporate agents unlawfully denied California consumers the right to cash out Taco Bell gift cards worth less than $10. This right is outlined in Civil Code section 1749.5, which requires retailers to redeem in cash for its cash value, a gift card with a balance of less than $10.
District Attorney Carla Rodriguez said, “My office is committed to working with other law enforcement offices throughout California to ensure that consumers are protected and corporations follow the law.”
Under the terms of the settlement, Taco Bell Corporation will pay $45,000 in civil penalties, $30,500 in investigative costs, and $10,000 in restitution. The settlement prohibits Taco Bell from violating Civil Code 1749.5 and requires Taco Bell’s corporate and franchise stores to post a visible notice near each store’s cash register advising consumers of their right to gift card redemption and the proper method to obtain the redemption.
The settlement also requires that Taco Bell’s gift cards carry a message directing consumers to Taco Bell’s gift card redemption website, streamlining a consumer’s ability to obtain a gift card redemption under section 1749.5. Finally, the injunction mandates Taco Bell to provide annual training with respect to California gift card law to its store managers and franchisees, and further requires Taco Bell to expressly monitor both corporate and franchise restaurant locations for compliance.
Media Spokesperson, Assistant District Attorney Brian Staebell
Media Coordinator, Carrie Trevena