PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — People who were left high and dry with useless gift certificates after the two locations of popular restaurant Faial closed in Smithfield a year ago are now being asked to file signed affidavits with the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office.
More than a thousand consumers filed complaints with the office of Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin, the office said Tuesday in a news release. They’re being sent affidavit forms in the mail in the coming days, along with letters of instructions. If you had a gift certificate, you’ll need to send it with the filled-out affidavit, which you’ll need to have notarized,* to the A.G.’s office.
If you’ve lost or destroyed your gift certificate, you can still submit a claim; but it will be left up to a court to determine if you deserve a refund.
And even if you file a claim, it is not a certainty that you will get money back.
The attorney general’s office is going to try and pursue a remedy against the owners of Faial, Jose and Amelia Faria. They met with reps from Kilmartin’s office back in July of last year after the restaurants’ closing and ensuing controversy. But Kilmartin’s office said several meetings and attempts at resolution in favor of customers have proved fruitless up to this point. In February, they launched a case taking the restaurant to court.
“It is always our first hope that a business owner who finds himself in a situation like the Farias will work with our office to resolve the consumer complaints and make the consumers whole again without having to file a lawsuit,” said Kilmartin. “We recognize the civil litigation process can take time, and we appreciate the patience of consumers through this process.”
If you have not yet filed a complaint, or if you don’t receive an affidavit in the mail, you can go to the A.G.’s website to print out an affidavit form.* According to Rhode Island General Law, the fee for having a document notarized will be no more than $1.25.