Flashback To 2004
Legislation sponsored by state Senator George Onorato which would ensure that gift card buyers get their money's worth from these purchases has been approved by the Assembly and senate in Albany, the Astoria lawmaker announced.
Explaining the reason for the legislation, Onorato (D) said, "If a friend or family member is particularly fond of shopping at a specific store, buying them a gift card to use at that business can be a very thoughtful present. However, it is very important to read the fine print when purchasing a card. Some come with fees and expiration dates that can catch both the purchases and gift recipient by surprise."
Onorato's bill formulated with some help from his colleagues in both houses, makes consumers more aware of possible pitfalls with specific cards and ensures that cards retain their full value for at least one year if they are not immediately redeemed," the lawmaker said.
The legislation package has been sent to Governor George Pataki for his signature, Onorato said.
The first of Onorato's bills requires that the terms and conditions of gift cards and gift certificates be readily available to the consumer at the time of purchase. This information must include any expiration dates, fees assessed against the value of the card if it is not used immediately and whether a replacement will be issued if a card or certificate is lost, stolen or destroyed.
The second bill would address dormancy fees- monthly fees assessed against a card or certificate when it isn't being used. Specifically, the legislation would prohibit card issuers from imposing dormancy fees until the 13th month of inactivity, Onorato said.- John Toscano