Proposed bill would end gift card expiration dates and fees - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Proposed bill would end gift card expiration dates and non-use fee


U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-CT, is proposing a legislative measure that would ban gift cards with expiration dates and non-use fees.

"This bill bars absolutely draconian deadlines and abusive fees and charges that unfairly confiscate consumer gift card cash," Blumenthal said in a statement Friday. "Gift card companies fatten their profits and shrink consumer wallets with exploitative expiration dates and petty, underhanded junk fees. Gift cards should not be the gift that keeps on taking. This measure assures that consumers get their money's worth, no matter when they use the gift card."

The Gift Card Consumer Protection Act was announced Friday by Blumenthal and Director of Programs at Consumer Reports Chuck Bell.

The legislative measure is to help stop "fees and expiration dates on gift cards that limit how and when you use them," according to Bell.

"Consumers deserve to receive the full value of the gift card and be able to use it whenever they want without fear that the card has expired or is no longer accepted," Bell said in a statement Friday. "This bill makes certain that consumers are not shortchanged when giving or receiving gift cards, even if the issuer files for bankruptcy."

According to the statement by Blumenthal, the Gift Card Consumer Protection Act would stop companies that file for bankruptcy from selling gift cards and require them to accept and honor unredeemed gift cards.

"This provision would prevent consumers from buying or being stuck with a worthless gift card after a company goes out of business," the statement said.

Copyright 2012 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.