Tis the season of giving…but watch out for the fine print!

Fa la la la la la la la la … it’s the time of the year again when kids are nice and not naughty, houses are decorated with colorful lights and trees in the windows, Santa is in the process of checking his list twice, and the malls are full of busy shoppers. Yes, it is the Christmas season. One of the most popular gifts to give is a gift card. Most companies have gift cards available to purchase, but there are a few restrictions when it comes to the fine print on the back of the card. Consumers can be hit with fees, expiration dates, and other restrictions to the cards they purchase or receive.

Head shot of Blumenthalscopyright http://www.blumenthal.senate.gov
Head shot of Blumenthals
copyright http://www.blumenthal.senate.gov

Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal has proposed a bill to Congress called the Gift Card Consumer Protection Act according to his November 23 press release on his website. Blumenthal’s press release

The bill will prevent companies from providing expiration dates and service fees for their gift cards. The act will also not let companies file that file for bankruptcy to give out gift cards and let unused gift cards be redeemed for purchases from their company. It will ensure that customers with gift cards would not be left with worthless cards to use. In addition, the bill will treat loyalty reward cards that usually have an expiration date on them the same as gift cards.

Gift cards copyright nooga.com
Gift cards
copyright nooga.com

The Gift Card Consumer Protection Act is still being purposed to Congress. ConsumersUnion.org has created an online petition to support the bill. Click for the petition here

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