Monday, October 18, 2010

More NJ Gift Card Legislation

Over the past week, the New Jersey State Legislature has continued its activity in the area of stored-value cards and unclaimed property:

Assembly Bill 3330 - This bill would require a gift certificate or gift card to be redeemable at full face value in perpetuity.  The bill also creates a definition for a "store gift card" (generally, a "closed loop" card that is redeemable at a single establishment or group of establishments) and provides that the issuers of such cards must (1) on request, disclose to the consumer the full remaining value of the card; and (2) permit a transaction for less than the full amount outstanding.  (As a practical matter, it is unclear if there are any retail establishments that currently fail to perform these functions).

The bill was introduced on October 7, and is currently pending before the Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee.

Assembly Bill 3372 - This bill creates a definition of a "merchandise credit" for purposes of the New Jersey Consumer Protection Law, as something distinct from a gift certificate or gift card.  The legislation defines "merchandise credit" as "any credit provided to a consumer, upon the return of a previously purchased item, of a specified amount which may be spent at the retail mercantile establishment in lieu of returning payment in the form in which it was originally made."

The bill further provides that such credits shall not be permitted to expire within 2 years after issuance and that no fees may be assessed against such credits during that 2 year period.

The bill was also introduced on October 7, and is pending before the Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee.

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