Friday, January 27, 2023

Gift cards purchased in New York are now valid for nine years

what you should Know

  • For this reason, the New York State Division of Consumer Protection (DCP) recalled that as of Saturday, December 10, there is new consumer protection law against gift card hoarding practices.
  • Starting December 10, 2022, all gift cards or gift certificates purchased in New York State will be valid for at least nine years from the date of purchase, thanks to new legislation signed by Governor Cathy Hochul. When the remaining value of the gift card or gift certificate is less than five dollars, the recipient can choose to receive cash on the balance.
  • Additionally, thanks to the new measure, if the gift card is presented within 3 years of the purchase date, the activity fee will be waived and the gift card will be reset to its value prior to the fee.

NEW YORK – With Christmas at its peak, many consumers may have the option of giving gift cards or gift certificates to celebrate with loved ones.

For this reason, the New York State Division of Consumer Protection (DCP) recalled that as of Saturday, December 10, there is new consumer protection law against gift card hoarding practices.

For starters, starting December 10, 2022, all gift cards or gift certificates purchased in New York State will be valid for at least nine years from the date of purchase, thanks to new legislation signed by Governor Cathy Hochul. When the remaining value of the gift card or gift certificate is less than five dollars, the recipient can choose to receive cash on the balance.

Additionally, all fees are prohibited under the new law, which will prevent gift cards and gift certificates from decreasing in value. The law specifically prohibits charging “activation fees, retroactive fees, redemption fees, service fees, deactivation fees, latency fees, administrative fees, management fees, access fees, periodic fees, renewal fees, recharge or other fees of any kind” Puts ,

There is one exception to the law. A gift card or gift certificate that is redeemable at various unaffiliated merchants or service providers may incur a one-time activation fee, not to exceed $9.

Note: Prior to the new law, cards purchased between December 25, 2016 and December 9, 2022 have an expiration date of 5 years from date of purchase, plus monthly inactivity fees may apply after 24 months of inactivity.

Secretary of State Robert J. “Gift cards provide consumers with convenience during the holidays,” Rodriguez said. “Thanks to Governor Hochul, gift cards now have a longer shelf life and recipients have more time to find the perfect gift for the person receiving them to treat themselves.”

“The law prohibits gift card fees and limits expiration dates, ensuring that recipients can enjoy the full value of the gift they received,” Rodriguez said.

Here are tips for consumers to keep in mind when purchasing and using gift cards this holiday season:

  • Research retailers before buying: Verify the legitimacy of the seller. Check out reviews and articles.
  • Check the packaging: When purchasing a gift card, consumers should ensure that the packaging and security seals are intact.
  • Use caution with third parties: Consumers should be careful when purchasing gift cards from third parties or online auctions, as dollar balances can be difficult to verify.
  • Review the terms and conditions: Before making a purchase, consumers should always review the terms and conditions to understand their remedy if a gift card is lost or stolen. Businesses must post the terms and conditions on the card or in the accompanying package.
  • Beware of scammers: Scammers often seek payment in the form of gift cards, also known as prepaid cards. Government entities, utilities, and other reputable organizations will never call you demanding that you pay past due bills or debts with a gift card.

Consumers experiencing difficulty redeeming a gift card are encouraged to file a complaint with the New York State Division of Consumer Protection. The Consumer Protection Division provides voluntary arbitration between a consumer and a business when the consumer fails to reach a solution on their own.

The Consumer Assistance Help Line 1-800-697-1220 is available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except state holidays, and consumer complaints can be filed anytime at www.dos.ny.gov/ Can be done. consumer Protection.

Nation World News Desk
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