Sunday, December 31, 2006

Massachusetts has a Gift Certificate Law

Jenn Abelson writes in today's Boston Globe, So much plastic, so little time:
"Gift cards can present a dizzying array of potential pitfalls -- from activation fees to dormancy fees (money deducted for each month the card is not redeemed) to expiration dates to replacement fees. Visa gift cards issued by mall operator Simon Property Group impose a $2.50-a-month fee after 12 months, a $15 fee to replace an expired gift card, and a 20-month use-or-lose provision on many of its cards."
It's sad that the writer of this article did not include the fact that the State of Massachusetts has a Gift Certificate Law and that Attorney General Reilly sued Simon Malls over it in 2004.

Mass PIRG has some details:
In his lawsuit against Simon Malls, AG Reilly alleged that the Simon Gift Card expires after one year, and is riddled with additional charges and illegal fees that significantly reduce the value of the card before it expires. While the state Gift Certificate Law requires gift cards to be redeemable at full face value for seven years, a Simon Gift Card with a $25 face value is worth only $12.50 after the eleventh month, and would expire - be worth nothing at all - after one year.
Gift Certificates Consumer Tips.

Why can't I just sit down and enjoy a nice breakfast without having to fact check the Boston Globe all the time?

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:42 AM

    Steve, I think the lawsuit against Simon Mall/visa gift card was either lost by the AG, or is still pending. I believe the point of argument was that Simon claimed the visa 'gift' card was issued by a bank located outside the state, and could be used anywhere, so it was exempt from the state gift card laws.

    But I'm not a fact checker either.