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Session Law

2008

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Chapter 58 AN ACT FURTHER REGULATING THE SALE OF GIFT CERTIFICATES.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same as follows:

SECTION 1.Section 5D of chapter 200A of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2006 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out the last sentence and inserting in place thereof the following 3 sentences:- A purchaser or holder of a gift certificate which, by its terms, prohibits the purchaser or holder from adding value thereto and which has been redeemed for at least 90 per cent of its face value shall make an election to receive the balance in cash or continue using the gift certificate. A purchaser or holder of a gift certificate which, by its terms, authorizes the purchaser or holder to add value thereto and which has been redeemed in part, such that the value remaining is $5.00 or less, shall make an election to receive the balance in cash or continue using the gift certificate. A gift certificate with a zero balance shall be void.

SECTION 2. The definition of “Gift certificate” in section 1 of chapter 255D of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the last sentence and inserting in place thereof the following sentence:- A gift certificate shall not include pre-paid calling arrangements, as defined in section 1 of chapter 64H, or any electronic card usable with multiple unaffiliated sellers of goods or services.

SECTION 3. Chapter 266 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 75C the following 3 sections:-

Section 75D. Whoever sells or offers to sell a gift certificate, as defined in section 1 of chapter 255D, which imposes dormancy fees, latency fees, administrative fees, periodic fees, service fees or other fees that have the effect of reducing the total value amount for which the holder may redeem such gift certificate, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $300 per violation.

Section 75E. Whoever sells or offers to sell a gift certificate, as defined in section 1 of chapter 255D, which imposes any fees or charges including, but not limited to, purchase fees, activation fees, renewal fees or cancellation fees, shall provide to consumers notice of any such fees, in writing, on the gift certificate, on the packaging of the gift certificate, or on both. Failure to print such notice shall be punished by a fine of not more than $300 per violation.

Section 75F. Whoever redeems a gift certificate, as defined in section 1 of chapter 255D and deducts a gratuity therefrom without the consent of the holder of the gift certificate, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $300 per violation.

Approved March 11 , 2008


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