BY STATE REPRESENTATIVE NATE BELL –
According to a recent survey over 50% of Americans would like to get a gift card as a Christmas gift. Gift cards now exceed the popularity of clothing and electronics as gifts.
If you plan to purchase a gift card for someone this year, there a few things you should know about your rights and avoiding fraud.
The 86th General Assembly passed the Fair Gift Card Act in 2007. This act ensured that gift cards could not expire until 2 years after the purchase date. Since that time, the US Congress has passed stricter rules and most gift cards cannot expire until at least 5 years after the date of purchase.
State and federal laws require that expiration dates on gift cards must be clearly disclosed. No inactivity fees may be assessed on a gift card unless it has been inactive for two years. Any fees associated with the card must be clearly disclosed on the card or on its packaging.
It’s estimated that in 2012, more than $2 billion in gift cards went unredeemed. Experts recommend using any gift cards you receive promptly to avoid loss.
You should only purchase gift cards from a trusted business and avoid purchasing them from online auction sites as counterfeit and other illicit cards are sometimes sold to unsuspecting bidders.
If you have a problem with a gift card purchase or concerns about other consumer issues this holiday season visit www.GotYourBackArkansas.org for information on consumer rights, fraud prevention and other tools to protect yourself and your family.
As we celebrate the birth of our Savior, please take a moment to say “thank you” to one of the people who work behind the scenes to help make Arkansas the best place on earth to live, work and raise a family.