STATE HOUSE – In a consumer-based initiative, Representative Arthur J. Corvese, a Democrat who represents District 55 in North Providence, introduced a bill that would eliminate expiration dates on all types of gift certificates sold in Rhode Island.
Specifically, the bill <a href="http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText03/HouseText03/H5065.htm
" target="new">(2003 - H5065)</a> would make it unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to place an expiration date upon any gift certificates sold in the state. Furthermore, the bill would require that merchants keep an accurate and complete record of each gift certificate sold.
“In recent years, gift certificates have become increasingly popular among consumers, especially around the holidays,” said Representative Corvese. “Unfortunately, Rhode Island does not currently have strict regulations about the use of expiration dates on gift certificates and many times it leads to confusion and very unhappy customers.”
Representative Corvese explained, “This bill will create a level playing field between consumers and businesses.”
The current statute in the Rhode Island General Laws (Section 6-13-12) entitled “Commercial Law-General Revocations Provisions” states that any person, firm or corporation that violates the law shall be punished by a fine of not more than $200.
The bill was referred to the House Corporations Committee for further review. Co-sponsors of the bill include Representative Jan Malik (D-Dist. 67), Representative Todd R. Brien (D-Dist. 50), Representative Gregory J. Schadone (D-Dist. 54), and Representative Henry C. Rose (D-Dist. 63).