Rep. Corvese files bill to protect gift card funds for consumers
STATE HOUSE – Rep. Arthur J. Corvese has introduced legislation to protect consumers from losing the value of gift cards when a business closes.
The legislation (2019-H 5810) would require that businesses in the state hold funds from the sales of gift cards and gift certificates in an escrow account for at least three years, or until the card or certificate is redeemed, whichever comes first. It would also prohibit them from issuing terms declaring gift cards or certificates invalid in the event that the business declare bankruptcy.
“Once the consumer pays for a gift certificate or a gift card, the business owes the holder of that certificate or card its value. There shouldn’t be any circumstance when a business can take customers’ money and then refuse to give them the goods or services for which they paid. This bill would ensure that businesses are actually holding the funds aside, not expending them, until gift cards are redeemed, to prevent customers from losing their money if a business closes,” said Representative Corvese (D-Dist. 55, North Providence). “This is a fair way to ensure that gift cards really are worth the money people are paying for them.”
A number of local businesses have closed abruptly in recent years, leaving customers without a means of redeeming gift certificates.
For more information, contact:
Meredyth R. Whitty, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903