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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Connecticut / US - Blumenthal push for gift card protection

HARTFORD — U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal is set to unveil legislation that would expand protections offered to gift card consumers, taking a crusade he launched as Connecticut attorney general to the upper chamber of Congress.

Blumenthal on Monday will introduce a bill that would ban gift cards with expiration dates and those that carry fees for failing to use them after one year. The Democrat says the Gift Card Consumer Protection Act would strengthen laws permitting cards to expire after five years and nonuse fees.

The bill would also prevent companies that file for bankruptcy from selling gift cards and require them to accept and honor unredeemed gift cards.

Blumenthal says the measure will eliminate “exploitative expiration dates and petty, underhanded junk fees” that confiscate cash from consumers.

The bill would also prevent loyalty, promotion and award cards from expiring.