It came to my attention recently that there are LMTs who do not know the gift certificate laws. I am taking this opportunity to make sure we inform you of the laws. I copied this information from http://www.mass.gov/ocabr/consumer-rights-and-resources/consumer-protection/shopping/shopping-rights/gift-certificate-law.html
- Gift Certificates must be good for at least 7 years
- The definition of Gift Certificates is expanded to include electronic cards with a banked dollar value, a merchandise credit, a certificate where the issuer has received payment for the full face value for the future purchase or delivery of goods or services and any other medium that evidences the giving of consideration in exchange for the right to redeem the it for goods, food, services, credit or money of at least an equal value. Pre-paid calling arrangements, such as pre-paid phone cards, are not considered Gift Certificates under the law
- Gift Certificates are no longer subject to the abandoned property law.
- Gift Certificates not clearly marked with both a date of issuance and a date of expiration shall be good forever.
- An electronic gift card with a banked dollar value that is not clearly marked with BOTH the issuance date and expiration date on its face, must have the issuance date and expiration date either:
- Clearly printed on a sales receipt, given to the buyer at the time of sale, OR
- Available through an Internet site or toll-free information telephone line to the buyer or holder of the electronic gift card.
- An electronic gift card is good forever
- If the buyer of the electronic gift card does not receive a printed sales receipt with both the issuance date and expiration date clearly marked on it OR,
- the buyer or holder of the electronic gift card does not have both the issuance date and the expiration date available through an Internet site OR through a toll-free information telephone line.
- If 90% or more of a Gift Certificate has been used or redeemed, a merchant must give the consumer the choice between receiving cash OR maintaining the remaining balance on the Gift Certificate
- Merchants refusing to redeem a Gift Certificate they have sold before it has reached its expiration date, shall be punished by a fine of not more than three hundred dollars. Also, merchants selling Gift Certificates, which impose a time limit of less than 7 years shall be punished by a fine of not more than $300.