ASSEMBLY, No. 3315

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

214th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED OCTOBER 7, 2010

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman  NANCY F. MUNOZ

District 21 (Essex, Morris, Somerset and Union)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Prohibits retail mercantile establishments from advertising rebates without disclosing form in which rebate is redeemable.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning the advertisement of certain rebates, and supplementing P.L.1960, c.39 (C.56:8-1 et seq.).

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    As used in this act:

     “Advertisement” means the direct or indirect inducement to purchase merchandise using any newspaper, magazine, periodical, circular, or out-of-store sign or other written matter placed before the consuming public, or any radio or television broadcast.

     “Rebate” means an offer to provide cash, credit, or credit towards future purchases, that is offered to consumers who acquire or purchase merchandise, and is conditioned upon the consumer submitting a request for redemption after satisfying the terms and conditions of the offer.

     “Store gift card” means a gift card that is redeemable at a single retail mercantile establishment or an affiliated group of retail mercantile establishments that share the same name, mark or logo.

 

     2.    It shall be an unlawful practice for a retail mercantile establishment to advertise merchandise for sale indicating the availability of a rebate that is to be redeemable as a gift card, gift certificate, prepaid bank card, or store gift card without disclosing that the rebate is available only as a gift card, gift certificate, prepaid bank card, or store gift card:

     a.     In the advertisement of the merchandise; and

     b.    To the consumer at the time of sale of the merchandise.

 

     3.    This act shall take effect 90 days after enactment.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill makes it an unlawful practice for a retail mercantile establishment to advertise merchandise for sale indicating the availability of a rebate that is to be redeemable as a gift card, gift certificate, prepaid bank card, or store gift card without disclosing that the rebate is available only as a gift card, gift certificate, prepaid bank card, or store gift card. These disclosures must be made by retail mercantile establishments in advertisements of the rebate and at the time of sale.

     It is becoming increasingly common for rebates to be redeemable as gift cards, gift certificates, prepaid bank cards, or store gift cards. If not properly notified, consumers may be misled into believing that their rebate will be redeemable as a check or in cash, when it is actually redeemable in a form subject to conditions and limitations.

     An unlawful practice under the consumer fraud act is punishable by a monetary penalty of not more than $10,000 for a first offense and not more than $20,000 for any subsequent offense. In addition, violations can result in cease and desist orders issued by the Attorney General, the assessment of punitive damages and the awarding of treble damages and costs to the injured party.