2005 Regular Session
To: Judiciary B
By: Representative Fleming
AN ACT TO PROHIBIT THE SALES OF GIFT CERTIFICATES WITH EXPIRATION DATES, SERVICE FEES OR DORMANCY FEES; TO ALLOW CASH REDEMPTION OR REPLACEMENT OF GIFT CERTIFICATES; TO PROVIDE EXCEPTIONS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) It is unlawful for any person or entity to sell a gift certificate to a purchaser that contains any of the following:
(a) An expiration date.
(b) A service fee, including, but not limited to, a service fee for dormancy, except as provided in subsection (5).
(2) Any gift certificate sold after July 1, 2005, is redeemable in cash for its cash value, or subject to replacement with a new gift certificate at no cost to the purchaser or holder.
(3) A gift certificate sold without an expiration date is valid until redeemed or replaced.
(4) This section does not apply to any of the following gift certificates issued on or after July 1, 2005, provided the expiration date appears in capital letters in at least 10-point font on the front of the gift certificate:
(a) Gift certificates that are distributed by the issuer to a consumer pursuant to an awards, loyalty or promotional program without any money or other thing of value being given in exchange for the gift certificate by the consumer.
(b) Gift certificates that are sold below face value at a volume discount to employers or to nonprofit and charitable organizations for fundraising purposes if the expiration date on those gift certificates is not more than 30 days after the date of sale.
(c) Gift certificates that are issued for a food product.
(5) Paragraph (b) of subsection (1) does not apply to a dormancy fee on a gift card that meets all of the following criteria:
(a) The remaining value of the gift card is Five Dollars ($5.00) or less each time the fee is assessed.
(b) The fee does not exceed One Dollar ($1.00) per month.
(c) There has been no activity on the gift card for twenty-four (24) consecutive months, including, but not limited to, purchases, the adding of value or balance inquiries.
(d) The holder may reload or add value to the gift card.
(e) A statement is printed on the gift card in at least 10-point font stating the amount of the fee, how often the fee will occur, that the fee is triggered by inactivity of the gift card, and at what point the fee will be charged. The statement may appear on the front or back of the gift card, but shall appear in a location where it is visible to any purchaser prior to the purchase thereof.
(6) Nothing in paragraph (a) of subsection (1) prevents an issuer of gift certificates from including on any gift certificate a provision that entitles the purchaser to a full refund of the amount that he or she paid for that gift certificate upon the occurrence of the following circumstances:
(a) The gift certificate is purchased as a gift for another person.
(b) The time in which the gift certificate may be redeemed is disclosed on the gift certificate.
(c) The holder of the gift certificate does not redeem the gift certificate within the time described in paragraph (b).
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2005.