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Bill Solves The Conundrum Of Expired Gift Certificates
It's consumer protection! It's pro-business! It's streamlining government!


May 11, 2005

Have you ever wondered what happens to the money paid for gift certificates after they expire? Many people think that the business just gets to keep the cash; but, according to Alaska law, that money is considered to be unclaimed property and must be turned over to the state general fund for "safekeeping" and, if possible, returned to the rightful owner.

So a ridiculous situation arises. The business won't let the person redeem the expired certificate, but it cannot keep the money. And, somehow, the state is supposed to collect the money, find the buyer and give the money back.

Solution: House Bill 310 will invalidate expiration dates on gift certificates in Alaska. The person with the certificate will be allowed to redeem it for goods or services indefinitely. The business will be allowed to retain any interest earned on the purchase amount until it is redeemed, if ever. And the state is freed up to do other things. This is a consumer protection-pro business-streamlining government bill.

"In other states, similar legislation has been favorably received by all those affected," said Rep. Berta Gardner, D-Anchorage, the bill's sponsor. "I look forward to working with concerned parties over the interim to make sure that this bill works well for everyone and that the right groups, such as charities, are exempted."


Source of News:

Alaska Democrats
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