PRINTER'S NO. 4247

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA


HOUSE BILL

No. 2737 Session of 2008


        INTRODUCED BY GODSHALL, AUGUST 21, 2008

        REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON CONSUMER AFFAIRS, AUGUST 21, 2008

                                     AN ACT

     1  Amending the act of December 17, 1968 (P.L.1224, No.387),
     2     entitled "An act prohibiting unfair methods of competition
     3     and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of
     4     any trade or commerce, giving the Attorney General and
     5     District Attorneys certain powers and duties and providing
     6     penalties," further providing for definitions.

     7     The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
     8  hereby enacts as follows:
     9     Section 1.  Section 2(4) of the act of December 17, 1968
    10  (P.L.1224, No.387), known as the Unfair Trade Practices and
    11  Consumer Protection Law, reenacted and amended November 24, 1976
    12  (P.L.1166, No.260), is amended by adding subclauses and the
    13  section is amended by adding a definition to read:
    14     Section 2.  Definitions.--As used in this act.
    15     * * *
    16     (4)  "Unfair methods of competition" and "unfair or deceptive
    17  acts or practices" mean any one or more of the following:
    18     * * *
    19     (xxii)  Selling or offering to sell, by a person engaged in


     1  the retail sale of goods or services, a gift certificate to a
     2  consumer that expires within a period of less than five years.
     3     (xxiii)  Charging, by a person engaged in the retail sale of
     4  goods or services, an inactivity fee or other service fee for
     5  the possession or redemption of a gift certificate. For purposes
     6  of this clause, "service fee" does not include any fee charged
     7  to or paid by a consumer in connection with the sale of a gift
     8  certificate, unless the fee is deducted or debited from the face
     9  value of the gift certificate.
    10     (xxiv)  In the retail sale of goods or services in which the
    11  purchaser presents for redemption a gift certificate, engaging
    12  in any of the following:
    13     (A)  Refusing to accept the gift certificate, if the goods or
    14  services are used or purchased primarily for personal, family or
    15  household purposes, including, but not limited to, goods or
    16  services advertised on sale or pursuant to a liquidation or
    17  closeout. This subclause does not apply if the gift certificate
    18  has an expiration date that complies with law and is not
    19  presented for redemption after the expiration date.
    20     (B)  Restricting the holder of the gift certificate from
    21  using the gift certificate in a manner consistent with the
    22  stated terms and conditions on the gift certificate.
    23     (C)  Altering any term or condition of the gift certificate
    24  after it is issued.
    25     (D)  Refusing to redeem the gift certificate and apply it to
    26  the purchase price of the goods or services if the value of the
    27  gift certificate or remaining balance of the gift certificate is
    28  less than the purchase price of the goods or services.
    29     (xxv)  Failing to disclose the terms and conditions of a gift
    30  certificate to a prospective purchaser of the gift certificate
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     1  by doing any of the following:
     2     (A)  Failing to include in any advertisement or promotion for
     3  the gift certificate, whether by mail or electronic, computer or
     4  telephonic means, a notice stating that terms and conditions are
     5  applied to the gift certificate.
     6     (B)  Failing to conspicuously print the terms and conditions
     7  on the gift certificate, the envelope or packaging containing
     8  the gift certificate or a separate printed document delivered to
     9  the purchaser of the gift certificate.
    10     (5)  (i)  "Gift certificate" means a written promise or a
    11  gift card or other electronic payment device that meets all of
    12  the following:
    13     (A)  Is usable at a single retailer, is usable at an
    14  affiliated group of retailers that share the same name, mark or
    15  logo or is usable at multiple, unaffiliated retailers or service
    16  providers.
    17     (B)  Is issued in a specified amount.
    18     (C)  May or may not be increased in value or reloaded.
    19     (D)  Is purchased or loaded on a prepaid basis for the future
    20  purchase or delivery of goods or services.
    21     (E)  Is designed to be redeemed upon presentation.
    22     (ii)  The term does not include any of the following:
    23     (A)  A general use, prepaid card or other electronic payment
    24  device that is issued or sponsored by a financial institution in
    25  a predetermined amount and is usable at multiple, unaffiliated
    26  retailers or at automated teller machines. "Financial
    27  institution" means a bank, bank and trust, national bank,
    28  savings bank, savings and loan association, credit union or
    29  money transmitter organized under the laws of this Commonwealth,
    30  another state, the District of Columbia, the United States or
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     1  any territory or protectorate of the United States and their
     2  respective subsidiaries, affiliates or holding companies.
     3     (B)  An electronic payment device linked to a deposit
     4  account.
     5     (C)  A prepaid telephone calling card regulated under Federal
     6  or State law or a card used in connection with prepaid wireless
     7  telephone service.
     8     (D)  An electronic payment device used to access an account
     9  from which an individual may pay medical expenses, health care
    10  expenses, dependent care expenses or similar expenses on a
    11  pretax basis under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (Public Law
    12  99-514, 26 U.S.C. § 1 et seq.).
    13     (E)  A prepaid discount card or program used to purchase
    14  identified goods or services at a price or percentage below the
    15  normal and customary price, if any expiration date of the
    16  prepaid discount card or program is clearly and conspicuously
    17  disclosed.
    18     (F)  A payroll card or other electronic payment device linked
    19  to a deposit account and given in exchange for goods or services
    20  rendered.
    21     (G)  A gift certificate sold below face value or at a volume
    22  discount to an employe, to a nonprofit or charitable
    23  organization or to an educational institution for fundraising
    24  purposes.
    25     (H)  A gift certificate distributed to a consumer or employe
    26  pursuant to an awards, rewards, loyalty or promotional program,
    27  if the consumer or employe is not required to give consideration
    28  for the gift certificate.
    29     (I)  An electronic credit voucher issued by a person that
    30  holds a certificate issued under 49 U.S.C. Ch. 411 (relating to
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     1  air carrier certificates) or 413 (relating to foreign air
     2  transportation).
     3     Section 2.  This act shall take effect in 60 days.


















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