Federal Reserve cracks down on gift card abuses right before the holidays

November 16, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Policy News 

Its great that now after the public found out about the absolute lack of consumer protection and enforcement in the U.S., we are now seeing all of these rules and regulations coming into place.  I guess better late than never.   I still don’t see any real reform gaining traction or what is coming down the pipe is getting watered down or having the teeth pulled out.

The Federal Reserve on Monday proposed new rules to protect consumers from unexpected costs or restrictions on gift cards.

More than 95 percent of Americans have received or purchased gift cards, the Fed said.

Under the proposed rule, consumers must have at least five years to use the gift cards before they expire. The Fed also said service or inactivity fees can be imposed only under certain conditions.

Such fees can be charged if the consumer hasn’t used the card for at least a year, if the consumer is given clear disclosures about them and no more than one fee is charged a month, the Fed said.

The Fed was directed to take the action under a law Congress passed in May.

The public, industry groups and other interested parties can comment on the Fed’s proposal, which could be revised before a final rule is adopted.

The Fed said the new provisions are slated to take effect on Aug. 22.

Source: AP

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