The Department of Consumer Protection is urging consumers to use gift cards received over the holidays as soon as possible in order to minimize risk. Laws related to gift cards can seem complicated. Here’s what consumers should know:
· Be aware of whether your gift card is covered by federal law or Connecticut state law. Gift certificates and gift cards sold in Connecticut and not issued by or covered by a federal financial institution are covered under Connecticut state law and those issued or covered by a federal financial institution are subject to federal law.
· For gift certificates and gift cards issued by a financial institution, such as a bank, you can determine if a financial institution is a federal financial institution by going to the Connecticut Department of Banking’s website<http://www.ct.gov/dob/cwp/view.asp?a=2228&q=296956&dobNAV_GID=1660>.
· If Connecticut state law applies, then the gift certificate or gift card may not have an expiration date or inactivity fee.
· Fees, if any, must be disclosed.
For more details about gift card rules and regulations, consumers may visit DCP’s page here<http://www.ct.gov/dcp/cwp/view.asp?q=430520>.
If consumers have complaints related to gift cards, they may file a complaint with DCP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>, or by calling (860) 713-6100.