In June, 2003, Massachusetts enacted laws dealing with gift cards designed to protect consumers. Under this law gift cards cannot expire prior to seven years and is no longer subject to the abandoned property law. In addition any gift card not clearly showing the date it was issued and expiration will be considered valid forever. If a gift card has only 10 percent of its value or less the consumer has the choice of keeping the remaining amount on the card or receiving cash from the merchant.
Massachusetts takes their consumer protection seriously, with laws that surpass the Federal statutes requirements. The protection Massachusetts offers with regard to gift cards in their state is superior to most states and we look forward to an ongoing policy of improvement.
Massachusetts was one of the original 13 colonies and on Feb. 6, 1788, became the sixth state. Four of our nation's presidents were born in Massachusetts: John Adams, John Quincy Adams, John F. Kennedy and George H. W. Bush. Massachusetts is a state of firsts, including: the first lighthouse in the US; the first sewing machine; frozen foods; the first computer; the first public school system; the country's first college Harvard University; the first public beach and the first subway. The sports of basketball and volleyball were also created in Massachusetts.
- Massachusetts is home to more than 6.6 million people according to the US Census Bureau. Approximately 63.6 percent residents of Massachusetts own their own home and 10.7 percent live below poverty level, which is less than the national average of 14.3%. The unemployment rate in Massachusetts is currently 7 percent according to the Office of Labor and Workforce Development.
Massachusetts' Consumer Protection Laws
Visit the Massachusetts Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation for consumer protection laws and more.
Don't Leave Cards Unused
CEB Research reports that of the $110 billion in gift cards purchased in the US in 2012 approximately $1.7 billion will go unspent. It's not so much that the cards are not getting used at all; it's that they are just not getting used up. People tend to leave a few dollars on the card and then forget about or discard them.
Field of Gift Card Dreams
According to CEB Research if you laid out all the gift cards purchased in 2012 it would be enough to cover all of the NFL football fields (all 32 of them) 82 times – this is an area of 5.4 square miles. That's all fine but they are much harder to run on. All those cards cost US citizens $110 billion, which is about the same as China's annual defense budget.