Cook’s bill to protect Hoosier consumers moves forward

Posted by: Andi TenBarge  | Thursday, February 6, 2020

STATEHOUSE (Feb. 6, 2020) – The Indiana House of Representatives recently approved State Rep. Tony Cook’s (R-Cicero) bill that would hold deceitful businesses accountable for taking advantage of consumers by knowingly selling gift cards before shutting their doors.

Cook said some businesses will sell gift cards or certificates, close their doors, open a new business and leave consumers without a refund and little recourse. To help protect Hoosiers from falling victim to these scams, Cook’s bill would prohibit companies from listing expiration dates on gift cards except in certain circumstances, and require customer refunds if they close their doors.

“This legislation is a direct result of a constituent from Carmel who reached out to me after losing more than $200 from a gift card that was given to her during the holidays because the business suddenly closed,” Cook said. “With Americans spending hundreds of millions of dollars on gift cards a year, we must ensure consumers are protected when they make these purchases.”

If passed, a business could not sell a gift card or certificate with an expiration date and must honor those cards even if it closes down. This legislation would also allow the Indiana Attorney General’s Office to take civil action against the company and seek restitution for the customers. 

House Bill 1181 now heads to the Senate for further consideration. For more information, visit iga.in.gov.

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State Rep. Tony Cook (R-Cicero) represents House District 32, which includes all of Tipton County and portions of

Hamilton, Madison, Delaware, Howard and Grant counties.

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