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Fifth Session, Thirty-Ninth Legislature

This version is based on the printed bill that was distributed in the Legislature after First Reading.   It is not the official version.   If accuracy is critical, you can obtain a copy of the printed bill from Statutory Publications or view the online bilingual version (PDF).

Bill 213

THE CONSUMER PROTECTION AMENDMENT ACT (GIFT CARDS)


Explanatory Note

(Assented to                                         )

HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:

C.C.S.M. c. C200 amended

1           The Consumer Protection Act is amended by this Act.

2           The following is added after section 170:

Fees on gift cards prohibited

170.1(1)    Except in the cases set out in subsection (2), a person who issues or sells a prepaid purchase card shall not charge a fee to the holder of the card for anything in relation to the card, including an inactivity fee or service fee.

Exception re fees

170.1(2)    A person who issues or sells a prepaid purchase card may charge a fee

(a) for replacing a lost or stolen card;

(b) for customizing a card; or

(c) if the holder provides nothing of value for the card when it is issued.

Fees on gift cards issued by malls prohibited

170.1(3)    For greater certainty, a person who issues or supplies a prepaid purchase card entitling the holder of the card to apply it towards purchasing goods or services from multiple unaffiliated sellers shall not charge any fee, including an inactivity fee or a service fee, to the holder of the card.

Refund if fee charged

170.1(4)    If a person who issues or supplies a prepaid purchase card charges a fee in contravention of this section, the holder of the prepaid purchase card is entitled to a refund of the fee, and may demand the refund by giving written notice to the person within three years after the fee is paid.

3(1)        Subsection 171(1) is replaced with the following:

Expiry date on cards

171(1)      A person shall not issue or sell a prepaid purchase card that has an expiry date unless it is a prepaid purchase card

(a) that is issued or sold for a specific good or service; or

(b) for which the holder of the card provides nothing of value when the card is issued.

3(2)        The following is added after subsection 171(2):

Expiry date of no effect

171(3)      A prepaid purchase card that has an expiry date, other than a card referred to in clause (1)(a) or (b), shall be effective as if it had no expiry date.

4           Section 172 is replaced with the following:

Information to be provided

172(1)      A person who issues or sells a prepaid purchase card must, at the time the card is issued or sold, provide the following information to the holder of the card:

(a) all restrictions, limitations and conditions that are imposed on the use of the card, including any permitted fee or expiry date;

(b) a description of the way in which the holder can obtain information about the card, including any remaining balance.

Information to be clearly given

172(2)      Subject to subsection (3), the information required under subsection (1) must be given clearly and in a way that brings it to the holder's attention.

Information that must be stated on card

172(3)      If

(a) the prepaid purchase card has an expiry date; or

(b) a fee in relation to the card is payable;

the person who issues or sells the card must ensure that this information is clearly stated on the card.

5           Clause 173(f) is amended by adding "for the purpose of clauses 170.1(2)(a) to (c)," before "governing the fees".

6           Sections 2 to 4 of the Prepaid Purchase Cards Regulation, Manitoba Regulation 98/2007, are repealed.

Application and coming into force

7           This Act comes into force two months after the day it receives royal assent and applies to prepaid purchase cards issued or sold on or after the day this Act comes into force.

Explanatory Note

This Bill amends The Consumer Protection Act to prohibit fees on gift cards, including cards issued by malls, except fees for replacing or customizing a card or if the card was free.  A person who is charged a fee in violation of the Act is entitled to request a refund of the fee within three years. The Bill also prohibits expiry dates on gift cards except in limited circumstances and sets out the information to be given to consumers about using the card.

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