Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Bad Lawmaker of the Day

Sometimes you have to wonder who these guys are really representing. A new state law in Illinois set to take effect next month requires retailers to honor the values of the card, in full, for 5 years. But someone sees a problem with that:
Sen. Mike Jacobs, D-East Moline, was the lone member of the General Assembly to vote “no” on the gift-card legislation.

“Consumers need friendly laws, but this, in my opinion, is going too far,” Jacobs said.

“I think that it could become a nightmare for retailers,” he added. “If a retailer issues a card and they put an expiration date on there, I think people have a responsibility to spend that money in a year.”
Why? The retailer gets to use that money interest-free. If gift cards are too much of a burden for a store, then they shouldn’t sell them.

I remember once getting a $50 gift card from Circuit City as a rebate on a large purchase I had made. Several months later, I went in to use it only to find out it had expired after three months. I was pissed, since I had been saving the card for another large purchase. And yes, there was an expiration notice on the card itself, but I hadn’t even thought to look at the fine print on a gift card.

I’m not sure this legislation would have covered my situation or not (since it was a rebate and not a cash purchase), but I’m glad it’s putting an end to the practice of screwing people out of their gift card’s purchasing power. I think the statistic is something like 17% of gift cards aren’t EVER redeemed because people lose them or forget about them or just never have a use for them. I think that alone should take care of any burden on the retailer.


Anonymous said...

Some more digging needs to be done.

What would motivate Sen. Mike Jacobs, D-East Moline to act in such an anti-consumer way?

He must be getting money from somewhere to betray his own constituency.

He's only a state senator, so who would buy off the lone dissenter?

Someone needs to go to the state website, and shoot him an email, and ask him who he really represents.

Anonymous Communist said...

Maybe he owns a Circuit City store.

Anonymous said...

Sen. Mike Jacob's Bio:

Years served: appointed February 2005 and elected 2007-Present (Senate)

Committee assignments: Senate Committee of the Whole; Housing and Community Affairs (Chairperson); Appropriations III; Human Services; Insurance; Subcomm Comm. Affairs; Subcommittee on Housing.

Biography: Appointed to Senate on February 9, 2005; born June 25, 1960, in Moline, Illinois; B.S. in political studies from University of Illinois at Springfield; M.S., political science, University of West Florida; former Downstate Liaison to Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White; fourth generation family member to serve in the Illinois General Assembly; married (wife, Beth Wendt), has one son, Elliott.

That's right he went to UIS. No wonder he's hell bent on supplying the next person running against him with material for a negative attack advertisement.