RI’s State Legislature: the Guarantor of Customer Service!
They’ve obviously got nothing worthwhile to do with their time:
Saying that Rhode Island consumers are being taken advantage of when they’re forced to pay surcharges for gift certificates, Rep. Stephen R. Ucci has introduced legislation that would prohibit businesses from charging any additional fees to gift cards or gift certificates.
“After certain regulations were put into place regarding the sale of gift cards, businesses started coming up with creative ways to make more money from consumers, including adding surcharges to gift cards,” said Representative Ucci, a Democrat who represents District 42 in Cranston and Johnston. “I really don’t see the rationale in having to pay a surcharge for a gift card that’s already been paid for in full, and this practice needs to stop.”
Why consumers can’t simply refuse to buy gift cards with surcharges, if the practice is so unfair, Ucci doesn’t explain. He is, however, fully within the spirit of the state legislature in trying to go the extra totalitarian mile on behalf of its constituents:
The legislation (2007-H 5105) builds upon current laws that prohibit all gift cards and certificates sold in Rhode Island, including prepaid long-distance calling cards, from coming with any strings attached, such as maintenance fees or expiration dates.
This is a small thing, I guess, but is it any wonder that businesses are leaving this state? The only thing that particular stores’ take-it-or-leave-it gift certificate policies are “taking advantage” of is our mindless, greedy laziness.
Sometimes I can’t shake the feeling that Rhode Island is run by all the nosy Uncle Steves up the street intent on proving that they really are important… self-appointed benevolent dictators of the neighborhood. “Gee, Bob, you shouldn’t have to park in front of the neighbor’s house. I’m going to get that out-of-state car towed away!” “What? There’s an expiration on this gift certificate? Martha, get my gavel!”