TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senator Loretta Weinberg designed to regulate store “rainchecks,” to help protect consumers was unanimously approved today by the full Senate.
“Consumers deserve to be treated fairly when spending their money,” said Senator Weinberg, D-Bergen. “By requiring stores to make patrons aware of raincheck policies, they would be able to make more informed decisions about their purchases, while holding stores responsible for honoring the vouchers they issue.”
The Senator’s bill, S-685, would require retailers to inform patrons of store raincheck policies for out-of-stock sale items by posting signs on cash registers, at store entrances, or in advertisements or receipts. The bill would also require retailers to honor ‘rainchecks’ issued by their establishments for 60 days. If the item is still unavailable after the 60 days, stores would be required to offer patrons a similar item at the same price as the original. Retailers would also be required to notify patrons when the out-of-stock items become available.
Under the bill, a ‘raincheck’ is defined as a written statement issued by a retailer allowing the purchase of a piece of out-of-stock merchandise at a previously advertised price.
Retailers found violating the bill’s provisions would be liable under the State’s Consumer Fraud Act, which is punishable by fines of up to $20,000.
This measure was approved by the Senate Commerce Committee on February 9. It now heads to the Assembly for consideration.