TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senator Loretta Weinberg that would regulate store “rainchecks,” to help protect consumers was unanimously approved today by the Senate Commerce Committee.
“This bill would serve to help make sure that consumers are aware of their rights,” said Senator Weinberg, D-Bergen. ” Patrons have the right to know the ‘raincheck’ policies of the stores where they spend their hard-earned dollars, and retailers must be required to honor 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 now awaits consideration by the full Senate.