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Burzichelli, DeAngelo, Moriarty & Benson Bill to Protect Consumers Receiving Mailed Rebate Gets Final Ok

(TRENTON) – Legislation Assembly Democrats John Burzichelli, Wayne DeAngelo, Paul Moriarty and Daniel Benson sponsored to ensure consumers who are entitled to a manufacturer’s rebate actually receive their check received final legislative approval on Thursday in the Senate.

The bill (A-1516) would require manufacturers, retailers or third-party rebate clearinghouses to mail rebate checks to consumers in a sealed, clearly identifiable envelope.

“Some rebate refunds or payments have been mailed to customers as little checks attached to postcards,” said Burzichelli (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). “Refunds and payments sent in this way could easily be lost or stolen, or even confused for junk mail.”

“Requiring checks to be mailed in clearly marked and sealed envelopes will ensure that consumers don’t lose the opportunity to receive their rebate,” said Moriarty (D-Gloucester/Camden). “Let’s make sure consumers get the money they deserve.”

“Some manufacturers continue to mail-out rebate checks to consumers in extremely unsafe ways that open the system up to fraud and theft,” said DeAngelo (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “This is money that deserves to be in consumers’ pockets.”

“The current method used to mail rebates leaves many New Jersey consumers exposed to potential fraud,” said Benson (D-Mercer, Middlesex). “It must be the responsibility of the manufacturer to ensure the consumer’s information is protected and the rebate is delivered to the intended person. It’s the consumer’s money and they should receive it.”

The bill regulates mailed manufacturer’s rebate refunds and payments. Under the bill, it is an unlawful practice for manufacturers, retailers, or their agents to mail manufacturer’s rebate refunds or payments to consumers, unless the refunds or payments are: (1) enclosed in a sealed envelope or other secure container such that the rebate refund or payment is not accessible unless the container is opened or unsealed; and (2) the portion of the mailing comprising the actual manufacturer’s rebate refund or payment is clearly identified as such, in a manner that makes that portion readily distinguishable from the remainder of the contents of the mailing. The bill also clarifies that while the portion of the mailing comprising the rebate refund or payment must be clearly identified, the envelope or container does not have to identify its contents as a refund or payment.

The bill passed the Senate 23-15 and the Assembly in February, 42-31-0.