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Measure Would Restrict Rebate Amount from Being Included in an Item’s Advertised Price Unless that Price was Offered at the Register

(TRENTON) — Assemblymen John J. Burzichelli and Paul D. Moriarty Wednesday issued a multimedia package discussing legislation they sponsored that would change how retailers advertise manufacturers’ mail-in rebates.

Under the legislation (A-1692), retailers would only be able to advertise a product’s “net price” — the price after a manufacturer’s rebate is applied — if the one of the following two conditions were met:

  1. The retail establishment charges the rebate price to consumers at the time of sale, making it the retailer’s responsibility to complete the rebate redemption process; or
  2. The advertising language for the rebate is displayed in the same font and size as the after rebate price.

Burzichelli and Moriarty (both D-Gloucester) said their legislation would help prevent retailers from luring consumers into stores with the promise of one price, only to have to pay another, higher price at check-out.

The multimedia package consists of a video of the legislators discussing their legislation, audio of same, a transcript of comments and a press release discussing the bill in more detail.

The video can be accessed directly via our Web site — www.assemblydems.com — or by clicking here.

The audio file is available upon request.

A press release on the legislation can be found at either www.assemblydems.com or by visiting the Assembly Democrats on Facebook.

A transcript of comments from the sponsors follows:

Assemblyman John J. Burzichelli (D-Gloucester):
“This will change how advertisers approach consumers about the value of a rebate. People have horror stories about trying to file for rebates. They buy a product and they need to get the money back that they thought they were going to save at the register to begin with.”

Assemblyman Paul D. Moriarty (D-Gloucester):
“Consumers lose about $500 million in rebates each year that they never end up collecting. I might be one of them. I’ve been waiting six months for a $100 rebate on a phone that I was supposed to get a rebate for.”

“We understand that over half a billion dollars a year is left behind by consumers who are eligible for a rebate but never either get around to sending them in, or they don’t get processed correctly.”

“This doesn’t stop anyone from offering a mail in rebate. But what it does say is that if you’re advertising a price that you have to pay at the check-out counter, that price would have to be the price that you pay and not the price that you pay after the mail-in rebate.”

“The bottom line is: the price they advertise is the price you’re going to pay at the register. If they want to offer a mail-in rebate, they can’t lure you into the store, thinking you’re going to spend less. This creates a level playing field for a consumer in New Jersey.”

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