A lot of plastic is being used in Missouri stores in these post-Christmas days—-and it’s not just credit cards. Millions of gift cards were given for Christmas, a growing trend and one that is generally harmless.  Generally.  

But sometimes there are problems when someone wants to redeem the card. This was the first Christmas since a new law went into effect regulating the sale and redemption of gift cards. 

The Attorney General’s consumer affairs director, Doug Ommen, says some people will find a store charges a fee when they redeem a gift card. He says the new law requires the store to disclose the fees either to the purchaser at the time of the purchase or in some of the paperwork that accompanied the card.

The new law says inactivity fees can only be charged if the card has not been used for a year. 

Ommen suggests people use their gift cards soon–to avoid the possibilities that the cards might be lost or stolen, the merchant might close, or the cards be forgotten.

If there is a redemption problem, he says the Attorney General’s office should be contacted so it can act quickly to resolve problems.

 Listen to Doug Ommen talk cards mp3