OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 5419

AN ACT CONCERNING RETAIL GASOLINE REWARDS PROGRAMS.

SUMMARY:

This bill prohibits anyone offering a retail gasoline rewards program to the public from placing an expiration date of fewer than 90 days from the date the program points are awarded to the consumer. Generally, gasoline rewards programs provide discounts on gasoline purchases as a result of accruing points from purchases made at a retail store (e.g., grocery store).

A violation is deemed an unfair or deceptive trade practice.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2013

BACKGROUND

Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA)

The law prohibits businesses from engaging in unfair and deceptive acts or practices. CUTPA allows the consumer protection commissioner to (1) issue regulations defining what constitutes an unfair trade practice, (2) investigate complaints, (3) issue cease and desist orders, (4) order restitution in cases involving less than $5,000, (5) enter into consent agreements, (6) ask the attorney general to seek injunctive relief, and (7) accept voluntary statements of compliance. It also allows individuals to sue. Courts may issue restraining orders; award actual and punitive damages, costs, and reasonable attorney's fees; and impose civil penalties of up to $5,000 for willful violations and $25,000 for violating a restraining order.

COMMITTEE ACTION

General Law Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

13

Nay

5

(03/12/2013)