2007 - 2008 LEGISLATURE
May 21, 2007 - Introduced by Senators Sullivan, Taylor, Harsdorf, Olsen, Kedzie,
Kreitlow, Breske, Plale, A. Lasee, Kanavas, Darling and Grothman,
cosponsored by Representatives
Gunderson, Newcomer, Kerkman, Hahn,
Musser, Grigsby, Berceau, Vos, Moulton, Sheridan, Nass, LeMahieu, Bies,
Albers, A. Ott, Kestell, Petrowski, Kleefisch, Boyle, Fields, Tauchen,
Owens, Gronemus, Van Roy, Nygren, Strachota and Cullen. Referred to
Committee on Small Business, Emergency Preparedness, Workforce
Development, Technical Colleges and Consumer Protection.
1An Act to amend
165.25 (4) (ar); and to create
100.172 of the statutes; relating
2to: disclosure of terms and conditions applicable to the use of gift certificates,
3gift cards, and other gift obligations and providing penalties.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill regulates the sale of gift certificates, gift cards, or similar items (gift
obligations). Under the bill, a seller of a gift obligation must provide to a purchaser
at the point of sale a conspicuous disclosure of any expiration date that applies to the
gift obligation and the terms and amount of any service charge that apply to the gift
obligation. The disclosure requirements under the bill do not apply to a document
that evidences a transaction in which the obligation to provide goods or services
extends to more than one seller of goods or services or to a gift obligation sold by a
charitable organization or educational institution. The bill specifies that the bill's
disclosure requirements are not satisfied by a disclosure made available by
telephone, at a physical address, by mail, or on an Internet Web site, unless the gift
obligation is purchased on the Internet.
Under the bill, if the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer
Protection (DATCP) has reasonable cause to believe a person has violated the
provisions of the bill, and the person has not committed a previous violation, DATCP
must send the person a warning letter. If a person has already received a warning
letter relating to a separate violation, DATCP may seek injunctive relief or a fine up
to $250 per violation.
For further information see the state fiscal estimate, which will be printed as
an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
SB191, s. 1
100.172 of the statutes is created to read:
2100.172 Gift obligations. (1) Definitions.
In this section:
(a) "Conspicuous disclosure" does not include any of the following or any 4
combination of the following:
1. A disclosure available on an Internet Web site, except with respect to a gift 6
obligation sold at an Internet Web site.
2. A disclosure made available by telephone.
3. A disclosure available at a physical address.
4. A disclosure made available by mail.
(b) "Gift obligation" means a written or electronic document that is evidence 11
of an obligation arising from a transaction between a seller and a purchaser under 12
which the seller agrees to provide goods or services at a later date up to the value 13
shown on the document. "Gift obligation" includes a gift certificate, a gift card, and 14
an on-line gift account. "Gift obligation" does not include a written or electronic 15
document that is evidence of any of the following:
1. An obligation or transaction where the intent of the obligation or transaction 17
is not to provide a gift to a person other than the seller and purchaser.
2. A transaction in which the obligation to provide goods or services extends to 19
more than one seller of goods or services.
20(2) Restrictions; exceptions.
(a) No person may sell a gift obligation that 21
expires on a specified date or after a specified period of time unless the person
provides to the purchaser at the point of sale a conspicuous disclosure that the gift 2
obligation expires on the specified date or after the specified period of time.
(b) No person may sell a gift obligation to which a service charge applies unless 4
the person provides to the purchaser at the point of sale a conspicuous disclosure of 5
the terms and amount of the service charge.
(c) This section does not apply to a gift obligation sold by a charitable 7
organization or a public or private educational institution.
8(3) Penalties and remedies.
(a) The department may exercise its authority 9
under ss. 93.14 and 93.15 to investigate violations of this section.
(b) If the department determines there is reasonable cause to believe that a 11
person has violated this section, and the person has not previously received a 12
warning letter relating to a separate violation, the department shall issue a letter 13
to the person that contains all of the following:
1. A statement that the department has determined there is reasonable cause 15
to believe that the person has violated this section.
2. A brief description of the nature of the violation.
3. A statement of the penalties and remedies that apply to violations of this 18
(c) The department may commence an action in the name of the state to restrain 20
by temporary or permanent injunction a violation of this section, if the violator has 21
previously received a warning letter under par. (b) relating to a separate violation 22
of this section. Before entry of final judgment, the court may make any necessary 23
orders to restore to any person any pecuniary loss suffered by the person because of 24
(d) A person who sells a gift obligation in violation of this section and who has 2
previously received a warning letter from the department under par. (b) relating to 3
a separate violation may be fined not less than twice the value of the gift obligation 4
sold in violation of this section or $250, whichever is less, for each violation.
(ar) The department of justice shall furnish all legal services 8
required by the department of agriculture, trade and consumer protection relating 9
to the enforcement of ss. 100.171, 100.172,
100.173, 100.174, 100.175, 100.177, 10
100.18, 100.182, 100.20, 100.205, 100.207, 100.209, 100.21, 100.28, 100.37, 100.42, 11
100.50, 100.51, and 100.195 and chs. 126, 136, 344, 704, 707, and 779, together with 12
any other services as are necessarily connected to the legal services.
(1) This act first applies to gift obligations, as defined in section 100.172 (1) of 15
the statutes, as created by this act, that are sold on the effective date of this 16
(1) This act takes effect on first day of the 12th month beginning after 19