Bill Text: MS SB2159 | 2020 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Open-box items; retailers required to prominently display exchange policies.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2020-01-24 - Referred To Judiciary, Division A [SB2159 Detail]

Download: Mississippi-2020-SB2159-Introduced.html

MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2020 Regular Session

To: Judiciary, Division A

By: Senator(s) Jackson (32nd)

Senate Bill 2159

AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 75-24-3, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE A DEFINITION OF "OPEN-BOX" ITEM; TO AMEND SECTION 75-24-5, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CONFORM; TO CREATE NEW SECTION 73-24-6, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE RETAILERS TO PROMINENTLY DISPLAY EXCHANGE POLICIES AS TO OPEN-BOX ITEMS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

     BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:

     SECTION 1.  Section 75-24-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     75-24-3.  (1)  As used in this chapter:

          (a)  "Person" means natural persons, corporations, trusts, partnerships, incorporated and unincorporated associations, and any other legal entity.

          (b)  "Trade" and "commerce" mean the advertising, offering for sale, or distribution of any services and any property, tangible or intangible, real, personal or mixed, and any other article, commodity, or thing of value wherever situated, and shall include without limitation, both domestic and foreign persons, irrespective of their having qualified to do business within the state and any trade or commerce directly or indirectly affecting the people of this state.

          (c)  "Open-box item" means merchandise returned by a customer and inspected by the retailer, found to be in working order, then resold at a discount rather than returned to the manufacturer.

     ( * * *c2)  It is the intent of the Legislature that in construing what constitutes unfair or deceptive trade practices that the courts will be guided by the interpretations given by the Federal Trade Commission and the federal courts to Section 5(a)(1) of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 USCS 45(a)(1)) as from time to time amended.

     SECTION 2.  Section 75-24-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     75-24-5.  (1)  Unfair methods of competition affecting commerce and unfair or deceptive trade practices in or affecting commerce are prohibited.  Action may be brought under Section 75-24-5(1) only under the provisions of Section 75-24-9.

     (2)  Without limiting the scope of subsection (1) of this section, the following unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive trade practices or acts in the conduct of any trade or commerce are hereby prohibited:

          (a)  Passing off goods or services as those of another;

          (b)  Misrepresentation of the source, sponsorship, approval, or certification of goods or services;

          (c)  Misrepresentation of affiliation, connection, or association with, or certification by another;

          (d)  Misrepresentation of designations of geographic origin in connection with goods or services;

          (e)  Representing that goods or services have sponsorship, approval, characteristics, ingredients, uses, benefits, or quantities that they do not have or that a person has a sponsorship, approval, status, affiliation, or connection that he does not have;

          (f)  Representing that goods are original or new if they are reconditioned, reclaimed, used, or secondhand;

          (g)  Representing that goods or services are of a particular standard, quality, or grade, or that goods are of a particular style or model, if they are of another;

          (h)  Disparaging the goods, services, or business of another by false or misleading representation of fact;

          (i)  Advertising goods or services with intent not to sell them as advertised;

          (j)  Advertising goods or services with intent not to supply reasonably expectable public demand, unless the advertisement discloses a limitation of quantity;

          (k)  Misrepresentations of fact concerning the reasons for, existence of, or amounts of price reductions;

          (l)  Advertising by or on behalf of any licensed or regulated health care professional which does not specifically describe the license or qualifications of the licensed or regulated health care professional;

          (m)  Charging an increased premium for reinstating a motor vehicle insurance policy that was cancelled or suspended by the insured solely for the reason that he was transferred out of this state while serving in the United States Armed Forces or on active duty in the National Guard or United States Armed Forces Reserve.  It is also an unfair practice for an insurer to charge an increased premium for a new motor vehicle insurance policy if the applicant for coverage or his covered dependents were previously insured with a different insurer and canceled that policy solely for the reason that he was transferred out of this state while serving in the United States Armed Forces or on active duty in the National Guard or United States Armed Forces Reserve.  For purposes of determining premiums, an insurer shall consider such persons as having maintained continuous coverage.  The provisions of this paragraph (m) shall apply only to such instances when the insured does not drive the vehicle during the period of cancellation or suspension of his policy * * *.;

          (n)  Failure to comply with Section 73-24-6.

     SECTION 3.  The following shall be codified as Section 73-24-6, Mississippi Code of 1972:

     73-24-6.  A retailer offering an open-box item at a discount must provide prominent notice that the open-box item, should the purchaser find the open-box item to be defective, is not eligible to be exchanged for a full-price item that is not being offered at a discount.  The notice shall be in black letters, with each letter to be a minimum of one (1) inch in height.

     SECTION 4.  This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2020.


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