Bill to protect consumers gains steam

Amendment, proposed by MK Tirosh, would require vendors to give credit for the total value of any transaction legally canceled by a customer.

July 14, 2011 02:04
1 minute read.

tirosh. (photo credit: Channel 2)

The Knesset Finance Committee approved the first reading of an amendment to the consumer-protection bill on Wednesday that ensures credit given for cancellation of a transaction is valid for two years.

The amendment, which was proposed by MK Ronit Tirosh (Kadima), would require vendors to give credit for the total value of any transaction legally canceled by a customer and require the credit to be printed clearly so as to ensure it is legible for the two-year period.

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Tirosh said she began working on the bill even before the recent passing of new regulations on what constitutes a canceled transaction.

“The main thing is to safeguard the value of the money invested by the consumer,” she said.

Committee chairman Carmel Shama-Hacohen (Likud) called the amendment “a consumer bill, which is supposed to offer recourse to the thousands of consumers who don’t use their credit because the expiry date has been reached or the print erased.”

Attorney Hanna Tiri, who represented the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry, said the government supports the law, but business owners could not offer credit in the event that they are obligated to give a cash refund.

Hanit Avraham of the nonprofit organization Public Trust (Emun) and Shosh Rabinowitz of the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce both spoke against the amendment, saying it would discourage business owners.

“This is likely to hit the consumers,” Avraham said, “because there are many business who give customers credit on a voluntary basis, and if they are bound by a series of limitations, they will choose not to give credit at all.”

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