General Business Law Section 396-Y
Sale of certain personal property
- disclosure of value
a.The term “consumer” shall mean a natural person residing in this state.
b.The term “consumer goods” shall mean any item of personal property, merchandise or services, having a value of five hundred dollars or more, sold or offered for sale to a consumer, the intended use of which is personal, family or general household, not intended for immediate resale.
c.The term “incentive” shall mean the free offering of any gift, bonus or other inducement to purchase such consumer goods which gift, bonus or inducement shall be in the nature of intangible personal property.
2.Prohibition. No person, firm, corporation, association or agent or employee thereof shall provide an incentive in the sale or offering for sale of consumer goods, both such terms as defined herein, without a complete, detailed and accurate written disclosure of the actual present liquidated retail value of such incentive at the time or date of sale of the subject consumer goods and whether any tax obligations may be incurred by the consumer as a result of owning the incentive.
a.A consumer who has suffered a loss due to a violation of this section by a merchant is entitled to recover from the merchant actual damages. In addition, the court may award the consumer reasonable attorneys fees and court costs.
b.A violation of this section is a deceptive trade practice under section three hundred forty-nine of this chapter.
c.Whenever there shall be a violation of this section an application may be made by the attorney general in the name of the people of the state of New York to a court or justice having jurisdiction by a special proceeding to issue an injunction, and upon notice to the defendant of not less than five days, to enjoin and restrain the continuance of such violations; and if it shall appear to the satisfaction of the court or justice that the defendant has, in fact, violated this section, an injunction may be issued by the court or justice, enjoining and restraining any further violations, without requiring proof that any person has, in fact, been injured or damaged thereby. In any such proceeding, the court may make allowances to the attorney general as provided in paragraph six of subdivision (a) of Civil Practice Law & Rules Law § 8303 (Additional allowance in the discretion of the court)section eighty-three hundred three of the civil practice law and rules, and direct restitution. Whenever the court shall determine that a violation of this section has occurred, the court may impose a civil penalty of not more than five hundred dollars for each violation. In connection with any such proposed application the attorney general is authorized to take proof and make a determination of the relevant facts and to issue subpoenas in accordance with the civil practice law and rules.
d.Nothing in this section shall be construed so as to nullify or impair any right or rights which a consumer may have against a merchant at common law, by statute, or otherwise, nor to impair the ability of the attorney general to institute investigations and proceedings, where appropriate, as provided in article 23-A (Fraudulent Practices In Respect to Stocks, Bonds and Other Securities)article twenty-three-A of this chapter, nor to eliminate the requirements that may be imposed upon a merchant under such article.
e.An action shall not be brought under this section more than six years after the occurrence of the act, method or practice which is the subject of the action or more than one year after the last payment in a transaction involving the method, act or practice which is the subject of the action, whichever is later.
f.Any covenant, promise, agreement or understanding in, or in connection with or collateral to a sale or offering for sale of consumer goods, subject to the provisions of this section, purporting to acknowledge that a gift, bonus or other inducement received by a consumer in connection with a sale or offering for sale of consumer goods was not an incentive as defined herein, or otherwise purporting to directly or indirectly waive the provisions of this section, is against public policy and is void and unenforceable.
Section 396-Y — Sale of certain personal property; incentives; disclosure of value,
https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/laws/GBS/396-Y (updated Sep. 22, 2014; accessed Nov. 25, 2023).