SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - Legislation to protect consumers and sponsored by Assemblyman Patrick J. Diegnan Jr. to require coin redemption machines to disclose fees has been signed into law by Governor Christie.
The law (A-1462) prohibits operators of machines that sort and count a consumer's coins and provide cash in exchange from charging a fee for the service unless a notice advertising the fee is prominently posted on the machine.
"When consumers go to a kiosk to trade in loose change for bills, they reasonably expect to walk away with the same amount of money they brought in. Unfortunately, it's too often the case that - unbeknownst to many consumers until it's too late - for every hard-earned dollar they put in, the machine takes a dime," said Diegnan (D-Middlesex).
The first violation of the law's provisions would carry a fine of up to $1,000. Failure to comply with the law's provisions thereafter would constitute an unlawful practice under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. An unlawful practice carries a maximum penalty of $10,000 for a first offense and $20,000 for any subsequent offense.
"Under the guise of providing a convenient service, unscrupulous operators of these machines deceive consumers, preying on those who may not have access to banks or credit unions that provide the same service free of charge," Diegnan continued. "This law is simply about empowering consumers to make the best choices about what they do with their money."