Requires signs to be posted at gasoline stations for consumers to contact the department of state regarding price or product problems.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the agriculture and markets law and the executive law, in relation to protecting consumers from price gouging and product tampering of gasoline
PURPOSE: The purpose of this bill is provide consumers with a convenient and accessible means of filing complaints regarding the practices of motor fuel dealers.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section one of the bill amends subdivision 5 of section 192 of the Agriculture and Markets Law to require motor vehicle fuel dealers to post on dispensing devices a notice containing a toll-free consumer complaint hotline.
Section two of the bill provides that the toll-free hotline shall be established and maintained by the Department of Law.
JUSTIFICATION: With the consistent rise of gas prices there is an added need for consumers to feel they are still receiving an adequate product that has been priced at a fair market value and has not been physically tampered with. Consumers should know how and where to file a complaint if they feel their rights have been violated, and this information should be readily available to consumers at the place of purchase/service.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: S3631 6/21/12 AMEND (T) AND RECOMMIT TO CONSUMER PROTECTION A6173-B 6/11/12 Rules S.2649 05/09/08 Referred to Consumer Protection 02/26/09 Referred to Consumer Protection 01/06/10 Referred to Consumer Protection
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.
LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: April 1, 2014.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1283 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. ADAMS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Agriculture AN ACT to amend the agriculture and markets law and the executive law, in relation to protecting consumers from price gouging and product tampering of gasoline THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Paragraph a of subdivision 5 of section 192 of the agricul- ture and markets law, as amended by chapter 101 of the laws of 1986, is amended to read as follows: a. It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to sell or offer for sale at retail for use in internal combustion engines in motor vehicles or motorboats any motor fuel unless such seller shall: (i) post and keep posted on the dispensing device from which such motor fuel is sold or offered for sale a sign or placard, at least twelve inches in height and at least twelve inches in width, stating clearly and legibly with the whole cent numerals at least nine inches in height and at least two inches in width, the selling price per gallon of such motor fuel; or (ii) where such individual pump or dispensing device dispenses more than two differently priced grades of motor fuel, only the highest and lowest selling price per gallon of such motor fuel dispensed therefrom must be posted thereon in conformance with all other provisions of this subdivision; or (iii) where a multiple product dispensing device is capable of dispensing multiple products at multiple prices, then the selling price per gallon may be posted thereon with numerals at least one-half that height and one-half that width required by subparagraph (i) of this paragraph, although numerals representing tenths of a cent may beEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD03834-01-3 S. 1283 2
displayed at no less than one-half those dimensions which disclose the selling price per gallon of such motor fuel dispensed therefrom; (IV) POST AND KEEP POSTED ON THE DISPENSING DEVICE FROM WHICH SUCH MOTOR FUEL IS SOLD OR OFFERED FOR SALE A SIGN OR PLACARD, OF A SIZE TO BE DETERMINED BY THE COMMISSIONER, STATING CLEARLY AND LEGIBLY, IN SUBSTANTIALLY SIMILAR FORM: NOTICE TO CONSUMERS: IF YOU HAVE A COMPLAINT REGARDING THIS BUSINESS, YOU MAY CALL THE FOLLOWING TOLL-FREE NEW YORK STATE HOTLINE: (INSERT THE CURRENT TELEPHONE NUMBER ESTABLISHED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF LAW FOR RECEIVING COMPLAINTS FROM CONSUMERS PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION SIXTEEN OF SECTION 63 OF THE EXECUTIVE LAW). The signs and selling prices shall be posted so as to be clearly visi- ble to the driver of an approaching motor vehicle or motorboat. The name, trade name, brand, mark or symbol, and grade of quality classi- fication, if any of such motor fuel shall be permanently imprinted on said motor fuel dispensing device. The provisions of this subdivision shall not apply to a city, county, town or village which has already enacted and continues in effect a local law, ordinance, rule or regu- lation in substantial conformity with this subdivision. The provisions of this subdivision shall be enforced in the counties outside the city of New York by the county or city director of weights and measures, as the case may be, and in the city of New York by the department of consumer affairs. THE COMMISSIONER, BY RULE, SHALL ESTABLISH THE SIZE OF THE SIGN OR PLACARD REQUIRED UNDER SUBPARAGRAPH (IV) OF THIS PARA- GRAPH. S 2. Section 63 of the executive law is amended by adding a new subdi- vision 16 to read as follows: 16. (A) NO LATER THAN JANUARY FIRST, TWO THOUSAND FOURTEEN, ESTABLISH A TOLL-FREE TELEPHONE NUMBER FOR RECEIVING COMPLAINTS RELATED TO THE RETAIL SALE OF MOTOR FUEL. THE TOLL-FREE NUMBER MAY BE AN EXISTING NUMBER ESTABLISHED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF LAW FOR RECEIVING INQUIRIES FROM CONSUMERS. (B) EMPLOYEES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LAW, UPON RECEIPT OF A COMPLAINT FROM A CONSUMER THROUGH MEANS OF THE TOLL-FREE NUMBER REGARDING THE OPERATION OR ACCURACY OF MOTOR FUEL DISPENSING DEVICES, SHALL FORWARD THE CONTENTS OF SUCH COMPLAINT TO THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND MARKETS AND THE APPROPRIATE MUNICIPALITY OR LOCAL GOVERNMENT. S 3. This act shall take effect April 1, 2014; provided that the department of law shall establish the toll-free telephone number as required by section two of this act on or before January 1, 2014; provided further that, effective immediately, any rules and regulations necessary to implement the provisions of this act on its effective date are authorized and directed to be amended, promulgated and/or repealed on or before such date.