Senator Charles Schumer: poster-child of the Nanny State


Via Jammie-Wearing Fool, the senior senator from New York is focused like a laser on the nation’s true priorities. National debt? The deficit? Terrorism? Presidents who wish they could quit?

Don’t be silly, Silly! Chuck Schumer is on the case of something far more important: retail restocking fees.

No, I’m not kidding:

Plan on returning some gifts this holiday? It may cost you up to 25 percent of the price of the item and, if it was purchased online, you may not have a clue about that “restocking fee.”

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer wants the Federal Trade Commission to end that. He wants the FTC to determine if failing to disclose the restocking fee is a deceptive practice and to require retailers to prominently display that the fee will be charged.

Several states including New York, Arizona, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and California require restocking fees to be prominent at retail stores.

“While an ever increasing number of retailers are starting to charge restocking fees, the disclosure of these fees has hardly kept pace,” said Schumer (D-N.Y.). “Customers have a right to know that when they make a purchase they could be held responsible for up to 25 percent of the original cost of the product if they choose to return it.

Schumer said a restocking fee is an important element for consumers to consider when choosing where to buy.

These kinds of things typically fall under a state’s policing powers, and that’s where they rightfully belong. If the people of a state want to change how restocking fees are displayed (or charged at all), that’s their business. It’s what they have state legislatures and referenda for, to deal with internal matters like this. And if shoppers are concerned about a store’s restocking policy, they can ask. See, Chuck? We can take care of ourselves! (I know. You guys hate that idea.)

Okay, sure. The Commerce Clause of the Constitution give Congress authority here for interstate sales, but, um… Senator? Don’t you think you have better things to do?

No, I guess you don’t. And there lies the problem.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

4 thoughts on “Senator Charles Schumer: poster-child of the Nanny State

  1. One of the most disturbing things about our current CongressCreatures is their unwillingness to comprehend the limits of their own bandwidth. They are like an incompetent CEO who micromanages things like the budget for plant-watering in Dubuque and the quota for sales reps in Oklahoma City, while meanwhile key corporate issues go unaddressed.

  2. On the one hand, yes retailers should post notices of restocking fees, but I’m sure they all put it on the receipt.

    As for restocking fees, I have a part-time job in a retail-electronics store. Before we instituted restocking fees, you would not believe how many people bought a GPS system for a vacation or to drive across the country when moving. It was always obvious when they did it but now we have a means of recouping our loss.

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