Beaches-East York MPP Arthur Potts appears to have made his point with his latest consumer-protection focused private members bill, which makes it illegal for companies to expire reward points based on time alone in Ontario. The bill passed the legislature yesterday.
Loyalty One, the company in charge of Air Miles, which prompted the bill, reversed its position on expiring rewards points shortly before the bill moved to third reading this week. The company planned to begin a new policy at the end of the year expiring points older than five years that its members had not yet used.
“This is a victory for consumers across Ontario and, indeed, in Canada and across the world. It’s a real victory because Air Miles backed down,” said Potts December 5 in the legislature about pressure on the company from Bill 47.
Despite the reversal of the company’s position, the vote went ahead — aside from expiration issues, the bill addresses security and structure concerns with loyalty programs. It passed third reading with a vote of 71-0 yesterday and is expected to become law later this week.
Not everyone was thrilled with the bill. Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry MPP Jim McDonell told the legislature he had concerns the bill, which was introduced earlier this fall, was rushed through the legislature before industry could be properly consulted. He was worried points values would be diluted and hurt all users of the program.
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I say bravo and thank you to Arthur Potts for this initiative. Consumers are sick and tired of getting gouged by big business.