Heights chamber plans events

The Harker Heights Chamber of Commerce has several upcoming events in the next few weeks:

A ribbon-cutting ceremony at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Lily’s Cakes, 360 W. Central Texas Expressway, Suite 204 in Harker Heights.

Women in Business Bazaar at 6 p.m. Friday at the Harker Heights Activities Center, 400 Indian Trail.

Chamber ambassadors meet at noon Dec. 5 at a location to be announced.

Coffee Connection from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Dec. 11 at TruBlu Polish Pottery & Gift Boutique, 220 Commercial Drive, Suite A, Harker Heights.

Business After Hours Mixer from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Dec. 13 at Extraco Bank in Harker Heights.

The board of directors meets at 9 a.m. Dec. 19 at the chamber office.

For more information about upcoming chamber events, call (254) 699-4999 or go to www.hhchamber.com.

BBB gives advice for purchasing gift cards

WACO — With the holiday season in full swing, many shoppers are looking for the best gift options for family and friends. Gift cards may seem like a simple solution, but the Better Business Bureau is warning that some gift cards could carry high fees making them far from a good deal.

The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act, which took effect in 2010, established standards that give consumers additional protections when using gift cards. The standards prohibit retailers from setting expiration dates less than five years after the card is purchased and charging dormancy, inactivity and service fees unless the card has not been used for at least 12 months.

If fees are charged after this period, the details of such fees must be clearly disclosed on the card. These standards apply to store gift cards and general use prepaid cards, which are often branded by payment networks such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express.

But there are some details the CARD Act doesn’t cover. For example, issuers can still charge fees every time the card is used, the balance is checked, a replacement card is requested or when customer service is called.

BBB recommends the follow tips before buying a gift card:

  • Research before you buy and buy from a known and trusted source.
  • Read the fine print: Inspect the card before buying. Verify that protective stickers have not been removed and the pin number on the back of the card is not exposed.
  • Provide receipt with gift card.

To check the reliability of a company and find trustworthy businesses, go to bbb.org.

Have items to include in the briefcase? Email news@kdhnews.com.

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