Consumer laws – get the most from your gift cards

GIFT cards are quite popular and are sold by many businesses.

Many of us have purchased or received a gift card – they are a great option for birthday or Christmas presents.

I am sure that at least some of us (myself included) have lost the value of the card by failing to redeem it before it expires. Traditionally, most gift cards have expired 12 months after purchase.

In 2018, the Federal Government introduced new laws regarding gift cards in an effort to further enhance the consumer protections already in place.

This new national regime provides for gift cards to have:

  • a minimum expiry period of three years; and
  • the expiry date clearly stated.

In addition to the above, the supplier of a gift card will be prohibited from charging what is called “post-supply fees”. These are fees that can cut into the balance of the card.

The good news is that this new national regime will soon take effect; just in time for the Christmas rush.

Any gift card supplied on or after November 1, 2019, will have to comply with the new laws.

Whilst the new laws were introduced in mid-2018, the government has allowed businesses a transition period up until November 1, 2019, which will assist with using up their stock of pre-printed cards with less than the new three year period. Some businesses have already transitioned over to the new lengthier expiry periods.

Until next week – keep it legal!

Katie Caldow

*The legal information in this article is of a general nature only and not intended to be legal advice to rely upon.

Walker PenderConsumer laws – get the most from your gift cards