Saturday 21 September 2019

Gift vouchers will have five-year expiry date under planned new law

'Every year I tell myself that this will be the one where I’m not racing to the shops on Christmas Eve.'
'Every year I tell myself that this will be the one where I’m not racing to the shops on Christmas Eve.'
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

The Government has approved legislation to put a five year minimum expiry date on gift vouchers.

However the Consumer Protection (Gift Vouchers) Bill 2018 will not be passed until early next year.

"Every year consumers lose out because their gift vouchers go out of date," Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys T.D., said.

"Part of the problem is the great variation on expiry dates which can range from as little as six months to 12 months to 24 months. This often leads to confusion amongst consumers. By having a set five year expiry date on all gift vouchers, we will provide certainty to everyone involved," Minister Humphreys added.

The Bill, which received cross party support, also includes two additional provisions that were brought to Minister Humphreys’ attention by consumers during the recent public consultation on gift vouchers.

The first relates to cases where traders require a gift voucher to be spent in full in a single transaction.

The second relates to cases where traders require the name of the intended recipient of a gift voucher to be provided, and either cancel the voucher if that name is not correct, or apply a charge for the correction of the name. 

"It’s wrong that consumers should have to spend a voucher in full in one transaction. Similarly, it isn’t fair that businesses can penalise consumers simply because of a wrong letter in a name," Minister Humphreys continued.

"I’m glad that these two issues were brought to my attention during the public consultation so that we can now address them as part of this Bill."

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