The $2.5 billion gift card industry in Australia has seen a growing number of consumers complaining to Fair Trading after being stuck with expired cards.
NSW fair trading minister Matthew Mason-Cox said there’s been a 15% rise in complaints to his department this year. In one instance, a woman was told she could not use a gift voucher because it had expired a day earlier. NSW Fair Trading intervened and the trader agreed to honour the voucher.
Card expiry was the number one complaint consumers made against gift cards, followed by terms and conditions.
Mason-Cox said that while some businesses may extend the expiry date as a goodwill gesture, they are not legally obligated to.
“Gift cards are a great solution for many people, but they can also be a waste of money and lead to disappointment if not used correctly,” Mason-Cox said
“Some cards have set expiry dates, while others may limit what products or services a consumer can buy. Consumers do need to pay extra attention to the terms and conditions, whether you are purchasing or redeeming a card.”
In NSW Fair Trading has received 74 complaints about gift cards, 10 more than the same period last year. Anyone with concerns about gift cards or complaints should contact NSW Fair Trading on 13 32 20.
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