New bill brings clarity to gift voucher validity
2018-06-15 13:37:39 -

Photo Source: Creative Commons


A new bill introduced to the Dáil aims to set a minimum five-year validity period on retail gift vouchers.


Business Minister Heather Humphreys said the General Scheme of the Unfair Contract Terms (Gift Vouchers) Bill 2018 would bring clarity to the often confusing terms and conditions attached to store credit.


“At the moment, Ireland doesn’t have clear rules on the expiry dates of gift vouchers, which time and time again results in needless confusion and frustration. In some cases, individual vouchers aren’t even clear about their own cut-off point,” said Minister Humphreys.


Research from the National Consumer Agency in 2013 found that almost half of those surveyed had let a gift voucher expire at some point without using it.


“It is extremely frustrating if a person, or somebody close to them, has paid in cash for a voucher only to be told it is no longer valid a relatively short time afterwards,” the minister added. “While many retailers do honour vouchers in these instances, others do not. This simply isn’t fair and needs to change.”


Metro Éireann understands that immigrants in Ireland, who are often unfamiliar with gift vouchers in their home countries, have lost hundreds of thousands of euro in expired tokens.


Ideally, gift vouchers should never have any expiration date, neither should holders be made to pay additional fees if not used within a relatively short timeframe. However, getting firm expiration dates in law is a step in the right direction to ensure that no recipient is left out of pocket.

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