Gift! Wicklow consumers now have five years to use vouchers
There’s some good news if you recieve a gift card as a present this Christmas – under new rules stores and businesses will be forced to honour the vouchers for up to five years.
This is one of a series of new legislative measures that came into effect from this week.
To help businesses and retailers understand how the new rules may impact on their gift vouchers policy, the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has published a set of guildlines that detail some of the main changes they need to beware of. These include:
- A gift voucher cannot have an expiry date less than 5 years from the date it was purchased;
- Businesses must provide a record of the expiry date to customers in writing. If there is no expiry date then it should be stated;
- Stores and retailers cannot limit the amount of vouchers used in a single transaction;
- Businesses cannot refuse to accept gift vouchers that are not in the user’s name;
- Traders cannot charge a fee for changing or amending the name on a gift voucher.
Gift vouchers that were sold before the new legislation came into effect on December 2 do not have to comply with the new requirements.
However, any gift vouchers issued from today must be provided under the conditions detailed in the new legislation. If a business has vouchers pre-printed, they can give the customer written confirmation of whether there is an expiry period and, if so, the date that applies.
Chairperson of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, Isolde Goggin, said: “This legislation gives consumers valuable additional protections and in the run up to Christmas it will be of considerable benefit to anyone who buys or receives a gift voucher.
“Businesses, whether they are a restaurant, hotel, service provider or retailer, now need to take action and check that they are compliant with the law. We know that this is a busy and critical time for businesses so we are providing them with practical information to help them make the necessary changes they need to their gift voucher terms and conditions.”
For more infomation, log on to: http://www.ccpc.ie