Gift card warning over $450 million in unused vouchers

The State Government is asking people to use caution when purchasing gift cards as presents.
The State Government is asking people to use caution when purchasing gift cards as presents. Contributed

THE State Government is urging Queenslanders to check the terms and conditions of gift vouchers before buying the popular last minute stocking filler, to avoid getting ripped off and turning Christmas spirit to sorrow.

Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said people may not realise that many gift vouchers contained specific terms and conditions that limited how and when they could be redeemed.

"A gift voucher is a popular present but research shows up to 30 per cent of the estimated $1.5 billion spent annually on gift cards in Australia is never redeemed," Mr Bleijie said.

"Terms and conditions such as expiry dates, limits on minimum transactions and no provision to receive change if the recipient doesn't spend the full amount, contribute significantly to the waste.

Mr Bleijie said there were some simple things people could do to ensure their gift card brought joy this Christmas.

"You can also download the Office of Fair Trading's free smart phone app, BuySmartQLD, to help you keep on top of shopping issues and resolve any disputes," Mr Bleijie said.

Tips for buying gift cards:

  • Check if the gift card has an expiry date, and if so, how long that gives the recipient to use it.  
  • Ensure the expiry date is prominent on the card, so the recipient does not forget it.  
  • Check if the gift card has any limits on spending, such as if a minimum amount, or the entire amount, must be spent in any one transaction.  
  • Ask the trader if they give change for small amounts left on gift cards to avoid the recipient having to spend extra to redeem the full value.  
  • Be sure to ask for a written copy of the terms and conditions and include it with the gift card.  

>>Read more at the Office of Fair Trading

Topics:  business christmas vouchers

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