NSW consumers are being encouraged to dust off their expired gift cards and redeem them this Fair Trading Week.
Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Victor Dominello said that Australians spend around $2.5 billion a year on gift cards but arbitrary expiry dates mean millions of dollars go to waste.
“Consumers often fail to redeem their gift cards and those who try to use them after the expiry date, do so with mixed success,” he said.
“Gift cards operate like a contract. After the expiry date, it is really at the whim of the trader whether they choose to honour the contract.
“We’re calling on NSW consumers to make a special effort this week to dig out their expired gift cards and vouchers and try their luck redeeming them.”
Fair Trading has established an online survey to enable disgruntled and pleasantly surprised expired gift card owners to report their experience. The survey is available at www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au.
“Fair Trading’s experience is that many retailers are prepared to extend the expiry date of cards when requested and we are encouraging consumers to ask the question and report their experience,” Mr Dominello said.
So far this year NSW Fair Trading has received 271 complaints relating to gift cards. Gift cards are popular present option but consumers may not be aware of terms and conditions.
Some jurisdictions in the US have moved to ban or restrict expiry dates on gift cards.
Feedback from the survey will help inform whether regulatory change is warranted to protect forgetful gift card owners.