Consumer rights related to gift vouchers are set down in law and include a five year minimum expiry date. Not all vouchers are covered by the legislation so it is important to check what kind of voucher you have and what rights apply. You should also be aware that if a company goes out business before you use your voucher, it is unlikely to be honoured regardless of the expiry date.
Your consumer rights with gift vouchers include:
|Minimum expiry date of five years||Where there is an expiry date on a gift voucher, it should be at least five years.
You should be given the expiry date in a durable form, for example in writing or in an email, and you should also be given the date the gift voucher was bought.
|You do not have to use the voucher in one go||You do not have to spend the full value of the voucher in one transaction.
If there is a balance of more than €1 on a gift voucher, the business should refund you the difference in one of the following ways:
– Electronic transfer (debit/credit card)
– Another gift voucher (the expiry date will be the same as the original voucher)
It is up to the business which method of refund they use.
|More than one gift voucher can be used in one go||You can use more than one voucher at a time. For example, if something costs €100 and you have two €50 vouchers, you can use them both to pay.|
Not all gift vouchers are covered by this legislation. Below are some of the main ones that are included and excluded.
Voucher types – what’s covered?
Online deal websites
Some gift cards have maintenance fees of approximately €3 per month which come into effect after a period of time. So if you give someone one of these gift cards worth €40, and they don’t use it for a year, maintenance charges at €3 a month could mean there is only €4 left on it after a year.
If you lose a gift voucher, the shop doesn’t have to replace it – it’s just like losing cash.
|Did you Know?|
|If the voucher was made out to you specifically and is non-transferable, the shop may be able to issue a new voucher and cancel the original. It may be worth contacting the shop and asking if this is possible.|
|Remember consumer rights apply to gift cards just like any other item. So if the card is faulty and doesn’t work when you go to use it, you can return it for a replacement or refund.|
Last updated on 23 November 2020