01.Retailers should play fair
What needs to change
While gift cards make a convenient present, they have been the subject of numerous complaints to CHOICE over the years.
About three in four participants in the CHOICE survey told us they’d received at least one gift card in the past 12 months, with a similar proportion giving one as a present in the same period.
More than half experienced the biggest pitfall of gift cards – it expired before they were able to use its full value.
CHOICE supports the move to clamp down on anti-consumer practices relating to expiry and conditions-of-use in the $1.5 billion gift card industry.
Our November 2010 survey found that nearly all gift cards sold in Australia expire after just one year. This 'shelf life' for gift cards is far too short and it leaves too many consumers out of pocket and without adequate recourse.
Some retailers are leading the way
At the time of CHOICE's 2011 gift card survey, Bunnings offered the only card with no expiry date, though other retailers such as Toys “R” Us, EB Games, and sharedvalue.com have come on board. CHOICE says other retailers should follow the example of those businesses.
Without all retailers doing what's right by their customers, most gift cards will continue to expire too soon and still contain hidden fees, charges and conditions.
CHOICE's submission to the Commonwealth Consumer Affairs Advisory Council (CCAAC)
The current limitations of gift cards are being addressed with the CCAAC enquiry and CHOICE hopes this leads to longer expiry dates and the elimination of unfair conditions and fees.
You can read CHOICE’s submission
to the Commonwealth Consumer Affairs Advisory Council (CCAAC