From 2 December 2019, new legislation sees the extension of consumer protections for those buying gift vouchers.
As per RTÉ, gift vouchers sold from now on must ensure a minimum expiry date of five years. Thus, ending the practice whereby vouchers go out of date and lose their value entirely.
The new law also obliges businesses to give change or a credit note for the difference when purchasing something of lesser value than the voucher. This will also have a five-year lifespan.
This is one of a number of new protections set to be installed before Christmas, typically the busiest time for consumers and producers alike.
Included in this is a new ban on the requirement to spend the entire quantity of one voucher in one transaction.
Historically, consumers often found that outlets have refused to respect the leftover balance on a gift card following a previous transaction.
This, according to the Consumer Protection (Gift Vouchers) Bill, will soon be illegal. It was signed into law last Tuesday by President Michael D Higgins.
Fianna Fail’s Business Spokesman Robert Troy is among those who have called for the Bill to be changed before Black Friday (29 November) as it is one of the busiest days of the year for shoppers, but it is expected to be brought in the next week or two instead.
Until the legislation is enacted, shops remain free to put expiry dates — some lasting as little as three months — on the popular gift choices.
To find out more, check out the CCPC’s information on gift vouchers.
Main image by @cailinrusso