01 Oct 2022

Gift Vouchers: Consumers need to know their rights, according to Senator Garret Ahearn

Some retailers may not be in compliance with the law

Consumers need to know their rights around gift vouchers, according to Senator Garret Ahearn

Consumers need to know their rights around gift vouchers, according to Senator Garret Ahearn

Fine Gael Senator Garret Ahearn urges people to know their rights with vouchers this Christmas.

He says legislation sets out minimum expiry dates and other protections consumers need to know.

"Legislation introduced by Fine Gael in Government states any vouchers purchased since December 2nd, 2019 must have an expiry date of at least five years from the day it was purchased.

"Under the law, multiple gift vouchers can also be used in a single transaction. In addition, you also don't have to use the voucher in one go.

"If there's a balance of more than €1 on the voucher, the business must refund the customer the difference in either cash, a debit/credit card transfer or another gift voucher," said Senator Ahearn.

Senator Ahearn said that some businesses are not compliant and need to update their terms and conditions.

He said this includes some big retailers, and the onus is on the retailer to implement the legal requirements.

"Some of the biggest retailers across the country are displaying incorrect information, in particular regarding expiry dates, on their websites. This is misleading and must be changed.

"A number of businesses are also not implementing the changes in practice. I was recently in a restaurant where I was told I had to spend the full value of my voucher in one sitting, in direct contradiction of the Consumer Protection (Gift Vouchers) Act 2019," said Senator Ahearn.

He urged consumers to find out their consumer rights and call out incorrect information when shopping.

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