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The gift card that keeps on giving

A Marshall Liberal Government will legislate to protect consumers by ensuring that all gift cards purchased in South Australia are required to have a minimum expiry date of three years.

“Consumers deserve to get what they’ve paid for and too often gift cards expire before they have been redeemed,” said Shadow Minister for Cost of Living Corey Wingard.

“Few things are more irritating than finding a gift card after its use by date has expired.

“A three year life for gift cards strikes the right balance between protecting the consumer and placing a reasonable expectation on the retailer.

“Extending the validity of gift cards beyond the usual 12 months that is currently the norm will ensure a much higher percentage of the cards are redeemed.

“A Choice member survey in 2014 found 60 per cent of respondents had problems with gift cards, and premature expiry was the biggest issue.

“One in three of the respondents to the Choice survey had lost the full value of at least one gift card in the previous three years.

“Receiving gift cards for Christmas or on a birthday is often a trigger for remembering an unredeemed card is sitting in a draw.

“Unfortunately too often that recognition comes too late for the gift card to be redeemed.

“A gift card is a good substitute for giving someone cash and should have greater longevity than is currently the case.

“The gift card market is substantial, growing and in need of a tilt in favour of the consumer.

“The retailer of the gift card has the benefit of a pre-sale return, the profit margin when the card is redeemed and often keep the residual balance on the card.”

The legal protection currently provided is limited to a situation where an expiry date is considered unreasonably short or where there are particularly unfair terms and conditions for gift cards.

A Marshall Liberal Government will remove all ambiguity and give consumers a guaranteed three year window to turn their gift card into a gift.