From today, businesses across Ireland will need to review the terms and conditions of the gift vouchers they sell to ensure that they comply with new legislation.
Under the Consumer Protection (Gift Vouchers) Act 2019, consumers have more rights when it comes to paying with a gift voucher.
Some of the main changes that businesses need to be aware of include:
• A gift voucher cannot have an expiry date less than 5 years from the date it was purchased.
• You must provide a record of the expiry date to your customers in writing for example on paper or by email. If there is no expiry date then it should be stated.
• You cannot limit the amount of vouchers used in a single transaction.
• You cannot refuse to accept gift vouchers that are not in the user's name.
• Traders cannot charge a fee for changing or amending the name on a gift voucher.
Speaking about the commencement of the legislation, Chairperson of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, Isolde Goggin, said:
"This legislation gives consumers valuable additional protections and in the run up to Christmas, it will be of considerable benefit to anyone who buys or receives a gift voucher.
"Businesses, whether they are a restaurant, hotel, service provider or retailer, now need to take action and check that they are compliant with the law.
"We know that this is a busy and critical time for businesses so we are providing them with practical information to help them make the necessary changes they need to their gift voucher terms and conditions."
Any gift voucher issued from today onwards must comply with the new legislation, however, gift vouchers issued prior to today are exempt.