Christmas shoppers need to be aware of the terms and condition of gift cards and vouchers to make sure they get what they think they’re purchasing, Attorney-General, Simon Corbell, said today.
Mr Corbell today reminded consumers and retailers of their rights and responsibilities.
“Recipients of gift cards and the people who buy them can sometimes be surprised by restrictive terms and conditions,” Mr Corbell said.
“It is important that people purchasing and receiving gift cards know how and when they can be used, especially details around expiry dates, balance checks, minimum spends and transaction fees.
“Equally it is the responsibility of retailers to ensure that consumers have the information they require to make informed purchases.
“This is especially important during the peak holiday season. A common alternative to buying presents is to purchase a gift card or voucher, so consumers must be aware of the relevant terms and conditions to avoid issues with retailers.
The Office of Regulatory Services’ consumer advice and complaints line received 22 enquiries about gift cards during 2013-14.
“This indicates there is still a degree of uncertainty around their purchase and use,” Mr Corbell said.
“In the Christmas rush it easy to forget to read the fine print. I encourage consumers to ask for a copy of terms and conditions, or where to find a copy, before or at the time of purchase.
“I also urge retailers to make the terms and conditions clear and available for consumers to avoid unnecessary confusion.”
Consumer issues or enquiries should be directed in the first instance to the retailer for resolution.
If a reasonable effort has been made to resolve a dispute and it is unsuccessful, consumers can contact the Office of Regulatory Services and lodge a Consumer Complaint Form at www.ors.act.gov.au or call 6207 3000 (option 8).
(Simon Corbell Media Release)