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Simon Corbell goes in to bat for the miserly

By johnboy - 14 April 2012 32

The ABC reports that Attorney-General Simon Corbell is courting the vote of miserable penny pinchers.

Since time immemorial if one was in receipt of a gift voucher or card it was accepted that in most cases one would have to overspend a couple of bucks to get the full value out of it.

And reasonable people, since time immemorial, have not had a problem with this.

But there’s always one miserable whiner to be had in any crowd and Simon is pandering to them:

Simon Corbell says it will help customers with small amounts left on cards.

He says Canberrans spend $24 million a year on gift cards and $7 million goes unused.

“This is a very large amount of money that is given by consumers to retailers in the ACT every year and which currently goes unclaimed,” he said.

“At the moment that unclaimed money just goes straight into the cash register of retailers and they don’t provide any goods in return.

“We believe this issue needs to be addressed and consumers need better protection.”

Simon plans to have this before the Assembly by September; or, in punter’s language, just before the election.

His logic seems to miss out on some of the drivers of gift giving.

What next, legislate that all gifts must be given with a receipt so they can be redeemed and full value extracted?

UPDATE 14/04/12 13:45: Simon has now made a media release available explaining his views at length.

The Government is considering a $5 cash-out option for cards with a face value of $50 or less, or 10% cash-out for cards with a face value of more than $50 to provide a fairer deal to consumers at a low cost to retailers.

“The point of these proposed reforms is to ensure consumers with gift-cards actually enjoy their full value instead of being short changed if there is a small value remaining on the card after a purchase which cannot be recovered or spent,” Mr Corbell said.

“Often small balances after a major purchase are too low to purchase another product, but the company is usually not willing, or obliged to cash out that balance on the card to the gift-card owner.

“This situation generates an unearned windfall for the card issuer and leaves consumers out-of-pocket and this is something that the ACT Labor Government views as unfair, and is seeking to rectify.”

What’s Your opinion?


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32 Responses to
Simon Corbell goes in to bat for the miserly
Pork Hunt 10:00 pm 14 Apr 12

HenryBG said :

Pork Hunt said :

p1 said :

Wow, can you buy a gift voucher for the store that Simon bought his “how to run a nanny state” manual at?

Is that the same manual that states they have to close Corin and Brindabella roads when 2 cm of snow falls?

I think you’ll find all councils very sensibly try to keep the 4WD-warriors off their unsealed roads when they’re wet, to avoid the expense of repairing the damage caused by these idiots who take great delight in ripping up the roads the instant they get a bit wet.

Back to the gift-card thing….WTF?!?!?! Is *this* why I pay my rates???

They’re just proving the legions responsible forf ACT self-government are so chronically underemployed they have to start delving into the dingbattery.

With regard to the 4wd statement, my goodness you are a cock!!!

Mr Evil 8:10 pm 14 Apr 12

“Oi, all you media people, don’t look at all those dodgy ACT Labor timesheets over there; come and look at this very important issue of people losing a few dollars on a gift voucher/card purchases instead…..”

HenryBG 8:03 pm 14 Apr 12

Pork Hunt said :

p1 said :

Wow, can you buy a gift voucher for the store that Simon bought his “how to run a nanny state” manual at?

Is that the same manual that states they have to close Corin and Brindabella roads when 2 cm of snow falls?

I think you’ll find all councils very sensibly try to keep the 4WD-warriors off their unsealed roads when they’re wet, to avoid the expense of repairing the damage caused by these idiots who take great delight in ripping up the roads the instant they get a bit wet.

Back to the gift-card thing….WTF?!?!?! Is *this* why I pay my rates???

They’re just proving the legions responsible forf ACT self-government are so chronically underemployed they have to start delving into the dingbattery.

justin heywood 7:54 pm 14 Apr 12

Ha! That’s like spending your last 5 minutes on the Titanic fixing a leaky tap.

We pay these people millions, and this is what they spend their time thinking about? Priority no. 537 on the average Canberran’s list of things to be concerned about.

Pork Hunt 2:57 pm 14 Apr 12

p1 said :

Wow, can you buy a gift voucher for the store that Simon bought his “how to run a nanny state” manual at?

Is that the same manual that states they have to close Corin and Brindabella roads when 2 cm of snow falls?

dungfungus 2:46 pm 14 Apr 12

Caractacus Potts said :

The casual interference in private contracts by this government is so frustrating. No identified problem, no consideration of unintended consequences, just because they can.

Actually, this proposal sounds like something crazy the Brownless Greens have thought up.

dungfungus 2:35 pm 14 Apr 12

I-filed said :

dungfungus said :

Corbell would be applauded more if he kept his nose out of people’s finances and the decisions they alone should make.
If this is one of ACT Labor’s better election policies I am dreading what their others are going to be.

I think it’s a good move. After all, whoever bought the gift voucher parted with the full amount in cash. If you have a gift card for $60 and can only find a $45 item, and there isn’t a fifteen dollar item you want, you either forfeit 25 per cent of your voucher or you have to spend extra money. Another way would be to make retailers pass any leftover voucher money to a bona fide charity, if that’s what the voucher holder nominates.

One can also buy something dearer than the face value of the voucher e.g. buy something for $100 and pay with a $60 gift voucher and $40 cash.
How hard is that?

cbjcurtin 2:34 pm 14 Apr 12

We have always just given the change in cash, If we sell someone a $25 gift voucher and they give it to someone who only spends $17, then we give them $8 cash, Its simple and it works for us

gooterz 2:19 pm 14 Apr 12

From the press release they dont have any data for this?

They are going off what choice thinks is an upper limit to what the numbers might be?

Perhaps for a start actually ask businesses how much they earn from giftcards that comes from values on expired cards or from not using the whole balance. I dont like the idea that a government is guessing, it should be calculating and planning not guessing and hoping!

Caractacus Potts 1:33 pm 14 Apr 12

The casual interference in private contracts by this government is so frustrating. No identified problem, no consideration of unintended consequences, just because they can.

gooterz 1:15 pm 14 Apr 12

Perhaps Simon is reading..

Wouldnt part of that $7 million also be the ones that get gift cards but dont like the places they are at, get thrown in the back of the draw and then only found years later when they are no longer valid.

One of the worst times to have a giftcard is when the store in question closes down and they no longer accept giftcards (Borders) or they make you pay an amount equal to that on the card (Borders).

But idealy they should set a longer time for the time to spend a giftcard. Most are 1 year, i’ve seen some that are 6 months. If someone has given the retailer money in exchange for a giftcard then why the limit on the time to use it. If it was 3-5 years then those penny pinches could just combine giftcards.

Perhaps this also related to giftcards where they make you spend the full amount or lose the rest. In 2012 all companies should be able to return a giftcard with the difference of the amount spent vs the amount on the card.

p1 12:45 pm 14 Apr 12

Wow, can you buy a gift voucher for the store that Simon bought his “how to run a nanny state” manual at?

I-filed 11:37 am 14 Apr 12

dungfungus said :

Corbell would be applauded more if he kept his nose out of people’s finances and the decisions they alone should make.
If this is one of ACT Labor’s better election policies I am dreading what their others are going to be.

I think it’s a good move. After all, whoever bought the gift voucher parted with the full amount in cash. If you have a gift card for $60 and can only find a $45 item, and there isn’t a fifteen dollar item you want, you either forfeit 25 per cent of your voucher or you have to spend extra money. Another way would be to make retailers pass any leftover voucher money to a bona fide charity, if that’s what the voucher holder nominates.

dungfungus 11:09 am 14 Apr 12

Corbell would be applauded more if he kept his nose out of people’s finances and the decisions they alone should make.
If this is one of ACT Labor’s better election policies I am dreading what their others are going to be.

arescarti42 10:09 am 14 Apr 12

Cheapskates, tightwads, skinflints, penny pinchers, misers and scrooges of Canberra unite!

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