Cllr Emer Higgins, candidate in the Dublin Mid-West bye election said the Bill will ensure that all gift vouchers have a minimum expiry date of 5 years – bringing much needed certainty to consumers. “This is a really welcome example of good consumer legislation coming in at the right time- just before the peak Christmas shopping period. “The law will ensure that all gift vouchers have a minimum expiry date of 5 years, bringing much needed certainty to consumers. When people receive a gift voucher they might not be in a position to spend it straight away, or they might wish to save up to add to the voucher themselves. The new minimum expiry period will give them 5 years to spend it.
“Too many people have lost out when their voucher expired. Often this is the result of confusion over expiry dates, with the big retailers ranging from 6 months to a couple of years. A set expiry date of 5 years will give certainty to anyone receiving a voucher as well as giving peace of mind to the person gifting the voucher. “The new law strengthens consumer rights in other ways relating to gift vouchers. There will be a ban on shops requiring gift vouchers to be spent in one transaction, something that can be a great source of frustration for consumers currently. “There will also be a ban on the cancellation of gift vouchers, or the imposition of charges, where the recipient’s name is registered incorrectly. This situation saw people unfairly penalised through no fault of their own.” Cllr Higgins continued: “I was really pleased to hear my Fine Gael colleague, the Minister for Business and Enterprise, Heather Humphreys, confirm that this legislation will be enacted in time for the Christmas shopping period. The Bill is being dealt with in its final stages in the Seanad today, and so it looks on course to benefit consumers when they need it most.”