21 December 2016
By Bryan T. Smyth
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Finance Michael McGrath has reminded Irish consumers in the run up to Christmas and the imminent retail ‘Sales’ promotions, to make themselves aware of the terms and conditions of purchasing and using gift vouchers.
“Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year for the sale of gift vouchers. Unfortunately people receiving the gift vouchers can often be caught out with the terms and conditions that apply. Specifically, the period of time they remain valid can vary, and as a result people are left at a loss and feeling disappointed when they go to redeem them. Some outlets are more flexible than others but they currently have the right to refuse to honour the voucher outside of the defined period”, said Deputy McGrath.
Deputy McGrath was commenting following receipt of confirmation, via a PQ reply from the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, that the use of gift vouchers and gift cards will remain unregulated over Christmas once again
“We have been calling for regulation in this area for some time. Consumers need to have their rights protected. Too often, we hear stories of people who have lost out on using their vouchers because of obscure terms and conditions”, he explained.
“The Government has failed to protect consumers by not enacting consumer protection legislation to regulate gift vouchers.
“Fianna Fáil will bring forward legislation in the New Year to ensure that this area of consumer protection is addressed. In the meantime, I would urge customers to read the terms and conditions on gift vouchers very carefully so that they are not left disappointed,” concluded Deputy McGrath.