Minimum lifespan of five years for gift vouchers
Consumers and businesses have until close of business on Friday 31st August to respond to a public consultation on gift voucher fees, Fine Gael TD, for Carlow, Pat Deering said.
Deputy Deering said: “In June, Minister Heather Humphreys announced Government approval of new legislation, which proposes a minimum lifespan of five years for gift vouchers.
“As well as this, the Bill proposes that the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation will have the power to set fees for inactive balances on gift vouchers, as well as other maintenance fees.
“For this reason, the Minister is looking for views from the public to help her decide on what fees, if any, should apply.
“In some cases, fees of up to €3 per month are applied to gift vouchers after a year, meaning a €25 voucher can be worth nothing after 20 months. It seems clear that many consumers are not aware of these fees, which makes for a lot of frustration and confusion."
Deputy Deering added: “Understandably, consumers feel they should be able to use their gift voucher at full face value, however, the businesses charging these fees claim that they are essential to meet the costs involved.”
The purpose of the public consultation is to gather information and views on gift voucher fees to assist the Minister in deciding on the level of fees, if any, that should apply.
The first part of the consultation paper seeks the inputs of consumers on gift voucher fees and the second part seeks the inputs of businesses.
Deputy Deering said: “I know this is an issue that a lot of people feel strongly about so I would urge anyone with a view to make their voice heard by Friday at close of business.
“The process is very straightforward: all information is available on the Department’s website and responses should be sent by email to email@example.com or by post to Competition and Consumer Policy Section, Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Earlsfort Centre, Lower Hatch Street, Dublin 2.”