Extending the expiry dates on gift cards to three years is the aim of a new Member’s Bill launched by Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean.
“My Fair Trading (Gift Card Expiry) Amendment Bill would see the minimum expiry date of gifts cards extended to three years, so that everyone has a fair chance to use their cards.
“The Bill seeks to prohibit the selling of gift cards with expiry dates of less than three years after the initial sale date, giving the recipient a more reasonable period in which to redeem the card’s full value.
“Many Kiwis use gift cards as a convenient option, but the gift can turn sour if the card is not presented by its expiry date. One in five recipients lose out when they don’t redeem the full value before the card expires and research has found shoppers could be losing $10 million a year on cards that expire before they could be redeemed.
“We’ve all had those instances where the gift card has been misplaced and later found to be expired, or where children treasure their gift cards and spend months deciding how best to spend their present, only to find they’ve left it too late.
“While this might be a windfall for the retailer, it’s frustrating and disappointing for those who’ve received the gift cards.
“Other countries have regulations preventing retailers imposing unfair expiry dates. In Canada expiry dates are banned and in the US a five year expiry date in required, while many New Zealand retailers are still using a six or 12 month expiry.
“My Member’s Bill provides a practical and easy way to ensure that more money stays in the pockets of hardworking New Zealanders.”