Consumers are urged to check the expiry date of gift cards purchased for Christmas presents to avoid disappointment.
WGC Lawyers Director Rhiannon Saunders said the new Australian gift card law requiring a longer expiry date on gift cards would not come into effect until November 1, 2019.
“This Treasury Laws Amendment (Gift Cards) Act 2018 (which amends the Competition and Consumer Act 2010) will require gift cards across Australia to have a minimum three-year expiry period from the date they are purchased,” she said.
“Until November next year gift cards purchased in Queensland could have variable expiry dates so it is important to check this before they are purchased.
“Some may have as little as six months before they need to be used and this information may not be clearly displayed.
“Fortunately this will be the last Christmas where people need to worry about gift cards expiring too soon.
“The Act also requires gift cards to display the expiry information prominently on the card to avoid confusion about when it can be used.
“Importantly it prohibits the charging of certain fees after the gift card is supplied, for example fees to supply goods purchased with the gift card.
“Consumers still need to be wary about retailers going broke and failing to honour gift cards as the Act does not cover this.
“In this situation you are likely to become an unsecured creditor.”