The Consumer Protection (Gift Vouchers) Act 2019 which came into effect in December 2019 brought changes that your business needs to be aware of.
Your gift vouchers cannot have an expiry date less than five years from the day they are bought. You must provide a record of the expiry date to your customers in writing, e.g. on paper on the voucher itself, or by email.
You cannot restrict your customers to spending the full amount of a voucher in one transaction, nor can you limit the number of vouchers that can be used in one transaction.
The legislation applies to gift vouchers you sell to any person, which includes other businesses, in addition to consumers.
Gift vouchers/cards are like cash, so if a consumer loses one, the issuing company does not have to replace them. If a voucher was made out to you specifically and is not transferable to anyone else, you may be able to get a replacement You could be charged a fee for the replacement voucher/card.
The following are some of the exclusions from the above rules:
- Vouchers from a specified trader(s) that are redeemable at a discounted price for specific goods and services for either
– a specified date, or
– a specified period of no more than three months
- Vouchers that are given as a refund for goods returned to a trader
- Vouchers that are deemed electronic money, within the meaning of the European Communities (Electronic Money) Regulations 2011 (S.I. No. 183 of 2011) (e.g. “One 4 All” Multi Store Gift Cards)