Consumers have been warned about the pitfalls of purchasing gift cards this Christmas, in an attempt to make sure that shoppers do not fall foul of the small print.
Gift vouchers are undeniably convenient, and offer customers useful gift ideas for those for whom it is perhaps more difficult to buy. Indeed, the industry is so popular, it is purported to be worth around £5 billion per year. No doubt we will all be familiar with traditional paper vouchers, however digital and virtual vouchers are becoming ever more popular, and can be used online or in-store.
However, the UK Gift Card & Voucher Association (UKGCVA) have noted that around £300 million worth of gift cards and vouchers go unspent every year, and that the expiry dates of vouchers can vary enormously depending on the retailer and type of gift.
Patricia Gibson MP, the SNP’s spokesperson for Consumer Affairs, commented:
“Countless numbers of retailers are making the expiry dates of their gift cards and vouchers harder and harder to find, and many shoppers are paying the price as a result.
“It’s important to understand that most vouchers will expire at some point, with gift cards for services or experiences, such as meals or days away, typically needing to be reclaimed within a year.
“This Christmas it is important that customers remember that whilst gift vouchers and cards offer an element of convenience, they must be vigilant and read the small print to avoid losing out”.