Law amendments for gift cards to improve protection for consumers

Western Australians in possession of gift cards will be better protected, following changes to national gift card laws.

The changes to Australian Consumer Law come into effect on Friday that will aim to guard consumers against financial losses and consumers being taken advantage of over the gift cards.

Under the law changes, all gift cards bought from Friday will automatically come with a minimum three year expiry period.

It will also be illegal for businesses to charge post purchase fees or administration charges that will reduce the value of the gift card.

However, businesses will be allowed to charge fees that would normally be part of the transaction or charge an upfront fee for the purchase of the gift card.

“Gift cards are big money in Australia, both for their convenience and flexibility,” Consumer Protection Commissioner David Hillyard said.

He added that financial losses had mounted over the cards which the laws would guard against.

“Unfortunately, an estimated $70 million is lost each year due to expiry dates,” Mr Hillyard said.

“(The laws) prevent such losses and to make gift cards fairer for consumers.”

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