CHOICE membership

Expiry dates and other rorts on gift cards/vouchers


I hope they enjoyed their $60 box of 10 Twinkies, seeing as they ended up back on the shelves 10 months after being discontinued.


All companies that sell gift cards with an expiry date should have to submit them to ASIC or such government body so it can be used to help fund hospitals … no way should the companies be allowed to keep it as their own profit non taxable profit…


It looks the this is a rort that keeps on taking but is starting to get reigned in.


I agree. It’s theft - to want to use a gift card but to be told it has expired. I have a couple that have expired but I believe I should be able to use them.


Well done - this sounds like excellent treatment of customers. The reality is that life gets busy and sometimes you don’t have a chance to use the gift card before the expiry date ( e.g. movie vouchers).


Westfields charge a fee.


Local business here - a beauty salon style place - has 6 month expiry gift certificates. They record who buys them and who for, but if you lose it, even though they have records, they refuse to honour it.

You’d think in a small town they’d have more sense. Especially when dealing with people who deal with many people on a daily basis - word spreads. Natural selection for the beauty salon is my prediction …


The heraldsun (hardcopy)( is subscription-walled) has a news item today about the fees attached to many gift cards, and not just for replacement or buying the card.

If you bought a hat how would you feel if the sales person told you there was a $5 fee to buy it on top of the price? Curious how people apparently just pay the same rorting fee for a gift card. Then you have the card in hand and if you ring their ‘customer service’ you may learn they just charged you $4.40 to $5.95 to answer their phone and some charge a few dollars just for a balance check. Some apparently charge whether via their call centre or their web site!

The bottom line is that gift cards in Australia seem to be akin to a racket. They must be the worst gifts you could give as some gift cards skim off the top at every opportunity. Want to give cash which is what a gift card purports to be an equivalent of? Cash or EFT is king and a money order 2nd best.

edit: Choice is atop it! I just saw their post on facebook.


Westfields charges a fee for buying the gift card. I never buy these.

I was told recently by Gift Card Planet that I cannot use the rest of the money on my eftpos card as it had expired. There is no expiry date on the card . I got it when buying my new car. The person on the phone said casually that I may want to write a letter to Gift Card Planet. I told them they were stealing my money. So even if you are not informed about an expiry date , the money on the card is stopped.

I really think these expiry dates need to stop - it’s theft - like someone coming into your pocket/purse/wallet and taking notes and coins.


A a minimum three year expiry period for gift cards is going national. While no expiry would of course be nice, this is a welcome change:;query=Id%3A"legislation%2Fbillhome%2Fr6188"


All that effort for the pollies and they still fall short :slight_smile:

They’ve been exercising the weasels again.

The first point is amazing - “can experience”? how about “do”. Married with the second completely unrelated point as a distraction. Nice try.

The next point is equally evasive - what exactly was their goal? clearly the uniform national approach is what the feds are there for … why state it? Option 3 has the ‘highest net benefit’ - what happened to the most fair outcome? what happened to “if I pay money, I want something in return”?


… it just ‘improves fairness’, it doesn’t actually make it fair, period. It seems NSW and SA already had the 3 year minimum - and the feds couldn’t improve on that …

I guess this isn’t surprising either:

… and they can all call you even if you are on the register …


… not surprising either - happy to put any amount of time/effort/cost into selling the cards, but tracking it all is too hard …

Interestingly it wasn’t too hard for these companies:


Then this:


So ARA AMPF and Finder can all ‘estimate’, but when Choice does actual research it “may not be representative” ?

This is the “Explanatory memorandum” - the ammendment leaves a lot to cross reference and interpret, as I read it. The “Explanatory memorandum” to me is very repetitive, somewhat evasive and ‘weasely’, talks up the size of the industry, talks down the losses of individuals. It also makes some interesting observations about US law.

CHOICE gets a mention a few times :slight_smile:


I received a gift card as a present and was waiting for the sales to start when the company went into liquidation. Never did get to use that card.


Perhaps the Commonwealth could have legislated to make a gift card a form of currency? IE a commodity the provider could only issue after purchasing the equivalent value from the Commonwealth to which the retailer could then return to recover the cash on use of the card.

Not sure how any business would pay for this other than a store branded card being tied to that business as a loyalty cost. Of course if the brand closes you should be able to get the card refund in full from the Commonwealth.

If it sounds a lot like now money might work, it probably is. A crisp new bank note feels so good.

We avoid gift cards, although we did start using ITunes cards to get around having to register a credit card to our account with Apple.


Same and same. I live remote from part of my family - why would I tie them into buying from particular vendor. After asking 9 times what they would like or what their wish list is, a bank transfer works well on the proviso they tell me what they bought for the present. That and the occasional token surprises to keep at least some fun involved.

A good point - and worth noting that iTunes were on the list of ‘no expiry’ cards …

I know a couple of people who had Dick Smith/DSE gift cards - a great Christmas present everyone thought … there’s a couple of interesting points in [this article :] about Dick Smith, a little dated, but … (

“I find it interesting that business groups make submissions to gift card inquiries saying that all these liabilities are bad to have sitting on their balance sheet, which is why they need expiry dates — but they’re perfectly happy to give them out instead of cash.”

For customers who were lucky enough to purchase their gift cards on a credit card, chargebacks are the best course of action. “Visa customers have 120 days from the day you become aware the service is going to be worthless,” Morrow said.

That means you have until early May to make a chargeback claim. “MasterCard seems to be a bit longer, but it depends on whether there’s an expiry date listed on the gift card,” he said.

As gift cards are classed as financial products they are not covered by the return, repair and refund guarantee under Australian Consumer Law.

Morrow said the saga once again highlighted the dangers of buying gift cards.

In the case of a company going bust, the moral of the story might be to buy gift cards using credit cards - NOT savings or debit cards … unsure of the exact details here though, and card providers seem vague …

… or use cash :slight_smile:


Talking about gift cards i was recently given several at christmas time and all have longer expiry times unlike to earlier in the year. Jb hi fi have won me by having no expiry limit maybe others should have no expiry at all. changes that were made were so much better than prior a win for consumers choice.


I managed to beat the system when I received a Bonds Australia $10 voucher in my emails. The email specified that the voucher expired a month after activation. So I just left the email in my inbox without clicking the activation link. Sure enough when I dug it up and clicked it today I still had a full month to use it!