Gift vouchers and expiry dates
Q: On my birthday, four months ago, my friends gave me a gift voucher to be used from a local shop that sells clothes. Last week, I went to exchange the voucher but there was nothing that I liked. I asked the sales assistant when the new stock would arrive and was told that new items featured monthly.
When carefully reading the terms and conditions of the voucher, I noticed it expires in two months. I'm afraid I won't be able to use it in such a short time.
Are retailers allowed to sell gift vouchers with an expiry date?
A: Legally, there is nothing that prohibits shop owners from selling vouchers with an expiry date. The important thing is that this date is clearly marked. Therefore, it is up to the buyer of these vouchers to ask about and read the terms and conditions attached to them. Traders are not obliged to accept expired vouchers. Consumers may try and ask for an extension, but this is entirely up to the trader.
Therefore, it is advisable that vouchers are not left too long in a wallet or under a magnet on the fridge. Besides ending up with an outdated voucher, there is also the possibility that the owner of the business may change, meaning unused vouchers become worthless. The trader might also run out of business.
Care should also be taken not to lose the gift voucher.