The NSW Government has introduced a mandatory minimum expiry period of 3 years for gift cards and gift vouchers sold to a consumer in NSW, as well as a ban on post-purchase administration fees, starting 31 March 2018. The new requirements have been made by amendment to the Fair Trading Act 1987.
The changes aim to strike a fairer economic balance for consumers and businesses in the gift card market. The reforms give consumers access to the full value of their gift card over a reasonable period, while maintaining a workable business model for traders.
The reforms started on 31 March 2018.
The reforms do not apply to gift cards and vouchers purchased by consumers before 31 March 2018. The terms and conditions in place at the date of purchase of those cards will continue to apply.
Specific gift cards or vouchers are excluded from complying with the new laws and these are listed in below:
-A gift card or voucher that is given by a business for free to a consumer
-A gift card or voucher exchanged for goods returned to the supplier of the goods
-Prepaid cards for phone credit or internet access
-ATM cards, debit cards, credit cards or charge cards
-Gift cards supplied as part of a customer loyalty or employee rewards program
-A gift card or voucher supplied as part of a temporary marketing promotion as a bonus to the purchase of a good or service
-A gift card or voucher sold for a particular good or service that is below the market value of the good or service (a genuine discount)
-A gift card or voucher sold or donated for use in a fundraising appeal, including to a charity or not for profit organisation
-A reloadable card that uses EFTPOS, Visa or Mastercard or a similar electronic payment system
-A gift card or voucher for a good or service available for a limited time where the card or voucher expires at the end of that period (for example, entry to a concert or museum exhibition, or a pair of shoes that is only available for a limited time