'It's a good deal for the retailer, but a bum deal for busy people' - Labour joins the campaign to drop gift card expiry dates




A Consumer NZ campaign to "Drop the Dates" from gift cards has gained the support of the Labour Party.

Kathmandu and Noel Leeming gift cards can now be used anytime the recipient chooses, will other retailers follow suit?

Source: 1 NEWS

Consumer NZ started their gift card campaign last year after they found one in five Kiwis were left empty handed after their gift card expired before they were able to redeem it. 

The company sent letters to 10 major retailers in New Zealand last year, asking them to ditch the expiry dates on their cards or at a minimum extend the expiry to five years.

CEO Sue Chetwin told 1 NEWS NOW they had a good response from many brands, who increased the expiries from 12 to 24 months, however a few big brands like Briscoes refused to budge.

Consumer NZ chief executive Sue Chetwin.

Source: 1 NEWS

Ms Chetwin said big companies like Bunnings already "happily operate" with no expiry dates and she doesn't see why others can't. 

Labour's support will be helpful as they continue the campaign this year, she said.

Labour spokesperson for consumer affairs, Michael Wood said major retailers need to put an end to gift expiry dates as they are bought in good faith and there is "no reason" for their monetary value to be written off after a certain length of time.

Labour's Mt Roskill by-election candidate Michael Wood.

Labour's Mt Roskill by-election candidate Michael Wood.

Source: 1 NEWS

"When a retailer sells a gift card they receive the benefit of immediate cashflow, and very often will receive additional sales when the gift card is redeemed. It's a good deal for the retailer, but a bum deal for busy people," he said. 

Mr Wood said it is great to see companies like Countdown, Kathmandu and Noel Lemmings agree to completely drop their expiry dates, and he's planning to write to major retailers urging them to follow suit.

"Kiwi consumers deserve a fair go, and at the start of 2017, it's time for the retailers who rely on their custom and loyalty to return the favour."

Consumer NZ will also continue to look into the issue to determine whether or not expiry dates are an unfair contract, which is now illegal in New Zealand under the Fair Trading Act, Ms Chetwin said. 

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