Editorial: Time for the gift voucher expiry rort to expire

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There's a high risk that your gift card will expire before dad gets around to spending it. Photo / Getty Images
There's a high risk that your gift card will expire before dad gets around to spending it. Photo / Getty Images

Fathers are hard to buy for, which might be why Father's Day seems not receive as much commercial promotion as Mother's Day.

Power drills and rugby books appear to be the only gifts advertisers can suggest. But even those desperately looking in DIY stores and booksellers today are probably going to buy him a voucher.

If so, Consumer NZ has issued a timely warning.

It has discovered that Dad runs a high risk that your gift card will expire before he gets around to spending it.

From a sample of 60 cards issued in New Zealand, Consumer has found more than half had top be presented within a year. One lasted only six months.

If a year seems long enough to the generous son or daughter, they might not realise how rarely some men shop.

But why should gift vouchers ever expire? They mainly benefit of the issuer.

The buyer could just as easily give a gift of cash, which never expires.

The reason they give a form of cash with such a restricted tender is to give their gift a little more definition, but not much. The issuer gains the greater benefit of a certain sale.

Why should the business gain the double benefit of cancelling the card and keeping the goods?

Most Canadian provinces have banned expiry dates, the US requires cards to have a life of at least five years.

Consumer finds 70 per cent of us regularly buy and receive vouchers and nearly a quarter of us have had a card expire.

It is time this rort expired.

- NZ Herald

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