Following a number of States introducing gift card reforms over the last few years, the Australia Consumer Law has now been amended to provide protections for gift card consumers across Australia. These national changes apply to gift cards supplied to consumers on or after 1 November 2019. If the terms and conditions of a gift card provided after 1 November 2019 do not comply, they will be void.
What you need to know
With some exclusions, the below applies to gift cards sold on or after 1 November 2019.
• A minimum 3 year expiry period;
• Must display expiry dates on gift cards; and
• Most post purchase fees on gift cards are banned.
If the expiry date is a period of time, a supply date must be provided. For example:
• “Supply date: March 2020. This card will expire in 3 years”
• “Valid for 3 years from 11/19.
What you need to do
• Update your gift card terms and conditions on your website and other promotional material, including on physical gift cards;
• update internal systems, training and compliance manuals;
• place signage on gift card displays and at the point of sale; and
• make note of the changes on any receipt issued when a gift card is purchased.
A breach of the laws could attract a $30,000 fine in the case of a body corporate, or $6,000 for individuals.
In addition, the ACCC has the ability to impose infringement notices. Each infringement notice is 55 penalty units (currently $11,500) for a body corporate and 11 units (currently $2,420) for persons other than a body corporate.