9 December 2011

Community Views Sought on Gift Cards

Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, David Bradbury, today released the Commonwealth Consumer Affairs Advisory Council (CCAAC) issues paper Gift Cards in the Australian Market.

The paper was presented to a meeting of consumer affairs Ministers today in Adelaide.

"The CCAAC issues paper is an opportunity for the community to raise issues they have encountered through the purchase and use of gift cards," said Mr Bradbury.

"With the gift card market estimated to be worth around $1.5 billion, gift cards are expected to be a popular gift choice again this Christmas.

"Gift cards can offer many benefits, including providing the recipient with the flexibility to choose a suitable gift. However, gift cards are often subject to terms and conditions which consumers need to ensure they read and understand.

"As gift cards have grown in popularity, fair trading regulators have received complaints from consumers about a range of issues related to the cards, including the application of expiry dates, restrictions on using gift cards for low-value purchases, and the rights of gift card holders in the event of a company becoming insolvent.

"This issues paper invites members of the community to come forward with their experiences of purchasing and using gift cards to help inform CCAAC's inquiry.

"I would like to thank CCAAC for their work and acknowledge the contribution made by the Queensland Office of Fair Trading in exploring these issues," Mr Bradbury said.

The issues paper is available at www.treasury.gov.au.  Submissions to the issues paper close at 5:00pm on Friday, 2 March 2012.

9 December 2011