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Topic # 100650 15-Apr-2012 23:18
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Two things annoy me about gift cards.  

Recently we went to use a card that was branded with a very well known companies name yet when it was discovered there was a problem with it we were informed that it wasn't issued by them and they were not able to sort the problem with it like they could do with their own gift cards.  It was issued by a third party who makes up gift cards for a whole range of outfits and sells them through a variety of outlets, not normally the the company whose name features on the card.  We had been given that card and from it's branding as far as we knew it was issued by the company in question, but they showed us their own branded cards which looked quite different. The moral is not all qift cards are created equal.

The other beef I have is why is there an expiry date on gift cards.  They are effectively cash.  The cash you get from the bank doesn't come with an expiry date on it.  Sure the card can be seen as a future liability for the redeemer, but they've had the use of that money that was used to purchase the card right up till it gets redeemed.  The longer it is till the card is redeemed the less value is is anyway, which ever way you look at it the issuer is on a winner.  Yet some of them want to steal your money if you don't spend it within a certain time frame. What gives them the right to steal your money like this?

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  Reply # 609804 16-Apr-2012 08:10
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Agreed, they're a bit of a rort. They can be convenient as gifts but that's about their only advantage.

Saying they are a 'effectively cash' is a bit optimistic in my view. When you're buying a gift card/voucher you are essentially agreeing to the T&Cs of the issuer, including any expiry date and that you can't sell it back to them for cash. As soon as you hand over your hard-earned dollars you are an unsecured creditor at the bottom of their food-chain.

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