Expiry dates on gift vouchers could be banned under new bill
Government's proposals include a ban on expiry dates in gift vouchers and new rights in services and online contracts
25 May 2015 | 0
A ban on expiry dates for gift cards and vouchers has been proposed by Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton today as part of a new Consumer Rights Bill.
According to Minister Bruton’s department, the legislation which is being published today for consultation, represents the most far-reaching reform of consumer law in decades. It will make consumer rights clear to consumers and businesses alike by replacing the overlapping and confusing combination of primary, secondary and European legislation in place currently, and will bestow major new rights on consumers.
These include introducing statutory rights and remedies for the first time for consumers who download or stream games, music, videos, apps and other digital content. Strengthened rights for consumers purchasing services have also been proposed, including a right for the first time to have a substandard service remedied or refunded.
A standard 30 day period in which consumers could return faulty goods and get a full refund in place of the current unclear and uncertain rules on this time period is likewise included in the new proposals. Furthermore, consumers who acquire goods as gifts will have the same rights as the purchasers of the goods. The rules on unfair contract terms will also apply to negotiated as well as standard form contract terms and an expanded list of contract terms will be presumed to be unfair. New information rights have also been proposed for consumers in transactions for healthcare, social services and gambling, including price information for GP and other medical consultations.
Minister Bruton has urged businesses, consumers and other interested parties to respond to the consultation on the scheme of the proposed bill, so that a “workable” solution can be reached.
The consultation, which opens today, will close on Friday 28 August, and the target for enactment of the new legislation is mid-2016.