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KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: Gift Vouchers

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Gift vouchers are any voucher, coupon or other document (including an electronic document) that can be used instead of money to pay (or pay in part) for goods and services.

Gift vouchers come in different forms, such as paper gift certificates, electronic cards or gift cards. They can be issued by a single business or for a group of shops (such as a shopping centre).
When you buy a gift voucher, you enter into a contract with the trader. The voucher is like cash that you hand over in exchange for goods and services.

What are the current rules that apply to gift vouchers?

The rules for gift vouchers sold after 2 December 2019 are set out in the Consumer Protection (Gift Vouchers) Act 2019.

The rules state:

Gift vouchers must have no expiry date or be valid for at least five years - see ‘Expiry dates on gift vouchers’ below.
Traders cannot specify that a gift voucher is spent in one transaction
Traders cannot charge a fee to change the name on a gift voucher (if you have to register a name on the voucher)
If the balance remaining on a gift voucher is more than €1 after you buy something with it, a trader must reimburse the balance to you. They can give you cash, make an electronic transfer or give you another gift voucher.

Are there any exceptions to the rules?

The rules do not apply to:

Vouchers you can only use to buy specified goods and services at a discounted price, from a specified trader on a specified date, or for a specified period of three months or less.

For example:

Vouchers from deal websites such as Groupon or Pigsback
Vouchers issued as part of a customer loyalty or promotion scheme
Vouchers issued as a refund for goods you returned to a trader
Vouchers and gift cards sold before 2 December 2019. The expiry period and the terms and conditions that applied at the time of purchase still apply to these vouchers
The rules do not apply to electronic money gift cards.

What is an electronic money gift card?

In general, electronic money gift cards (for example, One4all gift cards), are cards that can be used in a number of different shops.
Electronic money gift cards are regulated under the European Communities (Electronic Money) Regulations 2011. The Central Bank is responsible for enforcing these regulations.
Under the Regulations:
You must be informed of the conditions for using the e-money card, including any fees before you buy the card
Fees must be proportionate and in line with the costs actually incurred by the e-money issuer (that is, the business who issues the card to you)

Is there an expiry date on gift vouchers?

There is a five-year minimum expiry date for all vouchers sold after 2 December 2019. This is set out in the Consumer Protection (Gift Vouchers) Act 2019.

Under the rules, gift vouchers must either:

Have no expiry date, or must be valid for at least five years from the date the gift voucher is issued.
You must be given details of the expiry date in a durable format (for example, on paper or by email) at the time you buy the gift voucher.
The legislation does not apply to gift vouchers bought before 2 December 2019.

What are my rights if I still have a voucher bought before 2 December 2019?

You should have been made aware of the expiry date at time of purchase. Some traders print the expiry on the voucher itself, on the packaging, on the website or you can see the policy in the shop. If it is not clear, ask or look for the policy on the website before buying. Expiry dates can vary as the trader decides how long they are valid for.
Some traders may be flexible. If your voucher has expired, contact the trader to see if they will extend it. However, if you bought the gift voucher before 2 December 2019, they have no legal obligation to do this and some may charge a fee.

What are my rights if I lose a gift voucher?

Gift vouchers are like cash, so if you lose them, the company does not have to replace them. If a voucher was made out to you specifically and is not transferable to anyone else, you may be able to get a replacement. This depends on the gift voucher’s terms and conditions and the company’s policy.
If you lose a gift card, you may be able to get a replacement card but you need to check with the retailer. You could be charged a fee for the replacement card.

For anyone needing information, advice or have an advocacy issue, you can call a member of the local Citizens Information team in Kerry on 0818 07 7860. The offices are staffed from Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm. Alternatively you can email on tralee@citinfo.ie or log on to www.citizensinformation.ie for further information.

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Rebel lights delight for Killarney star

By Con Dennehy The continued growth, development and participation of women’s handball in East Kerry was rewarded at the weekend when Cork hosted ‘She’s Ace’, the prestigious All Ladies Handball […]

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By Con Dennehy

The continued growth, development and participation of women’s handball in East Kerry was rewarded at the weekend when Cork hosted ‘She’s Ace’, the prestigious All Ladies Handball championships.

Attracting all the leading players in Ireland, it was Sarah Dineen, the Spa/Killarney player who shot out the Rebel lights in Conna with a phenomenal display of handball.

Competing in the highly competitive Ladies Challenger championship, the Killarney player, who took up the sport just 18 months ago, had the perfect start in the competition defeating the home town favourite Agnes Hurley from Conna on a 21-20 scoreline following an energy sapping and close encounter that hung in the balance to the final ace.

In her second game she took on the challenge of Nolwenn Even from St Brigids where her skill, superior fitness and movement on the court resulted in the 21-12 victory and a place in the prestigious final.

“The final was always going to be a difficult game not least playing local girl Kate O’Riordan from Conna. I concentrated on my serve and kill shots which ensured we shared the aces early in the game. It was a difficult game with the home supporters out in force to cheer on their local hero. However, I played well and secured a 21-11 victory. This was the second time this title came to Spa Killarney following the 2022 win by Aoife Walsh in Northern Ireland,” said Sarah, who is currently chairperson of the Killarney Camogie Club.

A native of Westmeath, Sarah (46) runs a jewellery business in Killarney and lives in Rathmore. No stranger to competitive sport she played camogie for Westmeath and Leinster and also won an Intermediate championship Gaelic football medal in Westmeath.

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STEM Scholarship for outstanding female student

By Michelle Crean A Killarney student attending University College Cork has received a STEM scholarship. Annie O’Donoghue (22) who is in her final year of a Bachelor of Science Degree in Data Science […]

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By Michelle Crean

A Killarney student attending University College Cork has received a STEM scholarship.

Annie O’Donoghue (22) who is in her final year of a Bachelor of Science Degree in Data Science and Analytics in University College Cork, was recognised as an outstanding female student in STEM2D disciplines: Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, Manufacturing and Design at a ceremony held at Janssen Sciences site in Ringaskiddy.

Annie, from Muckross, will receive a student award, a bursary of €1,500, industry mentoring and leadership training, along with the opportunity to attend career workshops, visit Johnson & Johnson sites and participate in WiSTEM2D events designed to support students with pursuing future STEM careers.

The Johnson & Johnson WiSTEM2D programme fuels the development of the female STEM2D talent pipeline by awarding and sponsoring girls and women at critical points in their educational experience and their careers, in STEM disciplines. The Undergraduate programme was first introduced at University of Limerick in 2016. Since then, it has expanded to include University College Cork in 2018, University of Galway in 2021, and Munster Technological University in 2022, supporting more than 400 female students over the last six years.

“It’s an honour to be a recipient of this award,” Annie, who is a former St Brigid’s Presentation Secondary School student, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“It’s great to see the number of women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Manufacturing and Design, increase over the years.”

She added that the goal of the award is “to inspire women to pursue their career path in their respective STEM2D field of work”.  
 

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