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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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Coolick National School to launch online lotto

A popular primary school in the Killarney area is launching a new fundraising initiative this week to support and improve the education experience of the children it serves. The Coolick […]

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A popular primary school in the Killarney area is launching a new fundraising initiative this week to support and improve the education experience of the children it serves.

The Coolick National School Lotto is now live; offering a weekly prize, a weekly jackpot and a range of valuable spot prizes at launch.

Coolick NS first opened its doors in 1870 making it one of the county’s oldest primary schools. The school and pre-school is home to over 130 children from the locality. This is an increase of 20% over the past 5 years taking enrolment to an all-time high.

Coolick NS School Lotto Chairperson and parent, Pádraig Leane says properly resourcing primary school services is crucial:

“The cost of providing education is rising and the school grants provided by the department, although valuable, only do so much. We want to overcome this challenge with our school lotto. The school has a range of immediate needs but also longer-term goals to expand our facilities, add more sports equipment, wellness programmes, student support programmes and increase extra-curricular trips,” he said.

First on the list is a new set of school jerseys, gymnastics mats, replacement of end-of-lfe iPads and further expansion of their Tír na nÓg play area for the younger pupils.
Coolick National School Principal Gearoid O’Sullivan remains focused on providing the best for the children of Coolick.

“As a school we are committed to providing the best equipment, teaching and learning resources, outdoor spaces and a school interior that helps nurture each child. This school lotto will help us with our commitment to provide the very best for the school and especially for the pupils in our care,” said the principal.

The staff and students of Coolick National School are appealing to families, friends, past pupils, members of the local community, stakeholders and supporters to get behind the weekly school lotto. It is hoped that the option of 1 line for €2.50, 2 lines for €4 or 3 lines for €5 will encourage everybody to contribute. A lotto draw will take place each week with a maximum jackpot of €2,000 to be won.

Signing up is easy; through the school’s website https://www.ourfundraiser.ie/org/coolickns

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Live TV audience date with Daniel O’Donnell at INEC

People of Killarney will have the opportunity to participate in a live television audience with Daniel O’Donnell. TG4 television’s highest rating country music series of concerts is coming to the […]

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People of Killarney will have the opportunity to participate in a live television audience with Daniel O’Donnell.

TG4 television’s highest rating country music series of concerts is coming to the Gleneagle INEC Arena for the first time from June 17 to 19.

Recorded before a live audience over three nights with two concerts per night, Opry le Daniel offers a different music theme each evening and a host of special guests will join the legendary presenter Daniel O’ Donnell on stage to perform all your favourite songs.

The recordings of the show will be split into two one-hour blocks, taking place throughout each evening.

Now in its 14th year, Ireland’s favourite country music artist O’ Donnell will be joined on stage by Declan Nerney, Cliona Hagan, Mike Denver, Chrissy Mac, Dana and the Donegal balladeers ‘Onóir’ to mention but a few.

Tickets from €30.20 are available from www.inec.ie and the Gleneagle INEC Arena box office on 064 6671555.

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