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Know Your Rights: Gift Vouchers

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Many people give and receive gift vouchers at Christmas. There are many benefits to gift vouchers but there are also some risks.

You may lose the voucher, it may expire before you can use it or you may not be able to spend the balance on a gift voucher. It is important that you know the conditions and rules that apply before you buy a gift voucher.

What are the current rules that apply to gift vouchers?

Since December 2, 2019, the Consumer Protection (Gift Vouchers) Act 2019 sets out new rules for gift vouchers.

These include the following:

Gift vouchers must have no expiry date or 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. Traders cannot specify that a gift voucher is spent in one transaction, and they 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.

Do these rules apply to gift vouchers purchased before December 2, 2019?

The legislation does not apply to gift vouchers bought before December 2, 2019. Some traders may be flexible. If your voucher has expired, you should contact the trader to see if they will extend it. However, if you bought the gift voucher before December 2, 2019, they have no legal obligation to do this and some may charge a fee.

What are my rights if I lose a 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.

What happens if the shop goes out of business?

If a trader goes out of business before you use the voucher, you may have difficulty getting your money back. Usually the trader will owe money to several people so your claim is just one of many. There are rules for the priority to be given to the various debts owed in the case of the business going into liquidation or receivership. Generally, you will be low in the order of priority.

You will need to make a claim in writing to the appointed administrator or liquidator (if applicable) providing proof of your voucher. However, it is unlikely that your voucher will be honoured. If a new owner takes over, they do not have to honour your voucher.
For this reason, you should buy gift vouchers using a credit or debit card, as you may be able to use chargeback through your bank or credit card provider.
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During COVID-19, you can find comprehensive integrated information online at citizensinformation.ie/covid19/ and you can get daily updates on what’s changed on Twitter at @citizensinfo.

You can also get information and advice from:

Tralee on Tel: Call 0818 07 7860, Monday – Friday (10am-4pm)
The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0818 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm

Our national call back service: Visit citizensinformation.ie/callback to request a phone call from an information officer

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30 years of Innisfallen Island MassThe annual special concelebrated Mass on Innisfallen Island takes place next week.

Next Friday (June 21), members of the public are invited to attend the Mass taking place at 6.30pm. Now in its 30th year, the Mass was originally an idea by […]

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Next Friday (June 21), members of the public are invited to attend the Mass taking place at 6.30pm.

Now in its 30th year, the Mass was originally an idea by Geoffrey O’Donoghue who sadly died four years after it began.

“There was an Augustinian Monastery on Innisfallen Island and the people, including priests and monks and they say Brian Boro, went out there to study. The lake, Lough Lein is called ‘The Lake of Learning’,” said his wife Mary who carries on the tradition in his memory.

“My husband Geoffrey was a descendent of the O’Donoghues and he wanted to have Mass on the island. The O’Donoghues built Ross Castle and owned the lands and the lake surrounding it which was later donated by John McShane to the people of Killarney. He [Geoffrey] asked one of the friars and one day he got a call from the OPW that there would be a plaque unveiled to John McShane and they asked if the Mass could coincide with it. It was attended by Sr Pauline, John McShane’s daughter.”

She added that all the public are welcome to attend. Boats, which will have a nominal fee to cover their costs, will be carrying passengers out from 4pm onwards.

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Photo of “hidden gem” wins Camera Club’s latest competition

A photograph of one of Killarney’s hidden beauty spots was deemed the winner of Killarney Camera Club’s most recent competition. Th standard was high throughout all categories but in the […]

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A photograph of one of Killarney’s hidden beauty spots was deemed the winner of Killarney Camera Club’s most recent competition.

Th standard was high throughout all categories but in the Novice category, Iryna Halaieva’s photograph of O’Sullivan’s Cascade was deemed the winner.

“A waterfall is my favourite waterbody and long exposure is my favourite photographic technique,” she said. “I do my best to have as many waterfalls as possible in my photo collection. I heard a lot about O’Sullivan’s Cascade and wanted to visit that hidden gem of Kerry. So, shortly before our club competition I went with a friend to Tomies Wood to photograph it. It was a dream come true for me.”

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