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Darren Baker

18 December 2014
I was given a $100 gift card from my employer. It required me to activate the card within 3 months by either calling a number/or going on-line. I activated it soon after getting it. It also had instructions on the card that I had one year to use it after activation. It expired on 15/11/2014 and I emailed the company on 22/11/2014 as I was unaware of the expiry date as it was not on the card yet I knew it was close to 12 months.

When looking at the Consumer Affairs website, they clearly state that under the Corporations Act 2011, gift cards "must clearly display the expiry date". This was not the case with this particular card/company. When I emailed them, I got the following explanation about the clear display of expiry dates "...only applied to retail based gift cards like Coles Myer cards which are purchased in retail stores. Gift cards that are used for corporate rewards, incentives or promotions – where by the end user (consumer) has not had to purchase the card do not require an expiry date to be printed on the front of the card. It is also the duty of our customer – being the company that purchased the card from us to pass on the information pertaining to activation and expiry date periods."

Consumer Affairs Victoria instructed me to get independent legal advice to see whether I should take this to VCAT under the Commercial Law or Australian Consumer Law. Am I wasting my time?


LawConnect (LawTap) Verified
27 May 2014
Probably. For $100 it is unlikely to be worth your time. You stand a fair chance of winning, but you need to consider the cost involved in winning. You can do it on principle in which case cost is not a factor :)

Sarah J

Well-Known Member
16 July 2014
Melbourne, Victoria
I agree with Rod. Although you have a fair argument, the costs involved would outweigh the benefits obtained in the end. Take this as a loss and make a mental note to ask for the expiry date outright next time.


Well-Known Member
11 July 2014
'It also had instructions on the card that I had one year to use it after activation'. A couple of points to consider along with the other contributions...

The company which issued the gift card does not know on which date the end user will activate the card within the three month activation period. Given that, what more can that company possibly do than to let the end user know it is valid for twelve months from the date activated.

Sure, there is no date XX/XX/XX printed on the card, but there are instructions which when read during the activation process are tantamount to that. On the day you activated it, you knew the expiry date. You could have perhaps scribbled it in small font on the card. Here you simply forgot to use it before the expiry date which was known.

As the others suggest, even if you do get a finding in your favour and can use the card (unlikely I reckon), its value is probably not worth the time and effort invested
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