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Consumer & Business Advice
Media releases
5 May 2015

South Australian families are urged to check carefully to make sure their Mum gets the most out of gift cards this Mother’s Day.

Business Services and Consumers Minister Gail Gago said gift cards are a great option to allow your mum to choose something special from her favourite store or pampering service.

“But not all gift cards are created equal, so a little bit of homework will help you to make the right Mother’s Day gift card choice,” Ms Gago said.

“Gift cards usually come with terms and conditions that limit how and when you can redeem them, so you need to know and consider these Ts and Cs before you buy.

“Check the expiry date and any limits on value or the number of transactions. If you can, go for a gift card that pays the last few dollars back as cash change.

“If you’re considering a multi-store card for a shopping centre, make sure you find out if any shops or products are excluded before you make your decision.

“When you give the gift card to your mum on Mother’s Day, include a few reminders to make sure she gets the most out of it.

“It’s handy to put an expiry date reminder in your phone straight away, and take copies or photos of receipts or terms and conditions to make sure you don’t lose them.

“Treat gift cards as if they were cash, because if you lose them, you usually can’t replace or redeem them. The gift card should be used as soon as possible to limit the risk of it not being honoured if the business is sold or goes into receivership.

“Remember that all of your normal consumer rights apply, even to purchases made by gift card, so if something goes wrong, go back to the shop for a refund or replacement.”

Jewellery and appliances are also popular items for Mother’s Day gifts, but consumers need to be aware of was/now pricing claims.

“In many stores you’ll see statements such as ‘was $100, now $50’. This is called ‘was/now’ pricing and businesses use it to attract consumers and encourage them to buy a product that they think is now good value,” Ms Gago said.

“It’s a great feeling walking out of a shop with that special item, especially when you believe you’ve paid half the original price. But, you need to be careful when looking at specials or was/now pricing and ask the trader to back up their pricing claims if they seem far-fetched.”

For more information on gift cards, was/now pricing and your consumer rights and responsibilities visit www.cbs.sa.gov.au