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Did You Get A Voucher For Christmas? You Need To Read This…

These days, it’s almost too easy to buy a loved one a voucher and receive the same gratitude as if you’d personally picked a well thought-out gift they’ve always wanted.

That’s because gift vouchers are SO darn good these days, or are they? It seems that even with amazing vouchers from places like Zara, West Elm, Country Road and Good Food - many are a trap for young players.

I myself was positively thrilled to open two more West Elm vouchers this year, and then felt a sickening shock pulse through me when I realised I had also been given one last year and was waiting until I found the perfect piece to use it on.

I rushed to find last year’s gem and was thrilled to discover the cards had no expiry date, they were valid 'until the amount was consumed.’

However, the same could not be said for the Good Food voucher I discovered in the same envelope. It had just 12 months validity.

Which meant we couldn’t use it. I get it. It should teach me a lesson to stop saving things for special occasions, to live in the now and enjoy life by spending my vouchers when I get them, but the fact is people are busy, we’re also forgetful - and most importantly, if someone spends money on a gift, should that money really have an expiry date?

The company is still alive and well, the hundreds of restaurants are still taking part in the initiative - so what’s the issue?

It got me to thinking, just how much money is wasted on unused vouchers each and every year? How many companies are banking on the fact that you’ll hold a voucher too dear to use, or pray that you’ll forget to have it?

That way they just get the cash, without having to provide you with the goods. A report I discovered on the Daily Mail found that consumers wasted as much as 300 million pounds in 2015 on expired gift cards, up almost 50 million pounds from a report in 2012.

So, if so much is going to waste, and companies are still not altering their terms and conditions to better suit consumers, you can only assume that they LIKE us losing out.

Well I say, DON’T! Make sure you READ your terms and conditions - on EVERYTHING!

I’ve found that the validity dates of those living social/groupon vouchers are getting shorter and shorter too, probably banking on the fact that you won’t get in in time.


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