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Millions wasted as people don't spend gift vouchers

Staff writer ▼ | December 27, 2014
300 million pounds worth of gift vouchers bought this year could go unspent according to research by the UK Gift Card and Voucher Association.
Gift voucher
Happy holidays   UK Consumer Affairs Minister Jo Swinson:
As much as 300 million pounds worth of gift vouchers bought this year could go unspent according to research by the UK Gift Card and Voucher Association (UKGCVA). Consumer Affairs Minister Jo Swinson is urging consumers to spend and enjoy any vouchers they get for Christmas before they expire.

Every year 6% of vouchers bought by consumers go unused as they lay forgotten in people's wallets and drawers.

In 2013 some 2.5 billion worth of gift cards and vouchers were sold in UK retail stores as gifts and 2.25 billion were purchased by businesses as staff or customer rewards. Meanwhile a UKGCVA report shows that in the third quarter of 2014, the gift card and voucher industry grew by 10%. The UK industry as a whole is now worth 5 billion.

Consumer Affairs Minister Jo Swinson said: "Cards and vouchers are a popular gift choice at this time of year, but many people do not even realise that there is an expiry date and fail to check the details. Hundreds of million poundss of pounds is going unspent, which means consumers are losing out.

"I would urge people to look carefully at the terms and conditions on the voucher or gift card and if it is not perfectly clear how long it is valid for, they should contact the retailer who issued it so that they know when they need to use it by. It is a real shame to miss out on a gift because a card or voucher is left hidden in a drawer."


 

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