NZPPI has decided to discontinue the Go Gardening Gift Card and Voucher scheme due to a long term decline in sales and increasing costs, making the scheme unviable.
Shutting down the scheme will happen in stages over a period of two years, firstly stopping the sale of cards from 31 January 2021, then redeeming valid cards and vouchers for the validity period of two years, or as required.
This policy has been developed to provide clarity to retailers and NZPPI staff about how Go Gardening Gift Cards and Vouchers will be managed during the remaining time of the scheme.
It defines a ‘valid’ gift card or voucher and explains that NZPPI is commitment to redeeming these. It also defines gift cards and vouchers that are not valid and explains that NZPPI will only reimburse the value of these cards in special circumstances, at its discretion.
NZPPI holds funds to cover the value of gift cards and vouchers that are in circulation and will reimburse retailers with the value of valid, redeemed gift cards and vouchers from these funds.
Gift card and voucher schemes have particular risks that must be managed, these risks include fraud, or redeeming cards and vouchers that are no longer valid. NZPPI is conscious of these risks and asks retailers to monitor closely and be vigilant for signs of risk.
NZPPI will meet and enforce the terms and conditions of gift cards and vouchers and the requirements of the Consumer Protection Act, the Fair Trading Act and other relevant legislation.
The sale of gift vouchers ceased in December 2019 . It is anticipated that, other than a pool of vouchers that don’t have an expiry date, all vouchers will be redeemed or naturally expired by 30 December 2021, ending the scheme.
There is a small pool of gift vouchers, issued prior to 2001, that do not have an expiry date. NZPPI will continue to redeem these vouchers while obliged to do so.
NZPPI stopped selling blank gift cards to retailers in October 2020. While retailers are unable to order more blank cards, they can sell gift cards to consumers until 31st January 2021. The E Cards system that processes transactions will not accept gift card sales after this date.
NZPPI will refund the value of blank or unsold gift cards and wallets that are held by retailers after 31 January 2021 at the price paid by the retailer.
It is anticipated that all gift cards will have been redeemed, or naturally expired, by 1 May 2023, ending the scheme.
- NZPPI will reimburse retailers for the value of valid gift cards and vouchers that have been redeemed by the retailer in good faith.
- Retailers are responsible to check the validity of gift cads and vouchers at the time they are redeemed in the store.
- NZPPI will not reimburse retailers for cards and vouchers that are not valid at the time they are redeemed by the consumer.
- If the gift card or voucher is expired, or is otherwise not valid when it is presented at the retail store, the retailer does not have to honour it.
- Retailers must submit reimbursement claims to NZPPI within 2 months of the date of redemption of gift cards or vouchers.
Valid gift cards and vouchers
Valid gift cards and vouchers must:
- have the date of issue or sale to the consumer clearly stated on the gift card or voucher
- be within the validity period (i.e. less than 2 years from the date of issue)
- there is no evidence that the card or voucher has been forged, tampered with, redeemed previously, or information on the card changed.
Expired Gift cards and Vouchers
NZPPI will not reimburse a retailer for the value of a redeemed gift card or vouchers that has been redeemed by the retailer after the expiry date has passed.
However, if it has only recently expired, or there are exceptional circumstances, NZPPI may allow a “grace period”, during which they will extend the validity of a gift card, or accept an expired voucher. The grace period is an exception and completely at NZPPI’s discretion.
Retailers are required to check the expiry dates on gift cards and vouchers at the time they are redeemed by the customer.
If a customer presents an expired gift card or voucher, the retailer should not redeem the gift card or voucher, or offer an extension. The customer should be referred directly to NZPPI, providing the NZPPI office - 04 918 3511 / email@example.com.
Only NZPPI can offer, or approve an extension of a gift card or voucher. NZPPI will monitor and make decisions relating to the validity and remaining value of individual gift cards using data stored in the E Cards database.
Complaining or challenging a decision
NZPPI will provide a process for consumers to request an extension of a cards expiry date, or to raise complaints.
For consumers: We recommend that consumers refer concerns or complaints directly to NZPPI if they are unhappy with a decision that a retailer makes, e.g. to not redeem a gift card or voucher that they believe is not valid. NZPPI will consider each case and communicate directly with the card / voucher holder.
For retailers: We recommend that retailers complain to the NZPPI CE if they are unhappy with a decision not to reimburse the value of gift cards and vouchers that they have submitted to NZPPI.
Retailer may escalate complaints to the NZPPI Board and have rights under the Commerce Act and Fair Trading Act, which include mediation, etc.
To see more information regarding this on the Consumer Protection NZ website, please click here.