Gift Cards – Why Gift Card Fees and Expiration Should Be Eliminated
I have not yet come across a sound cause why there ought to be charges or expiration on present cards. Very first, by acquiring gift cards, consumers are essentially giving the card issuers an unsecured loan, on which they earn no interest, even if the card is not redeemed for a year or additional. Second, if fivebackgift.com goes bankrupt, there is pretty small likelihood the funds will be returned (except in a few cases, like not too long ago with Linens and Things).
So, if buyers are taking on these risks by shopping for gift cards, why should really they then be subjected to charges and expiration? They may well as nicely alter the present card charge disclosures to read like this:
Dear Gift Card Purchaser,
We genuinely appreciate the unsecured loan you gave us. With each other, you all gave us $97 billion in loans in 2007, up from $83 billion in 2006. You know we could use the added cash, provided all the speak of a recession. We thank you for not charging us any interest or charges on the loan. We will place your funds to operate quickly and generate good returns on it. You might even hear about all the kudos we will get from Wall Street due to our outstanding earnings (which will be helped by the cash we get when your present card expires). Heck, our CEO might even acquire his third McMansion in the Hamptons after we reward him for making excellent use of your loan. A couple of house cleaning products:
1. If you bought the gift card from our website, we may charge you a processing charge, separate from the shipping charge, in order to get you the card that shows that we owe you revenue. Feel cost-free to buy stuff in our shop up to the quantity of the loan (present card worth). But if you don’t hurry, we will punish you every month by charging you ridiculous costs. These fees can start out as soon as six months into the loan. We may possibly even commence your charges as early as a month into the loan if we so need. And don’t forget, the charges will continue until the balance on your present card reaches ZERO. Why? Since we can. Yes, your state legislatures are all complaining about this for the reason that it is an election year. Do you really believe they will do some thing about this?
two. Also, we have noticed from knowledge that some of you like to wait a long time, and we imply a extended, extended time to redeem your gift card. It takes a while for us to get your $100 gift card to ZERO if all we are charging is $2.50 every single month. So, we now have a far better concept. We will charge you the $two.50 for sometime and if you still do not redeem your gift card by a certain date, say inside two years, your card will expire. As soon as your card expires, we will get all the dollars left on the card. You are likely wondering if this is legal. Well, no one has told us it isn’t.
3. And don’t even believe about losing your card. We reserve the proper not to replace lost or stolen gift cards. Yes, we know that if you lose your Savings Account Statement or CD Certificate, the bank will replace it, but we are not a bank, so we can do what ever we want. If we feel generous, we might replace your present card, but we will charge you a fee, up to $15 to teach you a lesson.
four. Lastly, if you bought a bank issued present card (like Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Find out), then you improved read the fine print and grow to be familiar with fees like Transaction or Statement Copy Fee, Foreign Currency Conversion Charge, Check issuance Fee, and Transaction Fee / Balance inquiry Fee. And one particular last point Do not contact the FTC simply because they may be willing to push for laws to limit charges on retail gift cards but they have not been prepared to touch us, the bank issued present cards. Why? Simply because our lobbyists are performing an great job.
We hope you appreciate your present card.
It is my belief that gift card issuers will be better off and make far more cash if they remove fees and expiration from gift cards because the negative publicity about gift cards from each state lawmakers and the news media has led some customers to remain away from gift cards. This is particularly correct throughout the vacation season when each and every local news station and newspaper appear to run a story about the dangers of gift card fees and expiration.