Gift token rip off

Fine Gael TD Leo Varadkar has just published a survey that reveals details of the latest scam in rip off Ireland (Drivetime, 8th Feb).

Apparently, businesses are benefiting by up to €40 million per year by imposing restrictions and charges on gift tokens.

Many tokens expire after a year but some, like Ryanair, expire after just six months.

Others have service charges. Easons will ‘generously’ accept tokens for a year but thereafter imposes a charge of €2 for every month the token remains unused.

Transaction charges, ranging from €2 to €4, are another popular method of extracting ‘free’ money from consumers.

Terms and conditions are not always printed on the cards, a situation that can result in unpleasant surprises and even embarrassment for consumers.