A Prezzy Card
31 August 2017

Prezzy Card expiry dates catch out consumers

Consumers stung by gift card's mean expiry date.

Twenty-five retailers ditched or extended their gift card expiry dates last year in response to our Drop the Dates campaign. But the company behind one gift card that we continue to get complaints about refuses to budge on its 12-month term.

Kiwibank, which issues Prezzy Cards, said the gift card has been around for 10 years and it’s “had very few complaints throughout that time that we haven’t been able to resolve in a mutually agreeable manner with customers”.

That’s not what consumers are telling us.

We’ve received a dozen complaints from disgruntled Prezzy Card recipients with expired cards. The money still left on the cards ranged from $25 to $200.

Laurie Wright received a $200 Prezzy Card as a farewell gift from her employer. However, when she came to use the card, it had expired. She contacted Prezzy Card to explain the situation but was simply told the card had expired and there was no way to get her money back. Laurie told us “they couldn’t have cared less”.

Charl de Klerk’s teenage daughter received a $50 Prezzy Card for her birthday. She was saving for an iPad and planned on using the gift card to go towards the purchase. However, by the time she’d saved enough money, her card had expired. Charl wrote to Prezzy Card but was told the funds had expired and that the person who bought the card was responsible for explaining the expiry date.

Only 3 of the Prezzy Card customers we’ve heard from said they were successful in getting a replacement after their card expired. However, in all 3 cases, they were charged a $20 administration fee.

We’re calling on Kiwibank to drop Prezzy Card’s mean expiry date. If you’ve had a bad experience with Prezzy Card, let us know at shortchanged@consumer.org.nz.

Prezzy Card costs

The short expiry date isn’t the only mean thing about Prezzy Card. To buy a card, you have to pay a purchase fee of $5.50 to $5.95. If it’s lost or stolen, there’s a $10 fee to replace a card (it’s $50 if sent to an overseas address). To top it off, a 50¢ fee applies to call the Prezzy Card automated phone service. You’ll be stung $1.50 per call if you want to speak to a real person. If you dispute a transaction and your complaint isn’t upheld you’ll be up for a $15 fee.

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