Charges on One4All gift cards described as “day light robbery”

By Mary Dennehy

AN POST has been asked to justify why people who have One4 All gift cards are charged when they don’t use them, a situation which has been branded “day light robbery” by Dublin MEP, Brian Hayes.

The Fine Gael MEP has said that it was brought to his attention this week that people are charged an inactivity fee of €1.45 every month if their gift cards are not used within a year.

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“Frankly, it’s day light robbery and I am calling on An Post, who are responsible for the gift cards, to immediately stop the practice”, Mr Hayes said.

“These gift cards are very often given as presents, especially at Christmas time and should not be subject to any charge at any stage.”

He added: “One 4 All is a subsidiary of An Post [and] they need to justify this unacceptable charge.

“I will also raise the matter with the European Commission as the gift cards are regulated under European Regulations.

“This issue was brought to my attention by a constituent who misplaced a gift card they received as a birthday gift 18 months ago. When they went to spend the gift card, they discovered the value had been reduced by half.”

“This practice is bad for consumers. There is no justification.”

Mr Hayes believes that there are two questions that An Post must answer; why is this “excessive charge” applied and how much money have consumers lost in recent years as a result of this charge?”

When contacted by today, a spokeswoman for An Post said: “One4All Gift Cards no longer expire, but we encourage all our customers to spend their gift cards within the first 12 months to avoid any charges and we are upfront about the charges – including it on the card back, card carrier, on our website, within t&cs and in several places within the One4all product Directory.

“One4All applies a monthly charge of €1.45 after 12 months to funds that have not been used at this stage.

“Our gift cards are issued in a regulated environment which protects our customers’ funds, all regulated gift cards carry charges, although you will find that One4All charges are lower than most other schemes.”

The statement continued: “One4All have participated in the consultative process in relation to the Proposed Consumer Rights Bill 2015.

“We welcome any additional protection or transparency that can be provided to consumers and would welcome standardised regulation similar to the E Money Directive.”

According to An Post, the One4All card is “highly regulated” and one of the “most secure” on the market.

The spokeswoman said: “I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the issue in the gift voucher industry currently is single store gift voucher holders being left as unsecured creditors when a retailer goes out of business.

“We are a highly regulated product and are one of the most secure gift cards in the market and the above does not apply to our gift card as our funds are held in a segregated account.”

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