From now on, Wonderbox, distributor of various gift cards such as GiftforYou, will inform consumers more clearly about the businesses where its gift cards can be redeemed. This information has been adjusted after the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) had confronted Wonderbox about this issue. Through its consumer information portal ACM ConsuWijzer, ACM received reports that consumers were not able to redeem their gift cards at businesses that had been listed on Wonderbox’s website as partner businesses. Wonderbox has now agreed to keep this information up-to-date, so that consumers will only see businesses that actually accept the gift cards. In addition, Wonderbox will make sure its customer service can be reached more easily.
Edwin van Houten, Director of ACM’s Consumer Department, explains: “If you have received a gift card and you want to redeem it, you will feel misled if you were not able to do so at the company of your choice even though that company was listed as a partner on the gift card’s website. We welcome Wonderbox’s commitment to only showing partners where consumers can actually go to with their gift cards.”
What was this case about?
Consumers that have received gift cards or have purchased vouchers for a nice dinner or a weekend getaway must actually be able to redeem those cards or vouchers at one of the businesses that are listed as partners on the distributor’s website. Gift-card distributors are responsible for keeping partner information up-to-date, and for removing businesses that are no longer partners from such lists within one day. In addition, the response time of Wonderbox’s customer service, about which ACM had also received complaints, has been improved. In addition, Wonderbox removed the customer satisfaction score after ACM had indicated that information was missing about the data on which that score was based.
Rules regarding gift cards
There are many different types of gift cards. When redeeming gift cards, consumers are able to take out products or services. They can only do so at businesses that are listed in the conditions or on the gift card’s website. Gift cards purchased after January 1, 2022, must be valid for at least two years (in Dutch).
Swift approach to consumer problems
ACM has many different instruments at its disposal for solving consumer problems. When selecting the right approach, ACM puts consumers first. In this case, ACM chooses to confront the company in order to solve the problem. By monitoring reports filed with ACM’s consumer information portal ACM ConsuWijzer, ACM continues to check whether the company implements the adjustments that have been agreed upon.