Multi-Store Gift Card Coalition

Multi-Store Gift Card Coalition

December 05, 2006 18:59 ET

Multi-Store Gift Card Coalition Supports Manitoba Government's Consumer Protection Legislation

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(CCNMatthews - Dec. 5, 2006) - Companies representing the multi-store gift card industry welcome new measures to protect consumers outlined in the Government's Consumer Protection Amendment Act.

"Our industry looks forward to working with the Government of Manitoba to ensure that consumers' interests are protected", said Mike Miroslaw of StoreFinancial Services of Canada Co. one of Canada's largest issuers and service providers of multi-store gift cards.

Multi-store gift cards are one of the most convenient ways to give a gift. Multi-store gift cards allow consumers to use the card at many stores, receive credits for returned merchandise, replace lost or stolen cards, and access account balances 24/7 online and through a telephone call center.

"Since introducing the multi-store gift cards at our malls we have seen a huge growth in their popularity. They make gift giving easy because they are not limited to a single store or chain of stores," said Deborah Green, the General Manager of the Polo Park Shopping Mall, representing the Cadillac Fairview Corporation. "Consumers pay a service fee of $1.50 when the card is purchased and there are no further costs if the card is redeemed within 15 months. The Cadillac Fairview multi-store card can be used at more than 4,000 different retailers across Canada, so it's no surprise that 95 percent of all cards we issue are fully redeemed within that time," added Ms.Green.

Yesterday, Ms. Green told the Manitoba Legislative committee reviewing amendments to the Consumer Protection Act, "We believe in full-disclosure, ensuring that all service costs are stated clearly at point of purchase, on all promotional materials, on the gift receipt and on the multi-store gift card itself."

In response to the popularity of multi-store gift cards, Cadillac Fairview Corporation and other owners and managers of shopping malls have joined with StoreFinancial Services of Canada Co, to form a coalition that will promote best industry practices and work with governments to ensure that consumer interests are protected and regulations recognize the unique services and costs associated with providing multi-store gift cards.

The Province of Ontario has also introduced legislation to give the Province the power to regulate gift cards and New Brunswick has expressed interest in the issue. "The coalition of multi-store gift card companies looks forward to working with all provincial governments to ensure that consumers have confidence in the gift cards they are purchasing," said Mike Miroslaw.

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