Multi-Store Gift Card Coalition

Multi-Store Gift Card Coalition

December 05, 2006 18:29 ET

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

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Dec. 5, 2006) - Companies representing the multi-store gift cards industry welcome new measures to protect consumers.

"Our industry looks forward to working with the Government of Ontario to ensure that consumers' interests are protected", said Mike Miroslaw of StoreFinancial Services of Canada Co. speaking at a Legislative Committee reviewing the proposed legislation (Bill 152).

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 Heath Applebaum of 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 multi-store gift card can be used at more than 4,000 different retailers across Canada, so it's no surprise that 95 percent of the gift cards we issue are fully redeemed within that time," added Applebaum.

Yesterday, Applebaum also spoke to the Standing Committee on Social Policy at Queen's Park to clarify the position of a growing coalition of companies across Canada. "We believe in full-disclosure, ensuring that service costs are stated clearly at the time of purchase, on all promotional materials, on the gift receipt and on the multi-store gift card itself."

In response to the growing 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, one of Canada's largest issuers and service providers of multi-store gift cards, 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 Manitoba 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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