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Can I buy gift vouchers online in another EU country?
Yes. Since the end of the unjustified geo-blocking, you can buy goods and services from traders who are based in another EU country. This also applies to vouchers. However, keep in mind that the seller is not obliged to deliver to Austria. Unless he's delivering here anyway. The delivery problem arises particularly with voucher cards, but not with electronic vouchers (read more about geoblocking).
How long are vouchers valid?
In Austria applies: If the voucher was issued without a time limit, the voucher is valid for 30 years. However, shorter deadlines are possible as long as they are justified and the consumer is not disadvantaged (e.g. by the period being so short that it is very difficult for the consumer to actually redeem the voucher).
In Germany Vouchers are normally valid for three years from the end of the year of issue. If the voucher was bought on December 1st, 2019, it can be redeemed until December 31st, 2022. However, a shorter term is also possible. For example, if the retailer has to expect high wage increases for the coming year or the event only takes place on a certain day.
While there is no expiration date for vouchers in Bulgaria, in France, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Iceland, Italy and Latvia the expiry date set by the dealer. In Italy, a maximum period of validity of 10 years is also regulated by law in the absence of an expiry date.
What happens if the voucher has expired?
Then in most EU countries, including Austria and Germany, there is no right to have the voucher extended or the money paid out. The exception is Denmark: Here electronic vouchers can still be reimbursed in the first year after their expiry. However, some companies extend the term on goodwill if you ask.
Can vouchers issued in a name be redeemed by other people?
In Austria, personalized vouchers may only be redeemed by those whose name is noted. In France, such vouchers can only be redeemed by third parties if the general terms and conditions expressly provide for this. And in Germany? If vouchers have been issued in a name, other people may also use it. However, with restrictions: Is the voucher tied to certain requirements, e.g. B. Health requirements for a parachute jump, the consent of the exhibitor is required if the voucher is to be transferred.
By the way: In Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta and the Netherlands, the name does not have to be listed on the voucher.
Can a gift voucher bought in another EU country be redeemed in an Austrian store in the same chain?
That depends on the company. Have a look at the terms and conditions or ask directly at the store.
Who can I contact if something went wrong with my voucher?
If you have a dispute with a retailer from another EU country, Iceland or Norway, the European Consumer Center Austria will help you.
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