'Consumer Reports' Warns Against Gift Cards

  • November 13, 2007
Consumer Reports is unveiling its latest public education campaign, warning holiday shoppers of the pitfalls associated with the ubiquitous gift card.

The public education campaign kicks off today with a full-page ad in The New York Times advising shoppers that unredeemed gift cards can be easy money for retailers and lost money for consumers. TowerGroup estimates that nearly $8 billion was lost last year due to unredeemed value, expiration or loss of gift cards.

Consumer Reports will also launch a holiday shopping hub on ConsumerReports.org that will offer tips on how to avoid gift-card snags, and provides a place for consumers to share their stories about problems with gift cards.

The group's latest survey finds that 27% of gift card recipients have not used one or more of these cards--up from 19% at the same time last year. And among consumers with unredeemed cards from last season, 51% have 2 or more.

--Nina M. Lentini

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