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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Saturday, 21.04.2018, 16:11

On gift cards in Latvia

Aleksandrs Koposovs, , lawyer of the Law office INLAT PLUS, 21.02.2012.Print version
Question: A company refuses to sell discounted goods in consideration for gift cards. It is said to be against their internal rules to apply discounts to goods sold for gift cards. But then, a gift card is the same as the price paid for goods, isn’t it? The shop seems to be violating the regulations of retail trading. There’s no information within the shop or on the price label saying that discounts are not applied to goods sold in consideration for gift cards.

Answer: When buying a gift card the buyer deposits the price for goods in the form of advance payment or prepayment. At this stage the subject of the transaction is not determined yet (the purchase is not determined or chosen yet), which means that the transaction is not closed. The card with receipt is given to the buyer. The card is deemed to be a document evidencing that the buyer has paid up the goods in amount specified on the card and entitling the holder to receive goods in consideration for deposited amount.


Transaction shall be deemed closed after the goods are issued to the holder. The law doesn’t prescribe the procedure for issuing or using the gift cards. Therefore, it is the right of seller to determine the conditions for issuing and using gift cards, as well as to set the price of the chosen goods. For this purpose seller shall develop relevant regulations and inform each buyer of said regulations prior to selling a gift card. There are no violations on the part of the seller, unless the regulations doesn’t indicate that buyers with gift cards are not qualified to buy goods at discounted prices and the buyer wasn’t informed of such regulations prior to buying a gift card.


If there are no such regulations or the seller fails to prove that the buyer was informed of the regulations, the buyer or card holder may file a complaint. According to Section 4, Paragraph 2 of the Consumer Rights Protection Law, a consumer shall receive complete information regarding the goods or services, procedure for settlement of accounts, contract performance and liability if contractual obligations are breached. According to Section 3 of the Law, consumer rights are violated if the possibility to receive comprehensive and complete information regarding the goods, or the service or the price of the service is not ensured.


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