Q: My parents were participating in a scheme that involved collecting food wrappers that could be exchanged in points and eventually redeemed as gifts. They recently went to the collecting point to redeem their points to find out that the gift scheme was closed. Unfortunately, my parents were not informed about this. They had an account with the scheme’s company so the latter could have easily informed them that the scheme was going to be closed and give them the possibility to use the collected points.

Is there something that can be done so that my parents do not lose their points?

A: When a company decides to interrupt or stop an ongoing offer or gift scheme it must ensure that its customers are adequately informed and have the possibility to redeem their collected points. This could be done through appropriate advertising and also by communicating directly with their customers via mailshots or e-mails if the company was in possession of such contact details.

Your parents should write to the company to complain about the scheme’s abrupt interruption and request that they are allowed to redeem their points against adequate gifts. If no satisfactory reply or solution is provided by the company, then your parents may lodge a complaint with the Office for Consumer Affairs.

When making their complaint it is important that they also submit a copy of the correspondence sent to the trader and any documentation they are in possession of related to the gift scheme.