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Gift Vouchers


Pete e2
13 18.7k 96 England
10 Jan 2013 12:53PM
I was thinking yesterday when I heard the news about Jessops and the fact that they are not honouring gift vouchers (same with Comet a few months earlier) why companies can get away with this. The gift voucher should be a share of goods already paid for and it seems like an easy ride for administrators to block spending of them. They don't turn up on your door and ask for the camera or lens back that you bought a few weeks ago.
So firstly I'd suggest anyone with gift vouchers in anything, spend them now!

I also think there needs to be some form of protection policy built into vouchers so they're honoured. Otherwise people are going to become less confident and stop buying them.

Or to keep business local councils could create a "town" voucher that shops buy into so you buy the "Shop in Leeds" voucher and you can shop at a range of stores throughout the town. Meadowhall shopping centre does a form of this - you buy from the centre and use at a number of stores in the centre.

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Coleslaw e2
9 13.4k 28 Wales
10 Jan 2013 12:55PM
Ha....I have just said this on FB:
I can never understand why people buy gift vouchers.
If you are unsure what to buy for someone else, why not just give them money, then they can buy what they want where they want?
Pete e2
13 18.7k 96 England
10 Jan 2013 1:01PM

Quote:If you are unsure what to buy for someone else, why not just give them money, then they can buy what they want where they want?

For many a gift voucher is a little more present like..cash transferred to a bank account or stuffed in an envelop may seem a little sterile.
Coleslaw e2
9 13.4k 28 Wales
10 Jan 2013 1:05PM
But then, you are tied to only one shop, and the item you want might be way expensive there. So, you probably ended up have to pay extra for it.
KevSB 10 1.5k 5 United Kingdom
10 Jan 2013 1:08PM
I agree pete, They should have be as good as cash in the bank, In Fact a company should not be alowed to access that revinue untill the goods/product are transferred.

Cole, A Gift voucher is just that, A gift. Giving money to many including me does not feel like one.It enables someone to give a Music gift voucher but lets the Person who gets it choose the artist themselves, So I understand why but like Pete has said they should be secure.
Pete e2
13 18.7k 96 England
10 Jan 2013 1:14PM

Quote:But then, you are tied to only one shop, and the item you want might be way expensive there. So, you probably ended up have to pay extra for it.

Currently, but if you read my suggestion above it wouldn't be that way.
Coleslaw e2
9 13.4k 28 Wales
10 Jan 2013 1:17PM
Yeap, it wouldn't be that bad if that's the way to do it.
JackAllTog e2
5 4.0k 58 United Kingdom
10 Jan 2013 1:19PM
And some gift certificates expire and can't be exchanged for new gift certificates.

I dunno, maybe 10% or gift certificates bought are never redeemed - easy money for shops - especially when its electronically printed on a credit card - you can't even see what you have.

Now Gift cards that are not tied to any store could be much more useful - maybe something like Nectar giftcards ? Of course at some point a company will buy this and spend the money behind it such that if ever everybody cashed them all in they'd go bankrupt. ( Think pensions/RBS etc).

I kinda like Amazon electronic giftcards as they can be spent on loads.
wrinkles e2
6 351 United Kingdom
10 Jan 2013 2:30PM
I think the forgoing comments show just how bad this country has become, we have no redress in law when the money men play?Sad
10 Jan 2013 2:59PM
I think the point of a gift voucher is that it’s not merely cash, but permission to splurge on something you like (if the giver has done her job). Otherwise you’d spend the money on rent, petrol, or other ‘necessities’.

From that angle, even a more flexible gift card for a whole shopping centre might lose some of its charm.

Of course, shops push gift vouchers because lots of them are never or only tardily used. Free money, even if only for a couple of weeks, is never a bad thing for businesses.

I don’t think Jessops issued those vouchers with the intention not to honour them, though the timing of the bankruptcy – shortly after Christmas – is certainly unfortunate.
10 Jan 2013 3:17PM
Had a PCworld/Currys gift voucher which, when i tried to spend it, i discovered had expired about a week before. The expiry date was in the usual microscopic writing. Admittedly it had been sitting in a drawer for a while but still you feel a bit of a prat when the person at the counter tells you its invalid.

I agree with Pete. The cards should be just like handing over money. Money doesn't expire. It's the principle that really matters though. It's a bit like paying a deposit for something. Why should there be less rights for the customer when you buy a gift voucher?
Pete e2
13 18.7k 96 England
15 Jan 2013 6:06PM
HMV are not accepting gift vouchers now either. I bet loads of people had those for Christmas presents. It's totally wrong! Sad
kaybee 10 3.9k 24 Scotland
15 Jan 2013 6:35PM
When they are still trading and taking cash for goods in the shops I think it is just plain theft that they have taken money for the vouchers and then refuse to give goods in exchange.
It is like somebody handing over money at the till and then being told to leave without being given their purchace
cathal 10 492 4 Ireland
15 Jan 2013 11:49PM
As a kid, I remember getting book tokens or record tokens at various times. Back then though, they were redeemable at any good book or record shop. They were not tied to a particular chain.

I watched a great article on gift cards and vouchers on a BBC magazine program before Christmas. Retailers do very well out of them, as a fair percentage is never redeemed. They looked at all sorts of terms and conditions tied to them, and frankly, as Paul Lewis from Moneybox summed up, the best voucher is cash!

The only two I use now are Apple iTunes cards, and Amazon cards, which you can use to charge an online account. Beware though, a charged Amazon account expires after a period of time (I paid about 70p for that piece of information).

I agree that it is totally unfair that vouchers are no longer taken once a company goes into admin. Perhaps the way forward is a third party holds the funds in escrow until they are redeemed? Or perhaps we should all wake up to the way it works, and just abandon the scheme totally?


Quote:though the timing of the bankruptcy – shortly after Christmas – is certainly unfortunate.


There is a logic to this. Retail, at least the vast majority of high street retail, scrapes by for ten months of the year, and starts to earn money in the Christmas period. When a business is failing, or at least badly wounded, creditors can hang back until just after Christmas when they stand a chance of having cash in the tills to pay for the collapse. Rent is paid quarterly, and December 24th is the key date Q4. When a retailer misses this, there is a good chance they are dead in the water. While I wouldn't expect individual stores to knowingly sell vouchers they knew to be doomed, I find it hard to believe that the senior management at some chains are so blind to the crisis that they can condone such actions. HMV for example, issued a very stern warning to the market in December about it's health. Stern enough for me to be surprised they actually got to trade up to Christmas.

I'm quite happy to admit that any friends of mine who suggested they might buy vouchers for family and friends were cautioned against HMV. I now caution against any vouchers!

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