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Did you have a gift voucher expire during lockdown?

Some retailers extended gift cards that customers couldn’t spend during lockdown, but others weren’t so generous. Did you have one that expired?

In the run-up to Christmas last year, we warned readers that buying gift vouchers as presents was risky.

Obviously, we had no idea that the national lockdown following the outbreak of COVID-19 around the world would make them even riskier. 

With shops and restaurants closed and most events cancelled between March and July, many vouchers were rendered useless.

Guide: your rights with gift vouchers and cards

Time ticked on, and many worried as their vouchers reached their expiry dates.

Extending expiry dates

Usually these expiry dates are non-negotiable, and they can catch people out at the best of times.

But this year, many firms have recognised that people haven’t been able to spend them in the allotted time – so they’ve been in touch to extend them.

Sadly this wasn’t the case across the board, with many consumers left out of pocket by vouchers that weren’t extended. 

Tell us your story

We want to hear from you about your lockdown voucher experiences. 

If you had a voucher that expired during lockdown, did you manage to get it extended? And if so, did you have to phone up to do it? 

Conversely, did you call up to extend your voucher, only to be told the expiry date was final?

Let us know in the comments. 

Comments

It is now three months since @iaikman provided this Conversation.

If there is little or no hope that those who have bought gift vouchers but not been able to use them due to the pandemic, then Which? should be warning us all to avoid buying gift vouchers. I would prefer Which? to rattle the cage of government to ban gift vouchers that expire.

James Plowman says:
11 January 2021

I have two John Lewis vouchers that expired during the lockdown.

No offer for any assistance.

James – John Lewis’s on-line services have been operating normally throughout the period so perhaps they think customers have had every chance to use any vouchers.

Sadie says:
12 January 2021

If you were given a ‘gift’ voucher as a present, shopping online is not the same as browsing in store for something. Of course they should be extended during this pandemic, same as holidays can be amended

In the case of holidays the operator could not fulfil the contract and is legally obliged to refund any payment made. That is not the case with gift vouchers where there is also an on-line option. For gift vouchers, the terms & conditions are as specified by the provider.

Caroline Jones says:
19 January 2021

We have a zizzi restaurant gift card about to expire in a couple of weeks. I’ve tried contacting zizzi and no response. They won’t answer emails. Facebook etc

Had a quick look at this for you, it does mention on the FAQ’s that the gift cards have been extended. Annoying you can’t speak to anyone right now but hopefully the website information will update with another extension.

https://www.zizzi.co.uk/faq

https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/what-are-my-rights-with-gift-vouchers-and-cards

Please do keep us updated with this.