Unfortunately it’s become a bit of a high street trend for shops to go bust, often refusing to honour customers’ gift vouchers along the way. With a lack of rights surrounding them, are gift vouchers still a worthy gift?
There’s something about the slim white envelope being passed over to you. You just know, don’t you? There’s going to be a gift voucher inside.
We all do it. My Dad does it for my Mum for her favourite clothes store to avoid the ultimate clothes choice mishap. And I do it for my bookworm friends when I don’t want to second guess their reading choice – it’s the safe bet.
But with an increasing amount of administrators refusing to accept vouchers when shops go into administration, this image of the safe present choice may be misguided. Do you still give them?
Giving gift vouchers
According to our new survey, you do – in fact, eight out of 10 people surveyed have used a gift voucher in the last two years. Of those that have used a gift voucher, half used it because someone had bought it for them.
So why do we give them? Of those that had given a voucher as a present, more than half of you told us the reason was because you knew the recipient would like it, and nearly four in 10 said it was a preferable alternative to giving cash.
When we asked you here on Conversation about your thoughts on vouchers back in 2010, many of you professed to being a fan of the humble voucher – GL Attaway called them ‘an ideal gift for the ‘one who has everything’, while Cathi claimed:
‘I love receiving gift vouchers – especially online stores that sell everything! I can choose to spend as and when on what I like.’
Have gift vouchers stopped giving?
But this gush for gift vouchers has changed direction. In our most recent post, William said:
‘I think gift vouchers were traditionally a very good way of giving a present to someone who needed some money towards a particular item, or were tricky to buy for. Now, given today’s turbulent economy, they have become a risk.’
In our survey, more than half of you told us you would be less likely to buy gift vouchers at all now, because of the recent problems affecting some high street shops.
Unfortunately, it is within the law for administrators to refuse to honour your gift vouchers – even though the shop has already accepted money for them. You can make a claim in writing to the administrators with proof of your vouchers. But there’s no guarantee you’ll get all of your money back, and it could take up to 12 months to process the claim properly.
So, have gift vouchers had their day? And do you still enjoy receiving them – or would you really just prefer cash, or a more thoughtful token gift?