Have you lost out on a gift voucher after it expired or the retailer went bust? Perhaps you just didn’t get round to spending one? We want to hear from you.
We’re working on an investigation into gift cards and want to hear about your experiences: if you’ve received a gift voucher in the past year that ended up being worthless, let us know who it was for and why you haven’t spent it in the comments.
What happens to gift cards when a retailer goes bust?
For those who are tricky to buy for, a gift card can seem like the perfect Christmas or birthday present. But sending gift cards is riskier than you might think – particularly in the current retail climate.
A string of major high street retailers, such as Topshop, Debenhams and Warehouse, have fallen into administration since the start of the pandemic. Unfortunately when a retailer goes bust, the administrators that try to save the troubled company can decide to stop accepting gift cards at any point.
This is what happened with Arcadia stores just after Christmas last year – after Topshop fell into administration, customers with gift cards could only spend up to 50% of their order using the gift voucher and how to front the remaining 50% themselves.
This meant Topshop customers who received gift cards for Christmas were only able to spend half of the balance.
— Catrin Charles (@CatPrys) February 2, 2021
It’s worth bearing this in mind before buying a gift voucher – and if you do receive a gift card for a company that later goes bust, make sure you spend it as soon as possible.
Let us know if you’ve lost out on spending your full gift card balance after a retailer went bust.
Has your gift card expired?
Have you had a gift card expire during one of the UK’s lockdowns and the retailer refused to extend it? Gift cards normally have expiry dates – but often they’re nestled in the small print and can be easily missed.
With high street stores shut during lockdown, many retailers took the decision to extend people’s gift cards. But not all were this generous – Which? research last year revealed that an eye-watering £100m had been lost in expired vouchers while non-essential shops were closed.
If you had a gift card that expired (and wasn’t extended) in the past year, let us know in the comments.
Unwanted gift vouchers
Sometimes family and friends don’t know us as well as they might think – did you receive a gift card for a retailer you don’t want to shop with? Maybe you can’t find anything you want to buy from the retailer, or perhaps you decided to exchange the gift card online instead of buying something you don’t want.
There’s a few sites online, including Zapper and Cardyard, that allow you to sell your gift card for slightly less than it’s worth.
Let us know if you’ve struggled to spend your balance or your experience if you’ve sold yours online.