/ Money

Are you stuck with an unspent gift card?

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.

Guide: your consumer rights with gift vouchers and cards

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.

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.

Are you planning to buy a gift card for someone this Christmas?
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I would argue that any term or condition of a gift card that causes it to expire, allowing the business to retain the balance without recompense to the consumer, is an unfair contract term and therefore not binding on the consumer pursuant to Section 62(1) of the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

It’s high time that the UK enacted legislation about expiry of gift cards, as Australia and Ireland have done.

Thanks for reminding me to look at all my gift cards. I have a Harvey Nichols one with almost £500 on it, whose balance I last checked almost two years ago. So I will need to check the balance again before two years are up to stop it expiring. I bought it using an American Express offer, whereby Amex gave back £30 for every £100 spent. So it’s at a 30% discount.

It’s worth remembering that most gift cards expire two years after the balance last changed or the balance was last checked, either online or in store. So checking the balance every two years prevents expiry.

It seems that Harvey Nichols’ gift card expiry policy is two years since the funds were added. Unlike most other shops, checking the balance does not reset the clock on the two years. So my gift card of almost £500 had expired. I e-mailed Harvey Nichols, pointing out that their shops had been closed for long periods during the two-year validity period. Without any fuss, they sent me a new gift card for the same value, which arrived via DPD today. I’m quite impressed.

There could be some point in distinguishing between gift cards or vouchers that get cancelled by the administrators in the event of a company closure, and those that cannot effectively be used because the government has enforced the lockdown of the trader.

During the first few months of the coronavirus emergency there were quite a few comments in Which? Conversation about retailers’ refusal to extend the validity of gift cards. Some companies had argued that they could have been used for on-line purchasing but that still left grievances.

I recall a garden centre arguing that it could not extend gift vouchers because that would lead to accruals in their trading accounts. That could be an impediment or just a convenient excuse.

Who owns a gift card and has any rights over its use or can claim validity? The purchaser, or the recipient?

A relative generously gave me a book token last Christmas but I haven’t been in a bookshop since before March 2020. Luckily they don’t expire for several years but it would have been useful to be able to redeem it on-line since I haven’t stopped buying books.

I found a cineworld gift card that I had forgotten about, it actually expired over 2 years ago. Had it gifted to us when we first had our child and the thought behind it would be that we could have a night out to ourselves, life got in the way and that never happened but it’s a shame these things have expiry times as that is just money down the drain.

Why don’t you ask Cineworld to reissue it? There is no reason why Cineworld should be able to keep the money paid without providing the service. Cineworld can’t rely on an unfair contract term that allows it to do so.

Unfortunately, mine gift card was expired too due to COVID lockdown and I didn’t noticed it before. Few months back when I saw it, there was nothing I can do with it.

Have you tried to get it reissued as NFH has suggested above?

Having once lost £85 on gift vouchers that had not even expired, I do my best to avoid gift cards and vouchers.

That was a mistake and the amount I lost was £185. I still have the worthless gift vouchers, which I had purchased at a 10% discount using points accrued with my credit card company.

my wife had a Tea for two gift card from activity superstore, to be fair they extended the expiry twice but in the end due to covid it ran out & also the 2 nearest locations 50 miles away withdrew

I was given a Waitrose gift card in December 2019 for £20 as an Xmas present. I saved this card up with others given to me during the next 2 years to buy some bedding from John Lewis (JL). Unfortunately the gift card had expired by only one day when I realised. I emailed JL but they cannot do anything once a gift card has expired. As the gift card had only expired the day before I was disappointed with their response as I thought they might be more flexible, particularly as I was intending to put the gift card towards goods that were more expensive. I understand that it is my responsibility to keep a note of any expiry dates. My question is really is it morally right for a store to keep customers’ money spent on gift cards, even though under UK law they are entitled to do so?

Sylvia — Gift cards are designed to be spent and stores cannot hold their validity indefinitely for accounting reasons. It is unfortunate that you did not check the expiry date earlier but I have to agree that it is indeed your responsibility to keep a note of the expiry date since no one else is going to do so. The person who gave you the gift card probably also assumed you would make timely use of it. I presume that person, as the purchaser of the card, is the only person who can legitimately seek an extension but I think even that would be declined.

I don’t get these accounting reasons. The store has received income for gift vouchers and spending them is basically an exchange. What is the difference between a voucher that last 2 years and one that is kept for 5 years? Thousands of customers will have thousands of vouchers all expiring at different times and being redeemed at different times. I see it as just an excuse to get money for nothing especially as they don’t date vouchers visibly.

We were going through some old boxes a few days ago and found a few gift vouchers – Allders who stopped trading in 2013 and M&S with no expiry dates on them.

I agree. A gift card should have no expiry date. It is, or should be, simply a store of money for future use with a particular trader. The store, or other recipients, have the benefit of the money paid on the card effectively as a loan until it is redeemed. I see no reason why it’s value can simply be reduced to zero by the store in some arbitrary time. Nor do I see “accounting” as an excuse.

Gift cards should be regulated to ensure they retain their value while the business benefiting from their use remains solvent.

Sylvia, JLP (and some others) adopted a flexible attitude towards expired gift cards because it was recognised that it was not possible to visit stores during lockdown. There was, for JLP, an online service to speak to to extend expiry dates. Maybe another try with customer services would help?

I believe stores should be free to organise their promotions in whatever way they think suits their commercial interests.

I am not seeking to justify the accounting reason for the treatment of gift cards but it is the standard practice and I doubt the accountancy profession will change it. We have seen problems with stores that have gone into administration and gift cards have not been honoured. It seems to me to be sensible to redeem them as soon as possible.

Companies don’t like having to make provision for accruals [deferred purchasing in this case with no money changing hands]. It probably doesn’t add up to much as a percentage of overall trade but it is the usual practice not to extend their validity. Some retailers might be more flexible, so alternatives are available, but nearly all promotions have a set period of validity. Department stores and supermarkets offer plenty of opportunities to spend a voucher and put aside the cash saved if that overcomes the problem.

The donor of a gift voucher must be hoping that the recipient will use it to get something they like from a store that they like and not just absorb it into their general household expenditure, otherwise they could just give a cheque or notes [although a Waitrose voucher would seem to be tailor-made to spend on groceries and provisions].

I note that it is not possible to use an unexpired voucher to buy a new one if more time was required, but two years does seem to be a generous allowance.

Then the only fair way to deal with expired gift vouchers is to refund them so retailers can keep their books in order.

One day I will try and spend undated £25 M&S paper vouchers.

Gift vouchers, where someone simply puts money on, say, a JLP gift card, is not a promotion. There is no additional benefit to the recipient – no special offers or discount. It is simply a way of giving a money gift.

I see no accounting problem. If you have a JLP gift card that starts with a 2 year validity, each time it is used its validity is extended to, I believe, the original length of time.

Were the donor to only be charged when the recipient used the card then, like a cheque, an expiry date would make sense. But that is not the case; the donor gives the store money as a free loan until a purchase is made.

So I see no logical reason why a store should just decide to retain that money after a short time period. I have had store cards for JLP that have not been used for quite a time simply because I have not needed to spend them nor been to their store, or not had them in my wallet when I have visited; and time does pass without realising it. And gift cards have a habit of being kept in places where they are not regularly seen.

This appears to be a big, and probably, deliberate, earner for many stores: ” How retailers rake in £300m from the gift cards that don’t go on giving” https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-6424599/How-retailers-rake-300m-gift-cards-dont-giving.html

If Amazon can provide gift cards with a 10 year validity, why cannot others?

This is in the same league for consumer detriment as APP scams. So perhaps Which? will put the same vigour into resolving it as they do in criticising the banks. It should be a much simpler problem to resolve and might benefit far more people.

I don’t disagree with you in principle, Malcolm, but it is not the way the system works at the moment.

A gift voucher is a form of sales promotion because it is designed to channel spending to a particular shop or group. Its only consumer benefit seems to me that it is perceived to be a less mercenary form of present than a cheque or banknote and more likely to give satisfaction to both the donor and the recipient; it avoids the embarrassment of giving a present that might be unwanted, a duplicate, or of the wrong size/colour/quality for the receiver and gives them more choice over what is purchased.

Companies often offer M&S or JLP vouchers as an inducement to buying something expensive or signing up to a contract — I could paper the walls with such bribes and I bet the firms that offer them don’t pay the issuers the value stated on them because to the issuing companies they have strong upselling value.

I would support Alfa’s suggestion of making them refundable upon expiry but don’t know if there might be any money-laundering or fraud implications with high value vouchers, and £20 vouchers are so easy to spend I don’t see the need for a refund facility. Even gift cards where the user can draw down value over a period which can be extended until all the value is used up still ultimately have a two-year cut off, so there must be some reason why that is the case.

As I see it, issuing gift vouchers is not unfair trading and comprises little consumer detriment. Which? might wish to explore changing the rules but it could lead to vouchers being withdrawn entirely. The terms are clearly stated and it’s like the bottle of milk in the fridge: you have to keep an eye on it and either use it within its use by date or throw it away.

Holding onto gift vouchers for spending later appears to me to be a problem for the affluent and one that many people just don’t have. Unlike many things in this life, gift vouchers are never worth less than the holder has paid for them.

I would like to see gift vouchers to remain valid indefinitely. The company has the use of the purchaser’s money until the voucher is used.

I am referring to vouchers that have been purchased or ‘earned’ in some way and not discount promotions.

Some people have not been going into shops for nearly two years, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, and may not shop online. John made the point in another Conversation that it is useful to be able to see expensive items before purchase.

Given that many people have not been going into shops for nearly two years, gift vouchers are rather thoughtless gifts. I might ask the donor to take it back if I knew I couldn’t use it, but I wouldn’t have any difficulty in using a Waitrose voucher.

I agree that, in an ideal world, gift vouchers would have no expiry date and just diminish in value with inflation. In an ideal world one might also be able to pay some of your council tax or gas bill with a gift voucher. Unfortunately commerce does not work like that: stores make them available to boost their sales and in the expectation of spending over and above the stated value. And, yes, they also profit handsomely from the unspent value of expired vouchers — it’s part of the business model. It is noticeable that hardly any independent shops and small traders operate a gift voucher scheme. In my experience, most gifts have their drawbacks and the charity shops are the living proof of that.

Some stores let you do an online balance check to extend the expiry date, but if you are just one day late, it is gone. If you make a purchase on a card it can extend the expiry date.

So you could keep a card going for years without using it up by playing their game.

If you return a faulty item to M&S without a receipt, they insist on giving you a voucher/gift card.

If a store goes out of business and I still have their gift cards then it is my fault for not using them, but if a store is still operating, I see it as theft accepting money and giving nothing in return.

I certainly don’t think it is acceptable to take people’s money and then decide a some point to give nothing in return. Amazon, for one, don’t use that technique as part of their business model. Much commerce operates with integrity, not effectively cheating people out of money.

I am not particularly conversant with how gift vouchers and cards work across different retailers because I have very rarely received one, although over time I have given quite a few gift vouchers. I was not previously aware of the top-up sort of gift card and perhaps there should be different rules for them as they are a continuing financial instrument. I have mainly been referring to gift vouchers which are tokens of a set value which say on them how much they are worth and by when they must be used.

I wouldn’t say there was a lack of integrity in issuing gift vouchers with clearly stated terms and conditions that showed the expiry date, or gift cards showing the period of validity following further purchases. It is not fair to say that the store decides at some point to give nothing in return; if the terms are printed on or with the gift voucher or card there can be no complaint about how it needs to be used.

I can understand the M&S policy in respect of returns without a receipt because it prevents criminal conversion.

I have read the Amazon “Gift Card and Gift Vouchers Terms & Conditions” document. So far as I can see, they are separate and different products. Whereas the T&C’s confirm a ten-year validity for gift cards I could not find any information about the expiry of Amazon gift vouchers.

The Republic of Ireland has comprehensive legislation on gift vouchers in the Consumer Protection [Gift Vouchers] Act 2019. Under the statutory rules —
• Gift vouchers must have no expiry date or be valid for at least five years.
• Traders cannot specify that a gift voucher is spent in one transaction.
• Traders cannot charge a fee to change the name on a gift voucher.
• If the balance remaining on a gift voucher is more than €1 after the holder buys something with it, a trader must reimburse the balance. They can give cash, make an electronic transfer, or provide another gift voucher.
• The trader must also give details of the expiry date in a durable format [e.g. on paper or by email] at the time the gift voucher is purchased.
I would support similar provisions for the UK; we could just copy the Irish legislation verbatim [mutatis mutandis].

Now I think I understand your views on gift cards John. Gift cards/store vouchers now resemble credit cards with the store name on the front, terms and conditions on the back along with numbers that only mean something to the store. There are never dates on these cards and the only way to find out what they are is scan them in-store, or look at them on your account if you have one AND the cards are registered to it.

Google ‘ m&s gift card reverse side ‘ and check out the images and you will see what I mean.

The Republic of Ireland has the right idea.

I am sorry if my previous comments were a bit obscure but it has taken me a little time to learn about, and discriminate between, the different types of spending facility. We have never had gift cards since we use a credit or debit card if necessary for purchases and pay off the balance in full each month. Store/gift cards seem to be the opposite to the Buy Now Pay Later system because they are a Buy Now Lose Value Immediately system which has little appeal to me.

Thanks for guiding me to the M&S site. I am afraid I am still in the dark ages; if I wanted to send a gift card I would choose a card and envelope from the selection available and then buy a voucher to go in it, take it home, write my message in it, affix a stamp and pop it in the post box. I should have realised there was a more complicated way to do these things nowadays. Of course, when I was growing up, kindly relatives would send a postal order or a crisp new 10/- note [I still have it!].

Rather than give my family presents they don’t want (unless they tell me) I often give them a gift card (and a token present) for JLP where I know they will shop. They are pre-loaded with money and, unless used in 2 years, will expire. You can put any amount on these cards – £000s if you choose.

I maintain having an expiry date is unfair. I see no reason why, when JLP already has the money, they have any reasonable excuse for them to expire. Perhaps they should be asked. Clearly they are a money making ploy if up to £300 million are not used each year. Supposing the BoE’s £50 notes only lasted a fixed time.

I just transfer money to the recipients’ bank accounts, which I have done since they were teenagers. This seems to be welcome.

The reason I don’t do that is such money is likely to go on general living rather than on buying themselves a treat or something they need but might not spend money on. At least JLP have a wide range of products to choose from.

I would rather prefer them to have the choice rather than buy something that I would approve of. What if you were told that they would like a new phone, Malcolm. 🙂

All my family live hundreds of miles away and I have not seen them since before the pandemic.

If they want a contribution towards a new phone that would ensure the gift was not wasted.

Many examples of the consumer detriment from expired gift cards and vouchers here.
Should we see it as acceptable that £300 million a year is simply lost in “expired” vouchers, some with as little as 2 or 3 months validity? Seems like an underhand money making scheme.
Rather like experience day vouchers that never get used, and while an expiry on those is more understandable I guess the issuers make a lot of money knowing their redemption rate will be well short of 100%.

Why should a business profit from a customer who has not used a voucher before its expiry date? Fairness should take priority and I would rather the money from unused vouchers went to the government.

Perhaps it is time expiry dates are recognised as an unfair term in a contract. If a shop accidentally advertised a TV for £1 I would not expect to be able to buy it at that price because that would be unfair.

In her post above, Sylvia Russell wrote: “I emailed JL but they cannot do anything once a gift card has expired.” ‘Will not’ would be more honest than ‘cannot’, but yes they can.

I agree, but I can understand why JLP, as a matter of policy, will not set a precedent and allow a card validity to be extended beyond its expiry date. The customer services representative cannot do so but the partnership certainly could change its policy. Maybe the British Retail Consortium would disapprove and John Lewis would prefer not to break ranks.

I extended a couple of JLP gift cards with money still left after they had expired by chatting with customer services on the phone. They were doing this routinely because of lack of access to their stores during Covid. This was despite online shopping still being possible. So it can be done if they so choose.

John – If the company incurred costs from extending the validity of of a card or voucher I would have no problem in the customer being expected to pay a small charge for renewal, but since they have had use of the money for a year or two, surely it would be fair to waive this.

I agree. I am actually in favour of better terms for gift vouchers and cards but am trying to be realistic.

I have had a John Lewis account for over fifty years and would like them to offer more than a cup of coffee to their longstanding customers but they have been under the cosh for the last decade so I doubt they will loosen up on gift vouchers.

For a very long time I have had a John Lewis Partnership card [a Mastercard credit card] which I use for all significant purchases; it rewards spending with JLP vouchers both on JL and Waitrose purchases and, at a lower rate, on use of the card with other traders, but the yield ratio of the rewards has been reduced over the years and now offers little incentive.

They have cancelled and cut back on the partnership bonuses payable to staff because of the downturn in trade, their higher debt levels and the consequent fall in profits. I just don’t think they are going to make a voluntary improvement in the terms of their vouchers in the foreseeable future and I don’t see this government forcing the issue either.

We are a ten minute walk from the John Lewis Norwich store but I don’t think we spent a penny there or on-line last year. We have only just relieved our abstinence with a modest purchase in the new year sale.

I don’t think it is unrealistic to push for all companies to get rid of expiry dates on gift cards/vouchers, and perhaps JLP should take the initiative.

If you browse the reviews on Trustpilot, JLP attracts a fair amount of criticism and some of the comments are from long-term supporters like yourself, John: https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/www.johnlewis.com

I suggest that JLP cannot afford to lose many more customers. I would prefer to support UK retailers rather than foreign-owned businesses.

Thanks Wavechange.

I couldn’t seem to filter the reviews to show ‘gift voucher expiry’ comments and I saw there were over a thousand pages so I have left the exercise for later. I might just write to Dame Sharon White and ask her to put the question to her Executive Team.

I would hope Which? would campaign on this topic, but as they don’t have any interest in tackling the exorbitant £1500 million a year parking penalty fees, I doubt a mere £300 million a year in unredeemable gift cards and vouchers has much importance.

Cynical, moi?

I was just referring to the negative comments, John. As I mentioned early in a Conversation about Currys it fares a little better than JLP on Trustpilot although Currys ‘wins’ on serious criticism. I’ve had no problems with JLP apart from the lack of a local branch. Perhaps both companies should look at Richer Sounds and learn how to keep customers happy.

Maybe part of Sharon White’s salary should be used to refund money that has been taken by JLP from those with expired gift vouchers, as with other companies that do the same. I see it as an unfair contract term.

It depends upon whether you trust Trustpilot or Which? reviews. JLP fares much better than Currys in Household Appliances ( position 1 against 11) and in Tech (pos 2 against 11). I am sure they could both learn from Richer Sounds but, in view of the long-standing Convos expressing complaints about Currys customer (dis)service I’d suggest they have by far the most to “learn” (if the want to, of course, but they don’t seem that bothered). JLP were a good second to Richer Sounds.

https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/best-and-worst-shops/article/best-and-worst-shops-aELTV0b6P86np. You have to log in as a Member to see the scores.

Taking individual’s salaries as retribution might well also apply to Which?, from their huge losses arising from incompetence, but is no solution. If everyone in employment had there salaries docked when they or their organisations performed badly we would hear lots of squeals from those in education, law enforcement, health as well as business. If someone does not consistently run a business or other organisation properly, or simply not be up to their job, then they should be redeployed or dismissed.

That also applies to government, of course 🙂

I take no notice of customer reviews and regard the entire review industry as an unreliable parasite costing time and money for little benefit. The only reviews that make any sense to me are comparative product or service tests across a range of similar goods and services against a standardised set of relevant criteria. The tests should be technically competent and benchmarked so that new products or services and future developments can be similarly assessed to give reliable indications of performance, value for money, and durability. Reports on tests should be comprehensive and objective. In my opinion only Which? comes close to doing this across a wide range of consumer requirements.

What an unknown person of an unknown knowledge level thinks of something they have bought is fairly meaningless because we don’t know what their experience level is, how they have used it or operated it, or what they are expecting at the price they have paid.

With reviews there is also the risk that they have been incentivised in some way or that interference has occurred in order to give a false impression.

Unfortunately Which? can review only a fraction of the products available on the market. I recently bought a grater from John Lewis to make up an order for free delivery. Which? does not review graters and JLP had no reviews of the model I bought but another site had a photo showing that the plastic surround had fractured after this ‘dishwasher safe’ model had been washed in a dishwasher, which is useful information and hardly unexpected. Other reviews are very positive and I’m happy with the grater but I will be washing mine by hand.

I agree that many users’ reviews are by people with little knowledge and (amazingly) sometimes written before the product has been tried but I’ve found some useful information that Which? and others have missed. I wonder if Which? would have picked up on the possibility that a grater would not survive frequent washing in a dishwasher.

I don’t understand why anyone is taken in by fake reviews and wonder if they are too trusting, like those who succumb to scams.

I think, from a recent communication, Which? are asking whether they should test graters. I hope they will decide to use their limited resources and money on items that matter more and involve a grater loss and nuisance rather than a possible cosmetic failure. I’d visit a store to look at a greater first and decide if it were likely to be suitable and hope my JLP gift card had the available cash.

Some things I think we can make our own decisions about. Helped by a common sense interpretation of online reviews.

It would be structural rather than a cosmetic failure if the plastic surround broke since this holds the stainless steel grater. I have a rather ancient Mouli rotary grater and I doubt the plastic would have survived a dishwasher, but it has never been in one.

I doubt that many of the Amazon one star reviews are fake, except the ones by people who have a grudge against the company and these ones are fairly obvious.

As John suggested recently perhaps the Which? reviews should focus on more expensive purchases but I welcome general advice on what to look for in certain types of products even if there are no detailed reviews.

Our two all-metal graters [one rotary, the other static] are both over fifty years old and in perfect condition. If we bought a new one and it developed a fault it would not cost a fortune to replace it and we would probably look for a different make. We might also exercise our rights under the CRA.

I am arrogant enough to think I have enough experience to spot the likely problems with most simple household items and avoid them. Reviews are no doubt intended to be helpful to those who lack such experience, it is regrettable therefore that the system is so fallible.

Reviews are useful when buying online and are reliant on photos and information provided by the seller. When looking for a grater I noticed that descriptions did not always say whether they were made of stainless steel, which I see as a sensible choice these days.

I would like to see an end to fake reviews but since I focus on the ones that highlight deficiencies they have been worth reading, except perhaps the ones focusing on delivery problems.

It is also worth checking up on Avios (BA Executive Club rewards), if you have any left from before Covid-19 shut down most air travel.

There are plenty of opportunities to make small transactions to keep your account alive through shopping partners. Screwfix pay a modest 1 Avios per GBP, but it is enough to stop your points expiring. An Avios browser plug in will remind you which sites earn rewards.

And if you have an unused balance on a Fair[sic]FX or similar currency card, make sure that hasn’t expired, or they will soon drain your account with unjustifiable “expired card administration fees” of £2 per month, well hidden in the small print. You can withdraw the balance at a UK ATM, which is a better option if you have finished with the card for now, although the GB exchange rate is not very healthy at the moment.

David Gudgeon says:
14 May 2022

I bought a set of motorcycle accessories (Jacket, helmet, trousers, gloves etc) for my daughter who then changed her mind about ridding pillion on my motorcycle. I’d previously a few months earlier bought same items for myself from the same outlet J&S Motorcycle Clothing & Accessories in Northwich.

So I went back to them a few days after the purchase (£254.90) explained the situation and asked for a refund as the items had not even been out of the bags. They refused and said they could only give me a gift voucher for this amount – an amount I’d never have cause to spend with them. I had no other choice and took the voucher. I later read in the small print it has a limited time to be used, one year. So I have two months left and then they keep my money and they also keep the goods I bought, that they obviously put back on sale in their store.

This can’t be right or legal can it? To me it looks like theft, nothing less and probably a much more serious crime in a court of law which would surely see this for what it is?

Advice would be much appreciated. I feel I’ve been fleeced and it’s not a good feeling.

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