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Thread: Consumers warned to redeem gift vouchers without delay

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    Politics.ie Member MsAnneThrope's Avatar
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    Default Consumers warned to redeem gift vouchers without delay

    Irish Times, March 4th 2010: Consumers warned to redeem gift vouchers without delay

    Yet another sad sign of the times we live in...

    The National Consumer Agency said it was renewing its appeal to consumers to be aware of risks associated with gift vouchers, and to spend them quickly. [...]

    Terry O’Connor said he bought a book for his 15-year-old son Alan at a Hughes & Hughes in Swords before Christmas for €14.

    His son decided against keeping the book and returned it to the store, where he was given a voucher for the same amount.

    When Mr O’Connor went to the Hughes & Hughes branch in Dublin airport this week he was told they would no longer accept book tokens. He said he believed it amounted to “reckless trading” that Hughes & Hughes was selling and giving out book tokens at a time when management must have known the chain was in trouble financially. [...]

    NCA director of policy analysis and communications Maria Hurley said a company which goes into receivership does not have to honour gift vouchers, even if stores are still open.
    I always suspected that gift vouchers were very profitable for retailers. Many vouchers expire after a set period of time, many are lost or forgotten about completely, and many are never redeemed for their full value. Now, if there is a rush of people cashing them in for the full amount, I think retailers are going to feel an additional squeeze. A squeeze that may finally push some over the edge.

    Reading this article made me realise I have over €120 of gift vouchers for various department stores and retailers. Time to use them I suppose but I'm going to feel a bit guilty as I don't really need anything. I never thought I'd see the day where I felt guilty using a gift voucher...
    We all love animals. Why do we call some 'pets' and others 'dinner'?

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    I have a couple of hundred euro in those general use-them-anywhere vouchers in my wallet for about a year. Must fish them out!

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    Politics.ie Member Libero's Avatar
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    NCA director of policy analysis and communications Maria Hurley said a company which goes into receivership does not have to honour gift vouchers, even if stores are still open.
    I don't think that's true.

    Examinership, yes. Liquidation, of course. Welcome to the world of the unsecured creditor. (Like the Mr O'Connor in the IT piece - who, one imagines, made contact with the IT - you might scream "reckless trading" and see if that gets you paid off.)

    But unless the T&Cs of the voucher say otherwise, receivership wouldn't interfere with the contractual obligation owed by a retailer to someone holding a voucher.

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    AS Far As I know - Gift Vouchers were taken to the European court and it is unlawful to have a Use before date or expiry date on them...

    They are legal tender in the eyes of the European court.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Libero View Post
    I don't think that's true.

    Examinership, yes. Liquidation, of course. Welcome to the world of the unsecured creditor. (Like the Mr O'Connor in the IT piece - who, one imagines, made contact with the IT - you might scream "reckless trading" and see if that gets you paid off.)

    But unless the T&Cs of the voucher say otherwise, receivership wouldn't interfere with the contractual obligation owed by a retailer to someone holding a voucher.
    Depends on the circumstances of the receivership. In most cases a receivership will result in gift vouchers not being honoured. In alot of cases the assets which come under the receivership include the stock of the trading company in question. In which case the company has nothing to trade on, ipso facto the vouchers cannot be honoured as they can only be exchanged for goods.

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    IT: Consumers have been warned to redeem gift vouchers as soon as possible because they will be left with very little if retailers go out of business.

    This is reckless reporting by the IT and could seriously damage our international reputation and credit rating.........Messrs. Cowen & Lenihan have repeatedly assured us the worst is already over and that we're surrounded by green shoots. Who would you believe, the Irish Times or Messrs. Cowen & Lenihan?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Libero View Post
    I don't think that's true.

    Examinership, yes. Liquidation, of course. Welcome to the world of the unsecured creditor. (Like the Mr O'Connor in the IT piece - who, one imagines, made contact with the IT - you might scream "reckless trading" and see if that gets you paid off.)

    But unless the T&Cs of the voucher say otherwise, receivership wouldn't interfere with the contractual obligation owed by a retailer to someone holding a voucher.

    If in the Receivership there is nothing left once the fixed charge holders have been paid, then there is nothing.

    And its most likely in all receiverships that there is nothing left.

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    Had a quick check there - voucher holder is unsecured. Goodnght.

    The only hope they have is that management out together a fund of the recepits from the vouchers when they thought they were approaching financial trouble, as happened with another retailer last year.

    Vouchers bought after that date were secured, those prior to that were unsecured.

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    Politics.ie Member MsAnneThrope's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iarmhi Gael View Post
    AS Far As I know - Gift Vouchers were taken to the European court and it is unlawful to have a Use before date or expiry date on them...

    They are legal tender in the eyes of the European court.
    They're still selling them with expiry dates. As Christmas presents for a son and daughter I got them hotel vouchers each, from IrelandHotels.com which is the official site of the Irish Hotels Federation. In the terms and conditions of each voucher it states:

    This voucher is valid for 1 year from the date of purchase. Monetary vouchers can be exchanged for goods, services or gift cards, specific vouchers must be used for the purpose intended such as for example a spa treatment. This voucher can be used as full or part payment. No change will be given
    That last condition is quite unreasonable too I think. If their hotel bill was €75 and the voucher was for €100 they'd have to forfeit the whole voucher to use it. Of course IHF vouchers can be used at any one of hundreds of hotels nationwide and there's no doubt they'll use them before they expire but, if as you suggested, it's deemed unlawful to issue them now with expiry dates then maybe the National Consumer Agency should get tougher with these operators?
    We all love animals. Why do we call some 'pets' and others 'dinner'?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dodgy Bertie=Shady Mayor View Post
    IT: Consumers have been warned to redeem gift vouchers as soon as possible because they will be left with very little if retailers go out of business.

    This is reckless reporting by the IT and could seriously damage our international reputation and credit rating.........Messrs. Cowen & Lenihan have repeatedly assured us the worst is already over and that we're surrounded by green shoots. Who would you believe, the Irish Times or Messrs. Cowen & Lenihan?
    Bertie will be along to tell them go commit suicide.

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