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In administration? Your rights with vouchers

CashThe Trading Standards Institute is warning consumers that unfortunately gift cards and vouchers for a retailer that has gone into administration can be worthless, and would urge shoppers to think twice before buying them in these difficult economic times.

Whether the administrator will honour vouchers and gift cards for claimants will depend on the financial state of the business.  Consumers are advised to lodge their claim as soon as possible after a retailer has gone into administration to increase their chances.

If the gift card or a voucher is not honoured,  it is worth more than £100 was  bought with a credit card, there is a chance the purchase may be protected under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.  Section 75 makes the credit card company equally liable with the supplier.

If the gift card or voucher was bought with a debit card the consumer may get their money back through a scheme called 'chargeback'.  This scheme is not a legal requirement however, so there are no guarantees that it will work.  The chargeback claim must be made within 120 days of the purchase.

Finally, consumers are advised to keep an eye on the news and what is happening at their local store; the administrators can change their minds about whether they accept gift cards and vouchers, as we saw with Comet.