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“what to do if you dont get your item or cant spend voucher”

Written on: 04/02/2013 by thedarkness (2 reviews written)

Here we answer the most common questions asked when a shop goes bust. Can I use HMV and Blockbuster vouchers?

A number of high street stores have refused to allow customers to use vouchers once they had gone into administration - even though they had already accepted money for them. Unfortunately this is within the law. However it is worth waiting a few days to see if administrators will change their mind. HMV administrators have now decided to honour gift vouchers as of Tuesday 22 January. If your vouchers are refused by Blockbuster, you need to make a claim in writing to the administrators with proof of your vouchers. The names of those administrators are usually on the website of the company which has gone into administration. 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. And, not all administrators will take this approach. Use our template letter to claim a refund for vouchers from a bust company.

Can I make a chargeback claim if HMV or Blockbuster won't accept my vouchers? HMV administrators have now decided to honour gift vouchers as of Tuesday 22 January. As long as HMV accept gift vouchers chargeback claims will not be accepted. Blockbuster administrators may also still decide to accept vouchers in the next few days, so it may be worth waiting to see if this happens. If this doesn't happen and you bought vouchers on your card, you should be able to put in a chargeback request to your bank on the grounds that the vouchers are fundamentally different to what you paid for. This is because you expected to be able to exchange them for goods of a certain value and instead they are worthless. If the vouchers were given to you as a gift it is trickier to make the argument. The person who got a gift voucher as a gift can't make a claim, but the person who bought the vouchers could put in a chargeback request to the bank. But be aware, there is no guarantee that the administrators will accept these claims.

Can I return items that I've bought at HMV and Blockbuster? It depends. Once a retailer goes into administration the administrator's role is to try and save the company and in doing so it may take the decision not to accept returns. However if you bought an item that comes with a warranty and it is faulty, you should be able to claim a refund or repair from the manufacturer under the terms of the warranty. Or you may be could make a claim on an extended warranty, if cover was provided by a third party (e.g. an insurance company).

Can I use my manufacturer's warranty?
If the retailer goes bust and the goods are faulty, then your manufacturer's warranty should cover you for at least the first year. Check your documentation to see if this is the case. If you’ve been supplied with faulty goods and the company is placed into administration but is still trading, you may be able to get a replacement or a refund for your item in the normal way under the Sale of Goods Act.

I bought an extended warranty from HMV - will this be affected?
Check the small print carefully to see who actually provides the warranty cover. Often it’s provided by a third party (an insurance company, for example) in which case you shouldn’t be affected if HMV does cease trading. If cover was provided by HMV, then it depends on what happens at the end of the administration. If HMV ceased to trade then unfortunately you would lose the benefit of the extended warranty. Remember that you will usually get a manufacturer’s guarantee with an item which will provide some protection for the first year - sometimes even longer.

I was supposed to get cash-back as part of my HMV purchase, will I still get this?
It depends on how the cash-back offer is set up.
Check the terms and conditions to see whether the offer is backed by the manufacturer (ie they'll send the cash as long as you claim in the way specified), or that the cash-back claim should be made to HMV.
If the manufacturer is providing the cash-back, your claim shouldn't be affected. If it's HMV, you could still put in a claim and they would be in breach of contract if they didn't send the cash. If you didn't get the cash, unfortunately you couldn't take court action against HMV while it's in administration. If at the end of the administration HMV stopped trading, you'd need to lodge your claim for unpaid cash-back with the administrators.

Can I claim from my credit card company?
If you've bought something on your credit card costing more than £100, the card provider is jointly responsible for any breaches of contract. For example, you could ask for a refund if the things you bought weren't delivered or, you could claim for the cost of a repair if they were faulty. Write to your credit card company with details of your claim. You can use our template letter to claim a refund from your credit card company if a retailer has gone bust.
If you’ve paid by debit card you may be able to claim through the MasterCard and Visa chargeback scheme, as long as it hasn’t been more than 120 days since paying on your debit card and making your claim.

I only paid a deposit on my credit card, can I still claim?
You don't have to have paid the full amount on your credit card – the card company is liable even if you made only part of the payment (a deposit, say) on your card. It's the value of the goods you're buying that is key - not the amount paid on the card. As long as you paid more than £100 on your credit card then you can claim. So, for example, if you ordered a new camera and paid a £500 deposit with your credit card and paid the balance of £1000 by cheque, you'd be covered for the whole £1,500 if the company went out of business and you didn't get your camera.

What if I have a store card credit, eg 'points'?
Administrators could refuse to accept those if they wanted to although they have not specifically mentioned points yet. If you have points, for instance through the Blockbuster ‘VIP Gamer’ scheme, it might make sense to try and spend them now in case they are not accepted in the future.

I owe money - will this debt be wiped?
No, it won’t be wiped! This isn’t an excuse to run up debt – the company is still trading so the money is still owed.

I have DVDs rented out - do I need to send them back?
Yes – you still need to act according to the contract that you’ve got with them. However long you’ve agreed to hire them for, send them back – the company has not ceased trading and the DVDs are still their property.

I am in credit with the store - will this money be 'wiped?
It’s like if you’ve paid for a product and it hasn’t been delivered. It’s still money you’re owed, but it depends on how things pan out with the administration.
You can still put in a claim to the administrators for that sum back in the case that they pay off creditors. Given that it can be tricky to do this, we’d advise you to use that credit now if you can.


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