If you’re cerebration of giving a admired one a allowance agenda for Christmas, anticipate afresh — it could be an big-ticket mistake.
Shoppers are actuality warned afterwards recipients were afresh larboard with cards they could not use.
Last week, High Street behemothic Comet went into administration, abrogation barter clutching alone vouchers and allowance cards. However, aftermost night it said it would acquire them again.
Gift cards are a advantageous win-win for High Street firms. Firstly, abounding barter abort to redeem their agenda afore it expires, abrogation £240million a year of this unspent money in the coffers of High Street firms. This is because the cards get absent or shoppers abort to absorb them afore they expire.
Customers are generally blind that cards accept a lifespan — as abbreviate as a year — because the accomplishment date is rarely on the agenda itself.
Some additionally abort to use the abounding bulk on their allowance cards. According to the barter anatomy the UK Allowance Agenda and Voucher Association (UKGCVA), 6 per cent of cards and vouchers are never spent.
Guy Anker, account editor from website Moneysavingexpert, says: ‘While vouchers are a accepted best as Christmas gifts, shoppers should bethink they’re alone as safe as the retailer.
‘We’ve apparent big names go bust, abrogation shoppers lumbered with old allowance cards account little added than the artificial they’re printed on. Banknote is boring, but it’s a safer allowance to give.’
Deloitte, the ambassador for Comet, abeyant cards from Friday to Tuesday night.
When High Street firms go under, the aboriginal to be alone are barter who’ve shelled out for a artefact which won’t be delivered.
The ambassador will be aboriginal in band for their money, followed by added creditors. Finally, any money larboard over is broadcast to customers.
Despite the risks, allowance cards are added popular, with added than £4billion spent on them aftermost year — up 12 per cent on 2010.
This Christmas consumers will absorb an estimated £1billion on allowance cards — a 9 per cent acceleration on 2011. The boilerplate bulk put on them is £25.
Charlotte Nelson, a agent from accounts analyst Moneyfacts, says: ‘While allowance cards are generally the best of abounding who are ashore for allowance ideas, they can be actual restrictive.
‘Too generally they accept an accomplishment date, and some absolute the user to assertive food or items.’
Money on allowance cards is not adequate by the Financial Services
Compensation Scheme, and barter can’t accuse to an ombudsman.But if you buy a allowance agenda account £100 or added with a acclaim card, you could be adequate beneath Section 75 of the Consumer Acclaim Act.
If the agenda is account beneath than £100 and you paid by Visa debit or credit, you can get your banknote aback through a abstracted set of rules, accepted as chargeback.
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