Hope for HMV and Jessops voucher holders

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NOTTINGHAMSHIRE residents who have unused gift vouchers from Jessops or HMV may be able to claim the money back if a debit or credit card was used to purchase the vouchers according to the county council’s trading standards team.

Jessops is now in adminstration which has left consumers struggling to reclaim their money spent on unused gift vouchers.

HMV has also announced it intends to appoint administrators and has said it is not accepting gift vouchers.

Gift vouchers are in effect a debt owed by a company in administration.

If the issuer goes bust, anyone with a voucher becomes an unsecured creditor, with a long and uncertain wait to get any money back.

However, administrators have discretion to carry on accepting vouchers after a company has failed.

A consumer can request that their bank reverses a transaction made on their debit card for any amount or a credit card under £100 in a bid to seek a refund. However, this is at the discretion of the bank or credit card issuer.

A credit card company will be jointly liable with the trader for any single item purchased for more than £100 and not more than £30,000, including VAT.

Sarah Houlton, trading standards manager at the council, said: “There are no guarantees your bank or card provider will be able to get the money back for you, particularly if the trader has gone out of business.

“However, there is greater protection for consumers who bought vouchers worth over £100 using a credit card.

“It is worth having a conversation with your bank or credit card company if you have unused gift vouchers from a bankrupt company to see if they can claim the money back or provide some kind of refund.”

For more information contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 040506 or visit its website at www.adviceguide.org.uk.