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ripoff - advice please!

ripoff - advice please!

Old Oct 16th 2006, 3:01 am
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Angry ripoff - advice please!

Hi,

Well, I’m really hacked off after going shopping at the weekend. My husband bought me a Country Road gift voucher for $150 at the end of last year. With very young children I don’t often get a chance to go shopping so hadn’t used it yet but finally went on Saturday, however when I went to the register to pay with my voucher I was told that it had expired after 6 months and is now completely worthless!!

I think this is appalling behaviour by the store. They have taken the money, given nothing at all in return and I’m amazed it’s even legal!! Anyway, I’ve done a bit of research online and found some articles complaining about this (mostly from the UK where it is also apparently normal practice) but I don’t know if there is anything I can do. A BBC article actually said that about 30% of vouchers are never redeemed so is a good moneyspinner for the stores. Although it does seem that 6 months is unusually short, most allow a year.

Needless to say I will never buy a voucher for anyone again – it really is just changing money that can be spent anywhere and does not expire, for something that can only be spent in one shop and does – but I wondered if anyone had any suggestions of whether there is any action worth taking? I will write to the company’s head office and the office of fair trading, but as this doesn’t seem to be illegal don’t know if it will make a difference. I remember seeing a column in a magazine recently where someone would argue with stores on behalf of people. Can’t remember which magazine though. Anyone know?

Anyway, if nothing else I wanted to warn people. Most of us send gifts to people overseas and this might seem likely an easy option, but my advice is DON'T!!
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Old Oct 16th 2006, 3:22 am
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Default Re: ripoff - advice please!

Originally Posted by sid_s
Hi,

Well, I’m really hacked off after going shopping at the weekend. My husband bought me a Country Road gift voucher for $150 at the end of last year.
I'd write and complain to their head office... you can get in email contact with them here:

[email protected]

I can't find their head office address on their site.

However, if the voucher has a date on it which clearly states that it's only valid for 6 months, then they're probably well within their rights. How clear is the expiry notice? If it's in tiny writing on the back, then you might have a case.

I suggest you write and ask them for a 'good will' gesture (if you're writing to complain, you should tell them exactly what you want from the deal) and that they honour the voucher given your circumstances. They won't like to lose customers and if you ask, they might honour your request.

http://www.howtocomplain.com/info/cl-template.shtml

Last edited by iPom; Oct 16th 2006 at 3:53 am.
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Old Oct 16th 2006, 4:01 am
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Default Re: ripoff - advice please!

Sorry can't help, but you seem to have been given good advice as above anyway!
Just wanted to say that I hope you get it sorted and are able to use your vouchers - I think it's disgusting practice - they take your money and you get nothing in return.
Tracey
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Old Oct 16th 2006, 4:57 am
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Lightbulb Re: ripoff - advice please!

Most vouchers usually have an expiry date, clearly marked on the front or back. My wife and I received some as a gift earlier this year, and forgot to use them in time.

If this is the case with the Country Road vouchers, you'll be hard pressed to sustain your complaint.

Expiry dates are irritating, but I don't think they can really be described as a rip-off unless the expiry date is not shown anywhere on the voucher.
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Old Oct 16th 2006, 5:22 am
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Default Re: ripoff - advice please!

Inside the card, it does say that it expires after 6 months. but in many cases (like mine) until you spend it you don't really have any reason to even look inside. It says on the front where it's for and how much.

I do consider this a rip off - there is really no justifiable reason to expire a voucher. The money paid for it has not expired, in fact the longer I wait the less i will get for it but that's my problem.
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Old Oct 16th 2006, 5:29 am
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Default Re: ripoff - advice please!

Originally Posted by sid_s
Inside the card, it does say that it expires after 6 months. but in many cases (like mine) until you spend it you don't really have any reason to even look inside. It says on the front where it's for and how much.

I do consider this a rip off - there is really no justifiable reason to expire a voucher. The money paid for it has not expired, in fact the longer I wait the less i will get for it but that's my problem.

thats a shame. how annoying for you!
try emailling country road and maybe as a goodwill gesture they might help you out?
i'll keep my fingers crossed for you, let m,e know how you get on

fee x
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Old Oct 16th 2006, 5:35 am
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Default Re: ripoff - advice please!

Originally Posted by sid_s
Inside the card, it does say that it expires after 6 months. but in many cases (like mine) until you spend it you don't really have any reason to even look inside. It says on the front where it's for and how much.

I do consider this a rip off - there is really no justifiable reason to expire a voucher. The money paid for it has not expired, in fact the longer I wait the less i will get for it but that's my problem.
I agree there is no reason for an expiry date... although I don't know whether this is due to accounting issues for the company or some other weird glitch... ?
If the date is there and it's clear, you've not really got much to go on, but like I said, you could ask them for a good will gesture.
Most companies will do this if pressured... There's no reason for them not to, esp if you play hard on the 'young children/no time/absolutely gutted' line... After all, they want you to buy their products and be seen wearing them!
No ask, no get.
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Old Oct 16th 2006, 5:56 am
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Default Re: ripoff - advice please!

Just to give the other side of the story……

We own a shop and sell gift vouchers. We put an expiry date primarily to force people into spending them so that we don’t have outstanding amounts which may or may not be claimed upon. We would never know whether the amounts were ever going to be claimed and so money would just sit in the bank – you couldn’t use it because it may be claimed upon. Alternatively it might never be claimed – and the money would just sit there.

I think the key issue is whether the voucher has a clear expiry date. We would look at each on a case by case basis – if for example the voucher was tendered a week after the deadline we’d probably accept it.
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Old Oct 16th 2006, 6:02 am
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Default Re: ripoff - advice please!

Originally Posted by NKSK version 2
Just to give the other side of the story……

We own a shop and sell gift vouchers. We put an expiry date primarily to force people into spending them so that we don’t have outstanding amounts which may or may not be claimed upon. We would never know whether the amounts were ever going to be claimed and so money would just sit in the bank – you couldn’t use it because it may be claimed upon. Alternatively it might never be claimed – and the money would just sit there.

I think the key issue is whether the voucher has a clear expiry date. We would look at each on a case by case basis – if for example the voucher was tendered a week after the deadline we’d probably accept it.
This seems perfectly reasonable to me. Every gift voucher I have ever received (in UK and here) has had an expiry date on it somewhere - its the 2nd thing I look for (1st thing is how much have I got to spend!!!).
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Old Oct 16th 2006, 6:23 am
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Thumbs up Re: ripoff - advice please!

Originally Posted by NKSK version 2
Just to give the other side of the story……

We own a shop and sell gift vouchers. We put an expiry date primarily to force people into spending them so that we don’t have outstanding amounts which may or may not be claimed upon. We would never know whether the amounts were ever going to be claimed and so money would just sit in the bank – you couldn’t use it because it may be claimed upon. Alternatively it might never be claimed – and the money would just sit there.

I think the key issue is whether the voucher has a clear expiry date. We would look at each on a case by case basis – if for example the voucher was tendered a week after the deadline we’d probably accept it.
Makes a lot of sense.

Thanks for giving an insider's view.
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Old Oct 16th 2006, 6:54 am
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Default Re: ripoff - advice please!

If it has an expiry date then it's up to you to use it by then.

But I have to agree, 6 months seems to be taking advantage and shouldn't be allowed.

I'd be peed off too – get it back!

Big.
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Old Oct 16th 2006, 8:02 am
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Default Re: ripoff - advice please!

Thanks for the support! I guess there are two sides to every debate, I am definitely on the side that if you pay for something you are entitled to it.

When I got home after this happened I did check some John Lewis vouchers I still have from about 5 years ago (a useful gift I got right before leaving the country, don’t know when I’ll ever get to use them now!) but guess what? they’re still valid, no expiry date at all – so if they can do it…

anyway, thanks to those who have given advice – I will contact the store tonight and see if I can get anywhere
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Old Oct 16th 2006, 8:09 am
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Default Re: ripoff - advice please!

Originally Posted by sid_s
Thanks for the support! I guess there are two sides to every debate, I am definitely on the side that if you pay for something you are entitled to it.

When I got home after this happened I did check some John Lewis vouchers I still have from about 5 years ago (a useful gift I got right before leaving the country, don’t know when I’ll ever get to use them now!) but guess what? they’re still valid, no expiry date at all – so if they can do it…

anyway, thanks to those who have given advice – I will contact the store tonight and see if I can get anywhere

I have a Habitat voucher and a Lakeland Ltd Voucher, also without expiry dates. In fact, I've had the Habitat voucher for 6 years and I keep forgetting to use it.
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Old Oct 16th 2006, 8:12 am
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Default Re: ripoff - advice please!

Yes I suppose I was talking from the perspective of a small retailer.

There isn't a good reason why huge companies should not honour the vouchers - whatever the date.
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Old Oct 16th 2006, 9:21 am
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Default Re: ripoff - advice please!

could try here !

http://www.notgoodenough.com
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