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06-04-2010, 11:20   #1
mambo
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Taking shop to Small Claims Court for refusing to honour gift voucher

I have a gift voucher for €30, issued 6 years ago, but with no stated expiry date, for an Irish chain of shops.

The chain refuses to honour the voucher.

I could discuss the morality of taking someone's money and then refusing to provide a service/produce in exchange, but let's leave that aside and talk about the legality of this.

http://www.consumerconnect.ie/eng/Ho...ft%20Vouchers/ says
"If a shop refuses to honour a voucher that doesn't specify an expiry date, you have the option to refer the matter to the Small Claims Court."

Anyone have any experience of doing this, and what is the likelihood of a successful claim?

Who is the "respondant" in this case? Do I just enter the name of the company, or do I need the name of a specific person at the company?

Last edited by mambo; 06-04-2010 at 11:23.
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06-04-2010, 11:31   #2
dudara
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Enter the name of the company. (assuming that it is of limited liability).
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06-04-2010, 11:35   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mambo View Post
I have a gift voucher for €30, issued 6 years ago, but with no stated expiry date, for an Irish chain of shops.

The chain refuses to honour the voucher.

I could discuss the morality of taking someone's money and then refusing to provide a service/produce in exchange, but let's leave that aside and talk about the legality of this.

http://www.consumerconnect.ie/eng/Ho...ft%20Vouchers/ says
"If a shop refuses to honour a voucher that doesn't specify an expiry date, you have the option to refer the matter to the Small Claims Court."

Anyone have any experience of doing this, and what is the likelihood of a successful claim?

Who is the "respondant" in this case? Do I just enter the name of the company, or do I need the name of a specific person at the company?

did you ask first or did you just present the voucher to a staff member

write to the head of the chain or an area manager and inquire don't mention the previous non-honoring discussion
you never know
easier than waiting on small claims
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06-04-2010, 12:39   #4
Miaireland
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I agree about writing to head office first. I had a similar problem in a shop and was told by a member of staff that the voucher was not valid. However a manager was walking past and offered to ring head office. They were happy to accept the voucher.
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06-04-2010, 12:50   #5
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hardly worth it for €30 when theres a €15 fee for the Small Claims Court.
Talk to the shop manager.

The advice from the National Consumer Agency is "Given that not all retailers indicate that they have a period of validity, it should not be assumed that just because the voucher does not state an expiry date, the store would allow it to be redeemed at any future date". A judge would then have to consider what is reasonable and, personally, I would think that 6 years is really pushing it.
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06-04-2010, 13:31   #6
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issued 6 years ago
You're taking the piss, IMO.
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06-04-2010, 13:35   #7
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You're taking the piss, IMO.
Whilst I can see where your coming from the business still got their money and didn't stick an expiry date on the gift card, was rather foolish of them if they don't want to honour gift cards down the line.

Personally if they continue to not honour it I'd still go to small claims court even if it costs me 15e
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06-04-2010, 13:37   #8
mambo
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You're taking the piss, IMO.
Banknotes issued 6 years ago are still legal tender. So why shouldn't a voucher be? Why can a shop just decide not to honour it after a completely arbitrary date (that they don't even specify on the voucher), and just keep the cash?

Last edited by mambo; 06-04-2010 at 13:41.
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06-04-2010, 13:39   #9
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Whilst I can see where your coming from the business still got their money and didn't stick an expiry date on the gift card, was rather foolish of them if they don't want to honour gift cards down the line.

Personally if they continue to not honour it I'd still go to small claims court even if it costs me 15e
15e, plus possibly time off work to attend the court (if the company chooses to contest it). But worth doing for the principle of the thing?
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06-04-2010, 13:44   #10
eightyfish
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Banknotes issued 6 years ago are still legal tender.
A voucher is not a banknote. It is not legal tender. Most of them are valid for a year. Some six months. The most I've ever seen is five years, once. To find a six-year-old voucher at the bottom of a drawer and demand it is accepted is ridiculous, I think.#

I've left it too long before with vouchers, and let it go.
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06-04-2010, 13:49   #11
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did you ask first or did you just present the voucher to a staff member

write to the head of the chain or an area manager and inquire don't mention the previous non-honoring discussion
you never know
easier than waiting on small claims

well?
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06-04-2010, 13:49   #12
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While I find most places will honour vouchers that are out of date (where I worked we would simply re-issue the voucher and swap) I think 6 years is ridiculous. Fair enough,you chanced your arm, but to take them to the SCC?Are you saying that not once,in 6 years,the shop had something you wanted to buy?
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06-04-2010, 13:59   #13
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Mambo, I think you need a reality check. There is no principle involved here. Companies cannot be expected to carry current liabilities for vouchers unclaimed through year after year. There is an expectantion in law that the voucher would be used within a reasionable period. You waited 6 years! Did you at no point think to have the voucher renewed, or to actully buy something with it. It seems you just found it somewhere having long forgotten about it. Some gift! I'm sure the person who gave it to you would be delighted to know you never used it in 6 years. Anyway, I digress. Let us know how court goes, as I have yet to come across a judge who would consider 6 years a reasonable period for redemption of a voucher. Have you yet contacted the company about it?
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06-04-2010, 14:13   #14
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Isnt there a limit on the length of time a company has to hold financial records, something like 7 years? If this is the case, your voucher is very close to this cutoff, so I would see it as being 'unreasonable' to present it after so long. Im sure many companies have a checking system for validating vouchers, the files for yours were probably archived years ago!

It is your fault that the company has had your money for 6 years, not theirs. If the voucher was for a substantial amount I would see your point, but thirty quid? If it was me I would chalk it up to experience and remember to use vouchers in a reasonable time in future. Legally, you might win your SCC case, I dont know. But is it worth the effort?
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06-04-2010, 14:25   #15
Cabaal
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15e, plus possibly time off work to attend the court (if the company chooses to contest it). But worth doing for the principle of the thing?
Odds of them disputing it is unlikely, given its also time and cost for them to do so....again all over 30e they'll likely settle before hand
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