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Jessops, HMV, Blockbuster: what to do if you have unused gift cards and vouchers

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On 22 January 2013


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If you have a gift card or voucher for one or more of these shops, here's what you need to know.


Camera store Jessops has closed its shops, while entertainment retailer HMV is in administration. It’s terrible news for employees, creditors and suppliers, but it may not be all bad news for customers with unused gift cards and vouchers.

HMV has continued trading and now administrator Deloitte has announced that stores will start accepting gift cards and vouchers again from Tuesday (21st January). The advice is to spend them now, in case the decision is reversed again.

If you have a Jessops gift card or vouchers

While Jessops has ceased trading, you may be able to get your money back on any used gift cards or vouchers. It all depends on how they were paid for.

Credit card transactions

If the gift card or voucher was bought by you or for you using a credit card, under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act you can claim your money back. However, the minimum amount you can claim for is £100, which probably rules out a lot of people.

These people can instead attempt to claim from the company that issued their card under the chargeback rule. You have 120 days from the date when you’re aware there’s a problem, which would be 9th January, the day when Jessops went into administration.

If your claim is rejected, you can take it to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Debit card transactions

If the gift card was bought by you or for you using a debit card, you could also pursue a claim under the chargeback rule. You need to contact the bank or building society that issued your card. You have 120 days from the date when you’re aware there’s a problem, which would be 9th January, the day when Jessops went into administration.

If your claim is rejected, you can take it to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Cash or cheque transactions

Unfortunately, cash and cheque purchases don’t cover the same levels of protection as those made by card. You can write to the administrators but you’ll be added to a list of creditors and may not get any of your money back. If you have a Jessops gift card or voucher, there's information on how to submit a claim on the Jessops website.

If an HMV gift card was bought at Asda, Boots or Tesco

Asda started selling HMV gift cards in November and has announced that it will switch the value of any HMV gift cards purchased at Asda onto an Asda gift card. However, you must be able to provide proof of purchase, which is either a receipt or a bank statement. You have until 30th January to make the switch.

Boots and Tesco will also credit the balance of an HMV gift card bought in its stores or online onto their gift cards. You'll need to provide proof of purchase, such as a receipt.

What about Blockbuster?

DVD and game rental company Blockbuster has also entered administration (also appointing Deloitte). However, gift cards and trade-in credits are still being accepted for now. But you may want to spend them sooner rather than later.

This article has been updated

More on consumer rights

Your rights when a company goes bust

Why extended warranties can be an expensive mistake

Small claims court: get the money you are owed

How to get a ticket refund from cancelled events

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