Music and DVD chain HMV has gone into administration, making it the latest high street casualty putting more than 4,000 jobs at risk.
The move comes only days after camera retailer Jessops went into administration.
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HMV is not accepting gift vouchers
Deloitte has been appointed to keep HMV’s 239 stores open while it assesses the prospects for the business and seeks potential buyers.
The firm said it would not be accepting gift vouchers or issuing any more.
However this may change in the coming days, as was the case when electrical retailer Comet went into administration last year. Following public concern it did allow a period of time where vouchers were accepted.
Shops to stay open while administrators seek a purchaser
HMV said: ‘The board regrets to announce that it has been unable to reach a position where it feels able to continue to trade outside of insolvency protection and in the circumstances therefore intends to file notice to appoint administrators to the company and certain of its subsidiaries with immediate effect.’
The statement continued that the board ‘understand that it is the intention of the administrators, once appointed, to continue to trade whilst they seek a purchaser for the business’.
HMV vouchers: shoppers unprotected
Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: ‘With the increasing number of high street retailers going bust, consumers need to be aware of their rights, particularly regarding warranties and gift vouchers.
‘While many groups can lose out when a company goes into administration, it is outrageous that consumers, once again, are left out of pocket when a retailer refuses to honour gift vouchers. We want the rules on gift vouchers and insolvency to be reviewed to ensure consumers are adequately protected in cases like this.’
We asked more than 1,000 Which? members if they have been unable to use a gift card or voucher, and nearly one in five said this was the case. While this includes vouchers that expired, other people have been left out of pocket when shops have gone into administration, as they do not then have to accept vouchers.
Using chargeback to claim back HMV vouchers
If you bought HMV vouchers on your card, you should be able to put in a on the grounds that the vouchers are fundamentally different to what you paid for. This is because you expected to be able to exchange them for goods of a certain value and instead they are worthless.
If the vouchers were given to you as a gift it’s trickier to make that claim. The person who got a HMV gift voucher as a gift can’t make a claim, but the person who bought the vouchers could put in a chargeback request to their bank.