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‘I want a refund for my useless Virgin Experience voucher’

What are your rights when a voucher turns out to be useless?

Do you have an issue you need to put right? Which? is here to help get your consumer problems sorted.

Dear Which?,

I bought a Virgin Experience Day for my mum's birthday in November 2021, hoping that we'd be able to plan a fun day out together.

My mum has been trying to book the 'Behind the Seams' experience day at the famous Angels Costumes. She has tried multiple times to book this and each time she is told that there are no slots available.

I contacted Virgin Experience Days about the availability issues and I was told to just keep checking for slots. 

The voucher is only valid for a year and I'm worried it's going to expire. 

This gift has proven to be a total headache – at the cost of £76.50 I just want the money back so that I can treat my mum to something else.

Holly O'Byrne, Essex

Put to Rights

Lauren Deitz, Which? consumer rights expert, says:

It's incredibly frustrating when a thoughtful gift turns sour, and it's disappointing to hear that you haven't been able to get any helpful support with this from Virgin Experience Days.

We took a look at the Virgin Experience Days website and noticed that it was still selling vouchers for this experience. Knowing that there are limited slots available, we asked Virgin Experience Days if it could make this clear on its website or remove the listing as it’s misleading and could be a breach of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

Virgin Experience Days said: ‘Angels Costumes has unfortunately experienced availability issues in recent months. More slots are due to open in August; to avoid further disappointment, we have temporarily removed the product and won’t be taking bookings until availability improves.

‘We apologise to Holly and her mother for any inconvenience caused and have processed a full refund. All of our vouchers are completely flexible and can be exchanged at any point during the validity period. If a voucher is not able to be fulfilled within this period due to a supplier issue, [it] can either be extended free of charge or completely refunded if we can’t find a suitable alternative.

‘We are committed to providing the highest levels of customer satisfaction and service, and encourage anyone experiencing similar issues to get in touch directly with our customer service team.’

Need to know

  • With vouchers – be it a gift voucher or experience day – it's the purchaser of the voucher who is bound by its terms and conditions, not the recipient. If you encounter a problem, you need to speak to the person who gifted it to you. 
  • Always check the terms and conditions of the vouchers. Vouchers do expire eventually, and expiry dates are allowed as long as the purchaser was made aware of this at the time of purchase.
  • If you have a problem with the voucher, you should first complain to the company you bought the voucher from.
  • If this doesn't resolve your issue, you can consider taking a complaint to an ombudsman.  

Get in touch. If you've got a consumer rights problem you need put right, email us at yourstory@which.co.uk. 

Please be aware that we cannot help with, or respond to, every email that we receive. The inbox is monitored periodically during office hours, Monday-Friday 9am-5pm.