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To think gift cards are a scam

(65 Posts)
TheRebel Fri 10-Aug-18 18:15:40

House of Fraser are not accepting gift cards or vouchers even though they’re not going into administration.

Retailers must love gift cards, they have your cash and don’t have to honour them and people must forget about them and lose them all the time.

Ohhbollix Fri 10-Aug-18 18:20:17

I agree gift cards are so annoying. I've never liked them since, as a teenager, my mum gave me a voucher for Virgin Megastore and I also had a discount card and they wouldn't accept one in conjunction with the other even though I explained over and over that a gift card is the equivalent of cash.

TheCountryGirl Fri 10-Aug-18 18:21:38

I am partial to Amazon ones! I don't like gift cards where you have to leave the house and their stock is more limited.

ipswichwitch Fri 10-Aug-18 18:22:40

They’ve annoyed the hell out of me since they started putting expiry dates on them. I mean, money doesn’t have an expiry date so why should a bloody gift card?

EssentialHummus Fri 10-Aug-18 18:23:08

Amazon recently announced some ridiculous quantity/value of unredeemed one.

MsOliphant Fri 10-Aug-18 18:24:15

I had one for Harvey Nicks for £200 that had an expiry date of six months on it sad

Yes I should have checked but I was saving it for a Christmas shopping trip, it was 8 months old and they wouldn't budge on it. So they basically just had £200 for nothing.

keepingbees Fri 10-Aug-18 18:25:27

I hate them. Always end with some odd amount left on them and no way of remembering what. I have loads kicking about with no idea if they're used up or not, I preferred the old paper vouchers where you either got another paper one back or money in change. I also don't don't like the expiry date. I agree they're a con.

ScreamingValenta Fri 10-Aug-18 18:26:21

I always give cash, or a cheque if posting. I don't see the point of gift vouchers whatsoever - why swap something you can spend anywhere for something you can only spend in certain stores? Unless I am missing something, it's an act of insanity to do this.

Madbengalmum Fri 10-Aug-18 18:27:46

The visa/MasterCard versions are even worse, you can't spend them anywhere. Used to be able to buy amazon funds, now not even that,total rip off!

SadieHH Fri 10-Aug-18 18:28:27

Personally I like a gift card as it gives me permission to buy something I want rather than need. Money just gets eaten up. However, M&S have £170 of our money since they refused to honour my mother's gift cards. She's in her 70s and was saving them for a holiday shopping spree. Again only a couple of months past expiry and they wouldn't budge. Bastards. angry

keepingbees Fri 10-Aug-18 18:29:29

@ScreamingValenta when you put it like that grin

Although the xbox vouchers are very popular birthday gifts amongst my son and his friends as they can just put the code in or whatever they do. They much prefer them to cash, but shop-wise it's crazy.

LeftRightCentre Fri 10-Aug-18 18:31:08


TheCatFromOuterSpace Fri 10-Aug-18 18:32:51

Totally agree. I have had loads that I forgot to spend by the expiry date, especially ones that I was given as baby presents, as I mostly used online shopping when they were small.

SteviaStephanie Fri 10-Aug-18 18:35:12

They’re not a “scam”, because you can spend them. But they aren’t as convenient and naturally if the retailer gets a chance to tell you that you’ve missed the window for spending it, they’ll take it!

shoelaces Fri 10-Aug-18 18:35:16

Not going to be popular with this but - I get where the retailer is coming from.

Cash is just cash - and costs almost nothing to administer. Except cash in up tills, collections of cash from the bank etc

Debit/credit cards are cheaper than cash to administer, they have a transaction fee but totals end up smaller than administering cash sales.

Gift cards - swap cash or card for a gift card. So from the outset, it still costs the retailer the other administration costs. But with these, they also have to buy the cards/envelopes, create an internal system to track/activate/deactivate the cards.

Then the biggest issue comes in the actual accounts. A company is valued based on a number of different and obvious things, such as profit, stock assets, building assets and so on. The gift card total value outstanding sits as a debt against the business. It needs to be controlled somehow and for the risk to be determinable. Having and expired date is a sensible measure to avoid being too exposed by gift card 'debt'.

TheCatFromOuterSpace Fri 10-Aug-18 18:35:23

Some of them don't just have an expiry date, they reduce in value by something like a pound every week.

Bombardier25966 Fri 10-Aug-18 18:36:55

I don't see the point in them, but they're not a scam, you know what you're getting when you buy/ are given them.

House of Fraser is still in administration but it has a buyer (Mike Ashley). It will remain in administration until the sale is completed.

NotAsGreenAsCabbageLooking Fri 10-Aug-18 18:38:28

We honoured an old credit note at my work yesterday... 18 years old!!
I can only admire someone organised enough to have kept it for that long! 😂

birkenstocks4ever Fri 10-Aug-18 18:38:30

Dh had one for American Golf that was 2 days past expiry and they wouldn't take it! So annoying and he felt really guilty for not spending it in time

birkenstocks4ever Fri 10-Aug-18 18:41:43

I, on the other hand, treated myself to a MAC lipstick with one I got for my birthday which felt extravagant. The equivalent gift in cash would have just been swallowed up in day to day spending so I'm happy to receive vouchers

Mousefunky Fri 10-Aug-18 18:42:19

DD got one for Claire’s Accessories for her birthday and we’ve completely lost it.

I don’t like them either unless it’s an Amazon one. I got a free £25 John Lewis one from waitrose when they cocked up my food delivery and I gave it to my Grandad for Christmas grin.

buttermilkwaffles Fri 10-Aug-18 18:48:43

Not usually a fan of them but do find the ones you can get at 20% off (eg for Argos) from complete savings useful as it's basically a 20% discount on anything from Argos.

AnoukSpirit Fri 10-Aug-18 18:54:25

Ah, this reminds me I have one for a shop I never go to. Need to figure out what on earth to do with it before it expires.

They're not a scam, just... pretty damn awkward.

KittyHawke80 Fri 10-Aug-18 18:56:24

I still use gift vouchers where possible - you simply can’t dispute the fact value of a voucher, whereas the number of times I’ve had a gift card swiped, and been told there’s no balance, is ridiculous. Because how can you prove there’s money on there? I got a large bonus about twelve years ago, when gift cards were becoming a ‘thing’ and turned some of it into gift cards for rainy days, and gave some as Christmas presents. Pizza Express was the pits - at least four of the ten I bought, were declined, and I didn’t manage to get them all resolved in my favour. I met an Ops Manager later who said the PE were well aware of their duff gift cards, but made money on them, obviously, so didn’t give a toss.

Redglitter Fri 10-Aug-18 18:58:29

Apparently House of Fraser are accepting them again.

They're hardly a scam though. Yes they may be have an expiry date but that doesn't make them a scam

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