When I was in Peacocks last year during the period they were in administration, I asked them if I could pay for something with the love2shop vouchers I got for my birthday. They said they couldn’t accept them because of the situation the business was in. I suspected that this was the answer they’d give and I accepted it.
When I first heard rumblings that HMV was going into administration I expected to hear that the £15 giftcard that I got for Christmas would not be accepted by the time I got the opportunity to use it. I am not an expert, but judging by my previous experience it appears that turning down gift vouchers along with similar decisions re exchanges and refunds are sadly part of the whole process and that any decisions like that are most likely made on the advice of the administrators.
I am not going to deny that I am a little bit gutted to find out that my giftcard could potentially be worthless soon. Unlike the love2shop vouchers, there aren’t any other places you can redeem an HMV one, however there was a time when Waterstones accepted them (they were owned by HMV up until a few years ago, I even used their vouchers to buy books in the branch on my university campus a couple of times). However, I find the reactions to not being able to use them by certain sections of the public disgraceful. It’s not the members of staff’s fault that you can’t use them to buy the complete set of Ice Age movies. They didn’t sell the voucher to the person who gave it to you knowing that the company was on the verge of going under. The bosses of HMV did not authorise its employees to deliberately rip off customers by selling them worthless bits of plastic. Indeed, they were likely doing everything to avoid having to call the administrators. And besides, they would have been given just as much grief if they were told not to sell giftcards before Christmas, so they couldn’t have won either way.
I understand why people are pissed off and in some ways they have every right to be. However, while HMV employees across the country are busy serving customers and facing verbal abuse from a section of shoppers, they are wondering whether they are going to still be in a job this time tomorrow. When you consider this, losing a few quid on a plastic card doesn’t seem so bad.