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To think gift tokens shouldn't 'expire'?

(19 Posts)
Lilygran Mon 17-Nov-14 17:10:30

Be warned! I found a plastic card book token in an old wallet the other day and took it along to Waterstone's today. I thought I might have used it but didn't remember. The assistant was very helpful but said she thought it had expired. She suggested I ring the number on the card to double check. I did, and it has. DH said he thought the amount was gradually reduced anyway and, sure enough, that's what the very, very tiny small print on the back said. Now my point is, someone paid money to this organisation for the card. They've had the money but I haven't had the book. I can't believe inflation is so rampant that money loses all its value in two years! When gift tokens were nice cards with paper vouchers, I seem to remember they didn't 'expire'. Is this taking advantage of technology for a bit of sharp practice?

soontobe Mon 17-Nov-14 18:29:38

Never heard of a token losing money as it goes along.

On a plus side. This weekend I bought some paper vouchers to a set sum from Brewers Fayre, for a couple for christmas who are difficult to buy for.
I asked the cashier to check the expiry date before I bought them, and it is sometime in 2017!
That will be ok then!

Ana Mon 17-Nov-14 18:35:08

I've never heard of the amount reducing either, but I know most gift cards have an expiry date. It's usually two years, but I have a feeling Amazon's are only valid for one year.

What I find irritating about plastic gift cards is that you can't see how much you've got left, if you've used it a couple of times on bits and bobs. I know they give you a slip telling you, but I tend to lose them or throw the away!

tanith Mon 17-Nov-14 18:40:41

I have heard of this after the card expires they take an administration charge ( I think thats what they called it) each month until the money on the card is used up . My husband has one from Mastercard someone gave him and when it expires they take £2 per month till its emptied.
Crazy if you ask me.

Ana Mon 17-Nov-14 18:58:11

So it's not really a problem as you couldn't use it yourself after the expiry date anyway....

I expect it's to do with the company's accounting system.

numberplease Mon 17-Nov-14 21:25:14

I agree it is wrong. My daughter had a gift token for Argos from her brother as a Christmas present, but although she didn`t forget about it, there was nothing she wanted at the time, so put it in a drawer. When she did decide to use it she discovered that it had expired, but she/we hadn`t realised that there was an expiry date on gift tokens (it wasn`t a gift card, it was a paper gift token). These companies are getting the money from people, but not having to part with the goods, it`s legalised robbery!

rosesarered Mon 17-Nov-14 21:32:46

I agree with you Number and I'm sure that ages ago this was not the case. Now I always check the expiry date of ones we are given, it's daylight robbery!

numberplease Tue 18-Nov-14 10:35:23

Slightly off topic, a few years ago, I bought a Game voucher for a grandson, then aged 7, for Christmas. A few days after Christmas, he took it to the shop, along with his mum and dad, and they wouldn`t redeem it, saying that it wasn`t registered as a kosher voucher, and that he`d probably picked up a used one off the ground outside the shop! Anyway, after we threatened to go to Watchdog about it, they caved in, good job, or there would have been a very upset little boy.

janerowena Tue 18-Nov-14 11:03:24

That's awful!!! I didn't know that happened.

I've only just found out from a friend whose son has died that premium bonds can't be transferred, although they do refund the value of the bond to the family. I think that's a bit sad, too. It would be nice to be able to pass on your bonds to a young relative.

Purpledaffodil Tue 18-Nov-14 11:54:29

I agree that it is very unfair that the plastic cards do not have an expiry date but still expire silently. I lost £25 to Debenhams that way.
On a positive note, I found some paper ones from Monsoon that must have been 4 years old. When I took them to the shop they very kindly honoured them, although they apparently didn't even use that sort any more. Perhaps I looked honest and needy? grin

Marmight Wed 19-Nov-14 12:35:24

I was given a voucher for a very well know 'posh' shop - HN - and when I went to use it I discovered it only lasted for 6 months shock not 12 months as is usual. How ridiculous to limit it to such a short time. I was unable to use it and I felt very upset for the person who had given it to me (I was too much of a wimp to let on)

aggie Wed 19-Nov-14 12:38:38

I found a lot of M+S vouchers and a couple of the plastic gift tokens and they were ages old , spent them on Monday and had over £60.0 off my bill

numberplease Wed 19-Nov-14 15:53:05

I know it`s not quite the same thing as a gift voucher, but a few weeks ago, I received an email from Asda, where we shop online every week, thanking us for our custom and saying that a thank you E token for 50p would be placed in our account to be used as and when. Now I know it`s only 50p, but when I tried to click on it to use for the shopping it wouldn`t let me use it, citing reasons that I couldn`t make head nor tail of. I contacted them, someone rang me and said that next time I was on there I`d be able to use the token. I CAN`T! It still won`t let me, and I`m annoyed, not for 50p, but for the principle of the thing, why give me something I can`t make use of? Right, rant over, sorry!

rosequartz Wed 19-Nov-14 20:49:51

I realised some Tesco vouchers were expiring the day after I found them in a drawer, so I phoned and they re-issued them with the next lot they sent.

I didn't realise that vouchers/cards that had been paid for had an expiry date - that is daylight robbery and surely is not legal.

Ana Wed 19-Nov-14 20:52:30

Yes, it is legal, because it will always state somewhere in the terms and conditions that there is an expiry date, and what that will be.

Sneaky and underhand, yes, but not illegal.

whitewave Wed 19-Nov-14 20:59:10

I had a theatre token given to me and that doesn't seem to have any expiry date

LynC Thu 20-Nov-14 07:12:56

I often receive spa vouchers from my daughters as gifts, I always check the expiry dates, as it is not standard across all gift tokens, over the years I have noticed that the spa tokens that were unlimited, have moved to less than a yea, and the last one was only for 6 months, now that is sharp practice. Gift tokens are usually given because you do not want anything at the moment.

I thought I did read somewhere that most gift tokens are never redeemed. So why have an expiry date!

My tip ---I keep all store tokens in my purse like cash, or in the case of spa tokens now write on the calendar 3 months ahead to book it in before expiry!

hera Thu 20-Nov-14 08:57:09

I have just had a similar experience which was sorted out by my local independent bookshop. I took an old plastic National Book Token to my local bookshop where they explained that when book tokens changed from paper to the plastic format they originally had expiry dates. In response to the many complaints this naturally caused the tokens are now issued with no expiry date. But the assistant knew exactly what to do. She phoned Book Tokens Ltd and gave them the serial number of the expired card. Book Tokens still had a record of the card and confirmed that £7.01 was left on it. The assistant issued a new book token for this amount, gave the serial number to Book Tokens Ltd and this only took about 10 minutes. I hope this helps and that you can do the same. We are very lucky to have an independent bookshop (in Beckenham Kent). The can get most books for you in 24 hours provide this sort of good service. It looks as if Waterstone's did not know what to do or could not be bothered.

Lilygran Thu 20-Nov-14 09:54:49

The helpful assistant in Waterstones told me a story similar to yours, hera but when I phoned the number on the card and did as the robot told me to, the answer was that the card had 'expired'.