Coronavirus: Shoppers misplaced £100m in vouchers expiring in lockdown – Which?

Shoppers queue in Westfield Shopping centre on June 15, 2020 in London, England. Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Shops have been closed for about three months, earlier than reopening in June

UK customers might have misplaced a complete of nearly £100m in unused vouchers throughout the coronavirus lockdown, the buyer group Which? has estimated.

A survey of two,000 adults urged 1 / 4 of individuals possessed a voucher that expired throughout lockdown.

Many retailers contacted clients and provided to increase them – however a 3rd of these with an expiring voucher didn’t get an extension and misplaced the cash.

Which? urged individuals who have been unable to make use of their vouchers to contact the store.

It additionally warned of the dangers of shopping for new vouchers as a result of some well-known retailers had lately collapsed – and added that additional coronavirus restrictions might make it troublesome to spend them.

Non-essential outlets and companies closed in March for a number of months, as a part of the federal government’s lockdown restrictions to cope with the pandemic.

Many outlets mechanically prolonged the time that clients might spend their vouchers – in addition to extending their return durations.

Shops finally reopened all through June (in Northern Ireland first, adopted by England, Wales after which Scotland) with some lengthy queues exterior shops.

‘Contact the corporate’

In its survey carried out in August, Which? discovered that nearly half of individuals with an expiring voucher had it mechanically prolonged.

One in seven – or 15% – of individuals with a voucher needed to to request an extension, with one buyer telling Which? that an organization advised them “hard luck, basically”.

But 36% – which might equate to an estimated 3.1 million individuals, in keeping with Which? – didn’t obtain an extension on their procuring vouchers.

Which? says the unspent vouchers have been price £31.70 on common, which means round £98m was prone to have been misplaced throughout the entire of the UK.

The client group suggested anybody who has a voucher that expired throughout lockdown to contact the retailer.

“If you have a voucher you were unable to use it is worth contacting the company,” mentioned client rights professional Adam French.

“Anyone considering buying a voucher should be aware of the risks, as some well-known retailers have collapsed in recent months and further coronavirus restrictions could make it difficult to spend vouchers and gift cards.”

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Media captionShops left empty by the disaster have been given a brand new lease of life