HMV vouchers may still be honoured. No, wait, they WILL be!

January 21st, 2013 21 Comments By Mof Gimmers
hmvpa 468x374 300x239 HMV vouchers may still be honoured. No, wait, they WILL be!

Nipper tries to put his little face in gramophone-shaped meat grinder

BREAKING NEWS: The administrator has announced that HMV will accept gift cards again from tomorrow (22nd)

Deloitte, the administrator for HMV, is having a chat to record companies in a bid to try and work out what the financial impact will be it they allow everyone to cash in their millions of pounds of HMV vouchers.

If the vouchers are honoured, the auld fella who shoplifted stock from a store in Dublin, and the pair who kicked up such a stink that the police had to be called out in England, because staff weren’t able to take gift vouchers, will be looking pretty stupid this week.

Technically speaking, vouchers are a debt owed by the company and should the issuer go bust, anyone with a gift voucher becomes an unsecured creditor. That said, those who have vouchers that have expired thanks to the company weighing up what to do, they will have up to six years under the Sale of Goods Act to cash them in.

However, if administrators sell a failed business, the new owner is under no obligation to honour the obligations of the previous business entity. It is worth pointing out that, all things considered, resolving the gift voucher issue is invariably nowhere near the top of the list of things to sort out at HMV right now.

Which!!!!! suggest that you write to an administrator if you’re desperate to chase up the value of a £10 voucher, but added: “There’s no guarantee you’ll get all of your money back, and it could take up to 12 months to process the claim properly. And not all administrators will take this approach.”

Comments (21) Jump to most recent comment
  1. Posted by Han Solo January 21, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    Banquet Records must be rubbing their hands together in anticipation!

  2. Posted by jokester January 21, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    Blocking people from using the vouchers they have paid for is nothing short of theft. HMV have your money, and while any stores remain open, they should be forced to take the vouchers as payment.

    Deloitte are basically thieving scum who profit from other people’s misfortunes and whoever runs it should be locked up for theft.

  3. Posted by Grammar Nazi January 21, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    @ jokester – If you look up the definition of theft in the Theft Act it’s clearly not theft. As the article says the voucher holders are unsecured creditors, same as HMV’s suppliers. It’s not a nice position and given the current economic landscape it is definately something that the government should look into legislating against in the future, but it’s clearly not theft.

  4. Posted by dvdj10 January 21, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    @jokester
    Did you read the article at all? Or even just think about it?

    Who should Deloitte try and pay off first, all of the suppliers & creditors who are probably owed millions, or lot’s of people who are just owed £10 each. One of them could have an effect on another company getting in to trouble whereas the other one will just be slightly miffed that they’ve lost £10 each.

    The vouchers are only worth 50% anyway as everything costs twice as much at HMV.

  5. Posted by Ed Gee January 21, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    Of course, they mislead all the Xmas shoppers into pumping millions into their company from sales of gift cards and then conveniently call in the administrators once the management team have enjoyed one too many all expenses paid Xmas dinners!

  6. Posted by Simon January 21, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    HMV have been struggling for ages. Anyone who bought HMV vouchers at Christmas should be annoyed with their own lack of common sense rather than the administrators. When a company goes bust the debtors all have to form a queue and wait for the administration process to progress. If they can find a buyer, the buyer may decide to honour the vouchers as a goodwill start to the relationship with existing customers. If they don’t and HMV is liquidised then you are back of a very long queue. My guess is that the banks will be the only ones to have their debt secured on assets, so them and the administrators will likely be the only ones to see a penny.

  7. Posted by Brian January 21, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    In this day and age – anybody that buys any gift vouchers, from any store, deserves to lose them. How many stores have to go bust and not honour vouchers before people realise that all gift vouchers do is offer a risky way of giving cash that is restricted to being spent in one place!

  8. Posted by Tim B January 21, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    I don’t understand why so many people are taking the companies side on this issue.

    If a company goes bust and closes all it’s stores, then fair enough – clearly with no stores, they can’t accept vouchers, and the unsecured creditor argument applies.

    However, if they are still trading, there is no reason whatsoever why vouchers shouldn’t be honoured. Under normal circumstances, consumers are well protected. That protection shouldn’t disappear just because a store chose to lie about it’s financial status.

  9. Posted by dvdj10 January 21, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    They’re being honored from Tuesday apparently.

  10. Posted by dvdj10 January 21, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    You’ll hear it on bitterwallet next week.

  11. Posted by Michael January 21, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    @TimB

    The thing is, the “company” isn’t trading any more. The stores might be open, but the company “HMV Group” (who people bought the vouchers from) isn’t trading any more. That company has been replaced by “HMV Group (in administration)”

  12. Posted by jokester January 21, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    @Grammar Nazi – I never said anything about the legal definition of theft. If I borrow your phone, then refuse to give it back, that’s not “theft” by the legal definition but it still is clearly theft. As is taking somebody’s money for a voucher that you then cancel.

    @dvdj10 – of course I read it, along with the nonsense you wrote. The suppliers and creditors have all taken a risk to make money (as is commonplace) and they have most likely made a lot of money from HMV already. The people that have spent £10 for a £10 voucher have NOT made any money and have NOT had anything in return – they deserve their money back.

  13. Posted by dvdj10 January 21, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    @TimB
    Everything get’s prioritised, and gift vouchers are very low down the list as typically each individual is only going to lose a very small amount £10/£20 where as the property companies who they rent their stores from or the labels who they buy their stock from stand to lose a big chunk and could potentially put them in financial trouble.

    I really doubt that you missing out on the new Will.i.am & Britney single is the end of the world, in fact you’re doing it a favour.

  14. Posted by dvdj10 January 21, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    Just because they’ve “made money” out of HMV in the past doesn’t make it ok for them to write off thousands of debt?!

    We’ll agree to disagree on this one. As it has been pointed out earlier surely you should be angry at the clueless people who actually bought the vouchers in the first place? That takes some special skills to be that short-sighted. And if you bought them ages ago you should have got them spent at the first sign of the company struggling, it’s hardly just suddenly gone under.

  15. Posted by Justin Manchester AfterDark January 21, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    My HMV ‘voucher’ is a gift card of accumulated credit from trading in old dvds to them. I used most of that credit to buy an Xbox game and was left with £3.00 on it. What with them accepting used dvds at larger stores, I thought they were moving into the pre-owned market, so on the surface, it seemed they were diversifying (although a bit late to the pre-owned party) and investing in their future.

    I could now use it against a purchase from Jan 22nd, so not a total loss of a mere £3 as first thought.

    So not all small public creditors are foolish Xmas voucher buyers.

  16. Posted by WhatTheHell January 21, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    I don’t know why anyone would consider buying or giving gift cards for specific chains any more. Such things are just not safe! Either give cash or, if you still have any, write a cheque.

    And if you get given one, spend it as soon as possible!

  17. Posted by Kevin January 21, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    Nice to see sensible people here as well as idiots.
    The company no longer exists and noone is entitled to anything from the stores, the fact that the administrators are allowing them to be used is purely to make the company look better for any future buyer. Which means there is hopefully going to be a buyer.
    If I was them I’d tell the staff to allow nice people who didn’t bitch to cash them in and any moaners can f off.

    And now people know they can use them I expect everyone to use them in the next couple of days. If they don’t then they obviously didn’t want their money back.

  18. Posted by CLUNGE January 22, 2013 at 9:43 am

    I’m just pleased that all those people who sold them for half price to (somewhat stupid) buyers on ebay without mentioning that they’re no longer any good will be rather sick now.

  19. Posted by Ben January 22, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    I’m pretty sure Deloitte will be close to the front of the queue, if not at the front and will get their fees before (probably) all of the unsecured creditors!

  20. Posted by Gabriella January 22, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    I think that as Hilco have bought HMV’s debt from Lloyds and RBS for much less than what is outstanding they have full control of HMV and will be able to buy out the business from administration albeit with less stores but by the end of the week HMV will still be on the high street.

    Of course, they are allowing gift vouchers. If as expected HMV survives, they don’t want the bad publicity for refusing to accept gift voucher’s. That’s why they changed their tune.

    Hilco own HMV Canada so for them it is a perfect fit.

  21. Posted by jokester January 25, 2013 at 10:28 am

    @dvdj10 – “surely you should be angry at the clueless people who actually bought the vouchers in the first place”. Um, why should I be angry at people who have lent/given HMV money without charging interest???

    And I never said anything about it being OK to write off the debt – but they lent the money to make more money back fully knowing the risks. The voucher owners on the other hand got them either as a Christmas present or from trading in – why should they be the ones to suffer?

    @Kevin – I have a £10 HMV voucher somewhere but I’m never going to use it. It would cost me nearly that to get there.

    Also, for the vast majority of products HMV sell, their price minus £10 is still higher than other places sell the same item for…

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