House of Fraser to start issuing replacement gift cards
Some House of Fraser customers who had gift cards when the department store went into administration have today begun receiving letters telling them they will be issued with replacement e-vouchers, MoneySavingExpert.com can reveal.
Customers with gift cards had been left in limbo since the firm went into administration and was bought by Sports Direct in August. House of Fraser had promised to replace the gift cards and asked customers to send them to its head office – but details were sketchy, and many were worried they would not be replaced.
However, several customers have today reported receiving letters saying that gift cards are set to be replaced with an e-voucher of equivalent value that can be spent online.
One letter we've seen tells customers their e-voucher will be valid until 31 January 2019 and that further gift cards can be sent back until Wednesday 31 October, although we can't guarantee this will be the same for everyone. E-vouchers must be spent directly on the House of Fraser website.
The letter tells customers they can claim their e-voucher by emailing their customer reference number, along with their full name and postcode.
We've asked House of Fraser for more information, and will update this story when we know more.
What do House of Fraser's customers say?
One MoneySaver we've spoken to today, Jane Sanderson, told us: "I returned my £75 gift cards a couple of months ago more in hope than expectation, and got a letter from them today – I'm pretty impressed."
She said the e-voucher she'd been promised was for the full £75.
Here are some of the other reports we've seen:
Martin: 'Good news for customers who'd been waiting'
Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert.com, said: "This seems to be good news for the House of Fraser customers who have been waiting on tenterhooks to see if their gift cards are worth anything.
"It is important to understand that legally, House of Fraser gift cards are now worthless – your only legal recourse is being a creditor to the company. So from that perspective this is good. Though of course, House of Fraser was bought by a big company with strong finances and customers have more than just legal rights – they have legitimate expectations too and it's quite understandable that many people believe their gift cards should be honoured.
"This seems to be a decent halfway house. People are going to get the cash they expected but House of Fraser has managed to ensure this liability will not be on their books for too long.
"So I would urge people who have these gift cards to check their post. If you haven't already told them you have a gift card, tell them now. I'd then urge you to check your post to make sure you get it, and then go in and make sure you spend it before the end of January. If I'm really honest though, I'd go and spend it before – just to be sure."