Evans Cycles customers still in the dark over gift cards two weeks after Sports Direct buyout
Evans Cycles customers are still being told gift cards and vouchers are "suspended" and can't be used for purchases, two weeks after the business was acquired by Sports Direct.
Update Wednesday 14 November: Evans Cycles has now said that customers will be able to use their gift cards and gift vouchers from Friday 16 November.
The cycling shop chain was bought after going into administration in October, with Sports Direct chief executive Mike Ashley warning at the time that half of its stores could close.
Customers have been unable to use their gift cards and vouchers since, and the store has said on social media that this will be the case until further notice.
This is the second time in two months that a business bought by Sports Direct has caused gift voucher-related headaches for customers.
Sports Direct bought House of Fraser in August, and customers were told to return vouchers to have them exchanged. After months of limbo, the store began issuing replacements vouchers in October.
What do Evans Cycles customers say?
Evans Cycles customers have taken to social media in the last few days to complain about still not being able to spend their vouchers:
I've got a gift card or voucher – what can I do?
At the moment, customers are being told to contact Evans Cycles on 01293 574 900 if they have any questions.
The retailer hasn't categorically said that gift vouchers and cards won't be accepted, it has just said that they won't be accepted until "further notice", so one option is to wait for an update.
Alternatively, if you bought the gift card, you could try and claim a refund from your card provider, though the lack of a clear decision on whether the gift cards will be spendable is likely to make this more difficult.
Here are more details on the routes you could try:
- Section 75 is legal protection. Under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, you can claim from your credit card firm if you made a £100+ purchase on a credit card and the contract is breached or the product is misrepresented.
If you bought a gift card for over £100 it may be worth trying this, but given you MAY still technically be able to use the gift card in the future, there's no guarantee it'll work. See our Section 75 guide for full info.
- Chargeback is a customer service promise rather than legal obligation, so banks can't be forced to pay out. You can claim for credit card purchases, including those under £100, and for debit or prepaid card purchases (though if you used a Mastercard, you must have spent at least £10 to be able to reclaim).
Chargeback claims must usually be put in within 120 days of making a purchase. It's worth noting under chargeback you receive a refund from your bank and it later claims the money back from the company itself. Again, due to the fact that you may be able to use the gift card in the future, there's no guarantee this will work. See our Chargeback guide for full info.
What does Sports Direct say?
We've contacted Sports Direct for comment and to ask if gift vouchers and cards will eventually be accepted.
We'll update this story if it responds.