Shoppers cannot redeem Game and Gamestation gift cards and loyalty points for now after the pair's parent company went into administration.
The blow comes after PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) was yesterday appointed UK and Ireland administrator for the Game Group, with the company in serious financial trouble.
It is unclear whether the firm's unfulfilled online orders will be processed.
We warned customers earlier this month to consider using Game and Gamestation gift cards and loyalty points as soon as possible (see the Game warning MSE News story).
Here's how customers are affected for now:
- Gift cards. Both Game and Gamestation gift cards are void for now.
- Loyalty points. Loyalty points on the Game Reward card and Gamestation Elite cards are void for now.
- Online orders. PWC says all orders are being "reviewed on a case by case basis". Despite us badgering PWC as to whether all online orders will be fulfilled it hasn't given a conclusive answer for all customers. If you want to find out more about your order call 0871 2003068.
- Refunds and exchanges. Refunds or exchanges are not being accepted unless your item is faulty, where you still retain your rights to a refund or replacement. If applicable, take the item to a store.
Some 277 stores owned by the Game Group have closed across the UK and Ireland, although 333 will stay open while the administrator searches for a buyer.
Despite some Game and Gamestation stores remaining open, both websites are currently down. PWC won't say how long this will be for.
The only glimmer of hope for consumers is if a buyer is found, which is also prepared to accept both gift cards and points.
Otherwise, consumers become one of many creditors owed cash, with little hope of getting their money back from the administrator.
'Hopeful of sale'
Mike Jervis, from PWC, says: "The group has faced serious cashflow and profit issues over the recent past. It also has suffered from high fixed costs, an ambitious international roll-out and fluctuating working capital requirements.
"We are hopeful that a sale of the business is achievable."
Under the Insolvency Act 1986, administrators can choose whether or not to accept gift cards and loyalty points.