Real Life

No token gesture

Is a store still obliged to cough up the goods if you've lost a gift voucher?

We received a $150 gift voucher for a store. We lost the voucher, but went into the shop with the names of those who’d given us the voucher and the date it was bought. The store owner said we could not buy anything because it was printed on the vouchers “no replacement vouchers if lost”. We pointed out that we could prove we were telling the truth because the voucher book had stubs attached with the purchasers’ names and the date of purchase. But she refused to pay out. Is this right?

Legally, I’d say you’re up a creek. Normally, if you lose a gift voucher, it’s gone…like cash or a bus ticket. Additionally, you’re not helped by the fact that the wording on your gift voucher clearly points out “no replacement vouchers if lost”. But that’s the strictly legal position. I still think the store is possibly being harsh. It’s really your friends, the buyers, who should be dealing with the store, not you. Was the voucher specifically made out to you? If so, I’m sure the small print says that the voucher is not transferable. Why can’t your friends take in a proof of purchase, such as a receipt or bank statement, as well as the stubs. Surely then, the store could cancel the original voucher and issue them with a new one to give you. If the vouchers aren’t made out to anyone in particular, and are transferable, that’s much more difficult. In that case, I don’t blame the store for not paying out. They might be legally obliged to also pay out if someone else turns up with the vouchers.

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