What to do with your vouchers for Debenhams, Cath Kidston and other firms in administration

Administrators can refuse to stop accepting vouchers at any time and once a company has officially gone bust, there is no way of getting money back.

Martyn James of consumer firm Resolver said that when a firm goes bust, voucher and gift card holders join the long list of creditors who are owed money by the business but join the back of the queue. “It’s very rare to actually get any cash back,” he said.

If companies do stop allowing gift card and voucher sales, there are options available. If bought with a debit card, chargeback can be used.

Mr James said: “Consumers should call the bank and ask them to charge back your money and explain this is urgent and that the business is going into administration. The bank should try to get the cash back as soon as possible.” If the administrators have closed the business’s accounts, it may be too late.

Similarly, if paid for by credit card,  the Consumer Credit Act says items that cost more than £100 and less than £30,000 can be claimed back from the card provider via section 75.  If a present from a friend or relative, they will need to apply to their bank, not the the person gifted the voucher or card.