Suffolk Trading Standards have given advice to Debenhams customers

Advice from Suffolk Trading Standards after Debenhams goes into adminstration Picture: NEIL PERRY

Advice from Suffolk Trading Standards after Debenhams goes into adminstration Picture: NEIL PERRY - Credit: Archant

It was announced yesterday that Debenhams had entered administration, a move expected to lead to store closures and job losses. But what happens now if you have gift vouchers to use or items to return?

The struggling retailer suspended its shares on Tuesday, after turning down another takeover bid from Sports Direct billionaire Mike Ashley.

It is not yet known what the future hold for its stores in Ipswich, Bury and Colchester but it was announced that about 50 of the company’s 165 stores were likely to close.

Read more: Debenhams has gone into administration – what is the future for stores in Ipswich, Bury and Colchester?

The news is likely to have worried many Debenhams customers – especially those with gift cards and returns to deal with.

Suffolk Trading Standards (STS) have answered the all important questions so consumers know where they stand.

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Can I still use my gift cards?

If you have a gift card, spend it quick – that’s the advice from Suffolk Trading Standards.

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A spokesman said: “When a retailer goes into administration, customers with vouchers are seen as creditors.

“This means you will be among the business’ other creditors, who are all trying to claim back any money owed.

“There’s no obligation for the administrators or the buyer of a business to continue honouring them.

“The Debenhams website says gift cards WILL continue to be honoured, but there are no guarantees as to how long this will last.

“Our advice therefore is that if you have a gift card, you should look to spend it as soon as possible.”

Can I return an order?

Currently the Debenhams website says that “all orders, returns, and refunds will be honoured”.

However, Suffolk Trading Standards are wary about this.

A spokesman added: “There is no confirmation from the administrators about whether refund rules will change in future – so if you do have an order you want to return, it may be best to do this sooner rather than later.”

Is it still safe to make purchases?

A Suffolk Trading Standards spokesman: “If you make a purchase from Debenhams now that it is in administration, we would advise that it would be worth using a debit card, or a credit card if the purchase costs over £100.

“This will give you extra protection if something goes wrong with the purchase. You may be able to make a claim through ‘chargeback’ for debit cards, or Section 75 for credit cards.”

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