Gift voucher restrictions
YOUR CONSUMER QUERIES:A READER named Emma has been in touch to ask about gift vouchers redeemed with special offers.
“I recently received a gift voucher from a friend for a spa/beauticians,” she writes. “When looking on the website, they had a special offer of half price massages if booked for one of three days in August.
“ At the end of the page it stated that gift vouchers could not be used with the offer,” she says.
She phoned the spa and was told she would have to pay the full price for the massage if she wanted to use her voucher.
“I have often used gift vouchers with special offers before and find it strange that businesses can limit the use of a voucher even though cash was paid for it.”
This is not the first time we have come across such a problem and companies which do not restrict the use of vouchers or special deals are very much in a minority.
Unfortunately for consumers, retailers are within their legal rights to impose many restrtictions on vouchers – such as expiry dates and a refusal to accept them during sales periods or as part of promotional deals - and while consumer groups and advocates have long called for a change of legisltation to prohibit such carry-on, there is no indication that this Government – or indeed the ones whcih came before it – have any inclination to do anything to improve the consumer’s lot in this regard.
Black and white difference
LAST WEEK, MW from Blackrock wanted to purchase a small jar of Jolen cream bleach in Bloomfields Shopping Centre. She is a customer of Boots and have a loyalty card. She saw it in Tesco where it cost €5.19.
“I decided to check it in Boots where I would get points on loyalty card and there it was for €7.09. “Of course, I drew the attention of an assistant to this after returning and buying it for €2.10 cheaper in Tesco. Some difference for building up points.
At the end of the tether over TV and broadband set-up
"IT IS GOOD to know that 'Rip-Off' Ireland is alive and well and operating under the guise of UPC,” writes Colin Forbes. In early July, he signed up to UPC’s Standard TV and Broadband package and asked to have the self-install equipment delivered to his address on Saturday, July 7th. He was told that was no problem and a delivery time of between 10am and 1pm was agreed. He also told UPC that as he lived in an apartment complex, it was more than likely his apartment would have to be connected to the communal junction box down in the underground parking area. “They informed me that they were aware of this.”
So far so good. He waited until 1.15pm on the appointed day and then called the delivery company which UPC uses. He was told their driver had had some class of a personal issue and had to go home. Our reader said the “courtesy of a phone call would not have gone amiss”.
It was then agreed that the equipment would be delivered the following Tuesday. It arrived but later that evening he installed the equipment as per the UPC user installation manuals. “No matter how many times I tried, I was unable to get a TV signal or a broadband connection. I phoned UPC who arranged to send out an engineer on Friday, July 13th. The engineer managed to get a TV signal (by connecting my apartment to the communal junction box!). However, I was still unable to connect to the internet as there was no broadband connection.”