Article written by Peter Chapman.
Published on 16/01/2013 at 02:00 PM.
HMVâ€™s descent into administration may not have been a surprise for many, but it was unfortunate for all those affected. While we are concerned about the staff, itâ€™s also worth noting that many of their customers may be going through a period of some uncertainty too.
Gift cards for entertainment retailers have long been a staple Christmas gift for many and those of us who donâ€™t pay much attention to shifting market forces – or those keen to avoid a repeat of the precarious position they were put in by Game Groupâ€™s own brief administration period – may have been choosing to pre-order at HMV. Is that money now lost to the administration process currently ongoing at the retailer? Well, itâ€™s a little bit messy but there are methods to claim it back.
If you've got a gift card for the retailer, there's a chance you could get your money back.
Basically, HMV owes you money and youâ€™re entitled to ask that it be returned. However, registering is no guarantee that youâ€™ll get it back – youâ€™ll be added to the queue of creditors and the administrators will reimburse that list as they see fit.
Donâ€™t throw away your vouchers. Itâ€™s entirely possible that HMV will start accepting them again, once the administrators have fully assessed the business or if a buyer is found who agrees to honour the companyâ€™s old debt. If that happens, the best plan of action may be to simply go and spend your vouchers in the sale.
If you bought vouchers using a credit card and the transaction was greater than Â£100 then you can claim that back from the company that offered you the credit (your bank or credit card company). It doesnâ€™t have to be Â£100-worth of vouchers, just to have appeared in the same transaction. So it could be a Â£10 voucher on a receipt with Â£90-worth of Blu-rays, DVDs, CDs and games and you would still be entitled to a refund of the credit under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act (1974). Obviously, this is of less use if the vouchers were a gift but perhaps you can explain the situation to whoever bought you the gift and they might claim back the credit themselves.
If the vouchers were bought using a debit card, the situation is slightly more tricky. Most major debit card providers offer a scheme called Chargeback. Under this scheme, you can claim back money spent on debit cards if they are undelivered, faulty or if the retailer goes bankrupt. If your debit card has a Visa, Mastercard or American Express symbol on it, youâ€™re likely covered by this scheme, phone your bank and ask about it.
Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act will also cover you if you bought goods on a credit card and they are faulty or undelivered. For anyone who might have ordered something but not had it delivered, phone HMV on 020 8495 4434 to see whether your order might still be fulfilled. If the retailer is no longer fulfilling orders, itâ€™s unlikely that theyâ€™ll refund you but youâ€™re eligible for all of the schemes listed above as an unsecured creditor.
Any larger goods youâ€™ve bought from HMV recently will almost certainly be covered by a manufacturerâ€™s warranty. That is still in place and will not be affected by HMVâ€™s difficulties. If you took out the extended cover (HMVâ€™s was called Extended/Play) at checkout, youâ€™re also in luck. Those schemes are usually underwritten by an insurance company – in this case Allianz – who are legally obliged to honour those contracts, regardless of the status of the retailer who sold it.
Allianz has said that for goods with a value of under Â£150, customers should initially contact HMV for guidance. For goods worth over Â£150, go straight to Allianz on 0844 893 9497 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and explain your case.