Ian Murray is the Shadow Business Secretary and he recently had cause to write to the administrators of failed High Street music store, HMV.
This is the letter he wrote:-
Dear Mr Edward, Mr Khan and Mr Harding,
I write to you in relation to the recent announcement that HMV has entered administration.
Like many others, I was very saddened to hear the news this week. HMV is a national institution that has been a feature of our high streets for over 90 years. Not least for the sake of HMV’s employees, I very much hope that you and your colleagues are able to find a way to keep the business going – to lose the business would be a sad loss to British retail and a terrible blow to the workforce.
I understand that the company will no longer be accepting store gift cards or vouchers to pay for items. As I understand the situation, HMV is one of Britain’s biggest voucher and gift card retailers. I appreciate that when a company is in administration, it no longer exists in its previous form so is no longer legally required to accept vouchers and gift cards.
However, many people will have received HMV gift cards or vouchers as Christmas presents and were no doubt looking forward to using them to make a purchase over the next few weeks. It will strike many customers as unfair that whilst the company is still trading, they are unable to use them so soon after Christmas, particularly given that according to reports vouchers were still on sale as recently as Monday. I’m sure you will be able to sympathise with the frustration that this has cause consumers across the UK.
There is a recent precedent for retailers in administration to fulfil gift cards and vouchers: Last year, Comet and its administrators made the decision to satisfy vouchers and gift cards whilst it was still trading.
Therefore I very much hope that it will be possible to reconsider this decision, and to work alongside consumer groups towards a solution that means customers with gift cards and vouchers are not left out of pocket.
Additionally, I would be grateful if you could advise me if the current position is likely to change; clarify what steps consumers who are in possession of vouchers or gift cards and wish to redeem these are able to take to seek redress; and confirm the total amount of gift cards and vouchers which are currently outstanding for customers.
Once again, I wish you all the best in your endeavours to secure a future for the business and would be grateful if you could pass on my best wishes and sympathy to all the staff at this difficult time.
The Reporter asked the MP for Edinburgh South about this and also about the other constituency work he does and how people can contact him or find out what he is doing:-
You can contact Ian Murray here
Labour Member of Parliament for Edinburgh South | Shadow Minister for Employment Relations, Consumer and Postal Affairs
Constituency Office: 0131 662 4520
House of Commons: 0207 219 7064
Write: 31 Minto Street, Edinburgh, EH9 2BT