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HMV collapse: your rights, vouchers and returns policy

By This is Gloucestershire  |  Posted: January 15, 2013

HMV

HMV

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Entertainment chain HMV has announced it is to go into administration.

More than 4,000 jobs are understood to be at risk.

The chain, which has been trading for 91 years has branches in Gloucester and Cheltenham.

The music and DVD retailer, which boasts some 250 stores, called in administrators from Deloitte today.

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The firm said it would not be accepting gift vouchers or issuing any more. The move is likely to frustrate many who received vouchers as Christmas gifts.

But what are your rights when a retailer goes into administration, and is there a way to get back your money if you have HMV vouchers? Find out with our Q&A guide:

I have HMV vouchers – what are my options?

If your vouchers are refused by HMV you can make a claim in writing to the administrators with proof of your vouchers, consumer campaigning body Which? explains.

In this case it would be Deloitte. However, the company has not yet officially been called in.

There’s no guarantee you'll get all of your money back, Which? says, and it could take up to 12 months to process the claim. Plus, not all administrators will take this approach.

Find out how to write a letter to claim a refund for vouchers from a bust company here.

If vouchers were bought for you as a gift, your options are limited. The person who received a HMV voucher as a gift can't make a claim, but the person who bought the vouchers could put in a chargeback request to the bank. See below for more details.

I bought vouchers on my card – does this change things?

Which? says if you bought HMV vouchers on your card you should be able to put in a chargeback request to your bank on the grounds the vouchers are fundamentally different to what you paid for.

This is because you expected to be able to exchange them for goods of a certain value and instead they are worthless.

However, there’s no guarantee administrators will accept these claims.

If you've bought something on your credit card costing more than £100, the card provider is jointly responsible for any breaches of contract. For example, you could ask for a refund if the things you bought weren't delivered, or you could claim for the cost of a repair if they were faulty.

But this only applies if you spent more than £100 in one transaction, Citizens Advice explains. The vouchers don't need to be worth £100 alone - if you bought £30 of vouchers and £70 of CDs in one transaction you would be covered.

Write to your credit card company with details of your claim. Find out how to claim a refund from your credit card company if a retailer has gone bust here.

If you paid by debit card you may be able to claim through the MasterCard and Visa chargeback scheme, as long as it hasn’t been more than 120 days since paying on your debit card and making your claim.

To find out more, click here.

You can still claim if you’ve only paid a deposit on your credit card, Which? explains. The card company is liable even if you made only part of the payment on your card.

According to the consumer body: “It's the value of the goods you're buying that is key - not the amount paid on the card. As long as you paid more than £100 on your credit card then you can claim.

“So, for example, if you ordered a new camera and paid a £500 deposit with your credit card and paid the balance of £1,000 by cheque, you'd be covered for the whole £1,500 if the company went out of business and you didn't get your camera.”

Can I return items I’ve bought at HMV?

This, Which? explains, is a grey area. The administrator's role is to try and save the company and in doing so it may take the decision not to accept returns.

However, if you bought an item which comes with a warranty and it’s faulty, you should be able to claim a refund or repair from the manufacturer under the terms of the warranty.

If the goods are faulty, your manufacturer's warranty should cover you for at least the first year. Check your documentation.

If you’ve been supplied with faulty goods and the company is placed into administration but is still trading, you may be able to get a replacement or a refund for your item in the usual way under the Sale of Goods Act.

Find out more about the Act here.

If you bought an extended warranty from HMV, check your documentation to see who actually provides the cover. It it’s provided by a third party, such as an insurance company, you shouldn’t be affected if HMV does cease trading.

If cover was provided by HMV, it depends on what happens at the end of the administration. If HMV ceased to trade you would lose the benefit of the extended warranty.

Find out more about extended warranties here.

Deloitte LLP administrators helpline: 02073030700

HISTORY OF HMV:

It boasts a 90-year history and 250 stores, attracts music and film lovers of all ages, and even played a part in the success of The Beatles. But today, music and DVD retailer HMV has announced it is to go into administration.

After holding discussions with its banks over the weekend, it is understood the company failed to agree on new terms for its debt. The jobs of its 4,500 workers are at risk.

The announcement marks a dark chapter in the brand’s long history.

Established in 1921 through its landmark store in Oxford Street, His Master’s Voice quickly became known for its dog and gramophone logo.

Starring Bristol-born canine Nipper, the painting by Francis Barraud was acquired by HMV owners the Gramophone Company in 1899, and the design used on its record labels from 1909.

When the Oxford Street building was destroyed by fire on Boxing Day 1937, only the front-of-store Nipper logo survived unscathed. It features on HMV’s logo and merchandise to this day.

The retail store, the first in the world to offer listening booths, served as an air-raid shelter during the Second World War. Trading continued as usual upstairs, however.

In 1962 Brian Epstein visited the store's recording studio and cut a demo for The Beatles. It led to the band meeting Parlophone's George Martin, and they recorded their first single at Abbey Road studios four months later.

By 1986, having acquired 25 stores across the UK, the brand ventured overseas, opening stores in Ireland and Canada. It also opened a new Oxford Circus shop - at the time the largest record shop in the world.

In the years that followed His Master’s Voice became known for its ground-breaking in-store celebrity appearances, and each year hosted 200 such events.

By 1986 EMI (formerly the Gramophone Company) created the HMV Group, and launched the brand worldwide. Stores opened in Germany, Japan, Hong Kong and the US during the 1990s, as well Singapore and Australia.

In 1998 EMI and venture capital firm Advent Investors created HMV Media Group, which then acquired HMV, Waterstones and Dillons - later rebranded Waterstones.

HMV was the UK's leading music retailer by the end of the century. Two years later, in 2002, HMV Media Group was renamed HMV Group, and listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

By the time Gromit (of Wallace and Gromit) stood in for Nipper during a three month advertising campaign in 2007, there were more than 400 HMV shops worldwide. That year the chain acquired a number of Fopp and former Zavvi stores.

In 2009 HMV bought venue owner MAMA Group for £46 million, and in doing so took its first step into the world of live music.

But in January 2011 HMV announced it would close 60 UK stores in the next 12 months in response to declining sales. Later that year the cash-strapped chain sold Waterstones to Russian billionaire Alexander Mamut.

The sale was deemed vital to secure the future of HMV.

HMV forged an alliance with Universal Music and other suppliers in January the following year – a move the company hoped would help return it to financial health over the next three years.

Later that year it brought to a close its live music business, selling the Hammersmith Apollo for £32 million.

In December 2012 HMV warned it may be on the verge of breaching banking agreements, as it reported another fall in sales.

According to the BBC, sales for the six months to October 27 fell to £288.6m, down 13.5 per cent. The firm's shares fell 1.6p to 2.5p at the close of trading, a 40 per cent drop.

Today, HMV announced it is to go into administration.

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  • ShireMe  |  January 16 2013, 12:06AM

    I cannot understand the point of gift vouchers. This debacle shows that their "value" is only what a store (or chain in this case) determines it to be.

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  • bonzaharris1  |  January 15 2013, 7:28PM

    What sort of monitoring/regulating device does TIG have. They have allowed the work Dick, but have starred out the word T u r p i n s. Pray tell what is so unnaceptable with the word T u r p i n s .... does it have some hidden meaning that I am unaware of !!

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  • bonzaharris1  |  January 15 2013, 7:24PM

    They must have known it was make or break over the christmas period. They should not have sold gift vouchers, which they couldn't guarantee being able to redeem. A right bunch of Dick ******s.

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