What does BHS administration mean for you?

Your rights if you have vouchers or outstanding orders

Updated: 
BHS job cuts

While the biggest victims of BHS's move into administration are clearly the company's staff, it could have repercussions for shoppers too.

The firm's website and 164 stores are still open, but many shoppers will no doubt be wary of handing over their money. Meanwhile, customers with outstanding orders or vouchers need to know where they stand. We take a look at your rights.

Vouchers

"For the moment the stores are still open as usual but it's worth spending gift vouchers in store ASAP," says Hannah Maundrell, editor in chief of financial comparison website money.co.uk

"We've seen other retailers in similar situations start to refuse them before."

Currently, the store is still allowing customers to use gift cards and vouchers, but only for half the price of an item. The rest must be paid with cash or plastic.

If you have a £20 voucher, in other words, you can only use it to buy something worth £40 or more, and you'll have to make up the difference yourself.

Shopping

Meanwhile, says Maundrell, there's no reason to avoid shopping in the store - but it pays to make sure you're covered.

"If you shop for items over £100 pay on a credit card and anything under £100 on a MasterCard or Visa debit card to protect yourself in case you need to return it in the future and can't go back to BHS," she says.

Returns

And things have changed when it comes to taking things back. The company says it will no longer allow refunds for unwanted items, although it will exchange goods for something of the same value or less, as long as the customer has proof of purchase, and it's been less than 35 days since the sale.

If goods are faulty, though, the Consumer Rights Act still applies, meaning there's a right to a refund, repair or replacement. You may, though, need to act quickly.

Orders

While the administrators will attempt to complete outstanding orders as quickly as possible, it's worth contacting the company's customer service department to find out where you are in the process.

If it turns out that your order hasn't already gone into the delivery process, you may have a chance of getting your money back. If you've bought something over £100 on a credit card, you can claim back from the credit card company under the Consumer Credit Act; meanwhile Mastercard and Visa operate a chargeback system for users of their debit cards.

However, if none of this applies, you'll need to take your chances along with the company's other creditors - and those chances don't look terribly good. You'll need to contact administrators Duff & Phelps and put in a claim, but the chances are you'll get back only a fraction of your money.

British Retailer BHS Goes into Administration, 11,000 Jobs Could Be Lost

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