Jessops is still offering gift vouchers for sale despite the company's administrator saying that they would no longer be accepted.
Gift vouchers in denominations up to £500 remained on sale on Jessops' website after the retailer's collapse into administration was announced. However, the administrator has said that vouchers will not be honoured.
"At present Jessops is not in a position to honour customer vouchers or to accept returned goods," said PwC, the accountancy firm. Jessops was put into administration this afternoon. The company has had a torrid time recently as it struggled with debts and the rise of camera phones.
Rob Hunt of PwC, a joint administrator of Jessops, said: “Over the last few days the directors, funders and key suppliers have been in discussions as regards additional consensual financial support for the business. However these discussions have not been successful. In light of these irreconcilable differences the directors decided to appoint administrators and we were appointed earlier today.
“Our most pressing task is to review the company's financial position and hold discussions with its principal stakeholders to see if the business can be preserved. Trading in the stores is hoped to continue today but is critically dependent on these ongoing discussions. However, in the current economic climate it is inevitable that there will be store closures.”
PwC said Jessops' core marketplace had seen "a significant decline in 2012" and that "forecasts for 2013 indicate that this decline would continue".
Gift vouchers are in effect a debt owed by the company. If the issuer goes bust, anyone with a voucher becomes an unsecured creditor, with a long and uncertain wait to get any money back. However, administrators have discretion to carry on accepting vouchers after a company has failed.
Customers with products that fail after the warranty has expired, who still have rights for up to six years under the Sale of Goods Act, can also expect problems if they seek redress from a company in administration.
If administrators sell all or part of a failed business, the new owner is a separate legal entity and is under no obligation to honour the obligations including vouchers issued by the original concern.
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