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Jessops: Purchases Halted On Website

(c) Sky News 2013

Troubled photography retail chain Jessops has stopped purchases on its website a day after it entered administration.

The firm's website allows browsing but a small warning message has been inserted in a banner across the top of the home page.

It reads: "Please note that the Jessops website will not currently process orders however you are able to read product descriptions, customer reviews and watch videos."

But although the website makes clear on other web pages that vouchers priced between £20 and £500 cannot be collected in store, they are still listed as being available for "home and work delivery".

Attempts to add vouchers to the wish list prior to check-out then defaults to the same message that has been inserted on the home page.

Customers of Jessops, which was founded in 1935, have slammed the decision to not honour the firm's vouchers.

Sky News Online reader Scrumpy Monkfish wrote: "I've been collecting Jessops vouchers for a year so that I could buy myself a new camera for Christmas.

"That's £780 I doubt I'll ever see again... Not honouring gift vouchers is theft."

Other readers have left messages revealing how they have been left with gift vouchers that now appear worthless.

Francis Donnelly said: "I have over £150 of vouchers that I was given for my birthday in December, not only should they be valid I should be given a full refund as you would not want to buy anything from a shop that is going out of business.

"And anyone with vouchers should also be given any interest that the money sitting in their bank has made."

PwC officially confirmed it would be administrator for Jessops as the Leicester-based firm became the first major high street casualty of the year.

The decision to not honour vouchers at Jessops has drawn similar parallels to last year when Comet customers found that they could not redeem cards as the electricals chain veered towards bankruptcy.

Following an outcry Comet vouchers were reinstated after two days.

Jessops staff have also tried to explain to consumers there is more at stake than vouchers.

Store manager Chris Baxter wrote to Sky News and said: "I am worried regarding not accepting gift vouchers or returns.

"Even if we are brought out we will struggle to get customers back on our side the only thing I would say is that if I was a customer with a gift card I would try and see the bigger picture and think that my voucher not being accepted anymore might just save people's jobs.

"Which in my mind would be a small price to pay to ensure jobs survive and another high street shop is not boarded up."

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