Fianna Fáil enterprise spokesperson Dara Calleary has said he intends to propose an amendment to consumer legislation to give gift vouchers the same status as cash for retail purchases.
Deputy Calleary has expressed concern that thousands of HMV customers will be left out of pocket as a result of the retailer going into administration.
“Unfortunately, this is not the first time that consumers have been left in the lurch after a retailer found themselves in difficulty. We are now in a situation where people who received HMV vouchers as Christmas gifts less than a month ago are unable to use those vouchers today, putting them at a disadvantage to customers using cash in the same stores,” Dep Calleary said.
“This is a result of an anomaly in our consumer legislation and it must be addressed. The Consumer Competition Bill is on the legislative agenda this term, providing an opportunity to look again at our laws in this area. In light of the situation at HMV, I am calling on the Government to quickly bring this Bill forward for discussion. Fianna Fáil will be proposing an amendment to ensure that gift vouchers bought within a certain period are given the same consideration as cash.”
Dep Calleary expressed his regret at the news that HMV has gone into administration saying it was a sad day for staff, consumers and for the retail sector in general. “I understand that the workers found out about this through media reports, which is completely unacceptable. The administrators must work with staff to maximise their role in the administration process,” he advised.
“It is also unacceptable that customers who bought gift vouchers in good faith before Christmas now find that they are unable to use these vouchers at HMV stores today, while cash and credit card purchases are still being accepted. I and my party are happy to work with the Government to find an acceptable resolution to this problem and ensure that a similar situation does not occur again,” he concluded.