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Debenhams – elevator going down – what are your consumer rights

 

Debenhams sign

 

 

Debenhams – the department store retailer – faces going into administration for the third time as talks with JD Sports failed yesterday (30 November 2020). After nearly 250 years in business, its doors are set to close for the last time, although it continues to trade while administrators seek to clear stock.

So what are your rights when shopping with Debenhams?

Gift cards

  1. Get them spent! And quickly! Debenhams is currently still trading, so you are able to use them. Once it stops trading it is unlikely that it will accept gift cards. It is also worth remembering that one of the reasons that Debenhams is struggling is the collapse of Arcadia and you may also have a gift card for one of the Arcadia group stores. It, too, is still taking gift cards but both Debenhams and Arcadia could stop taking gift cards at any time.
  2. If you have a gift card or a voucher for any amount over £100 and it was paid for by credit card then you have protection from the credit company under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.
  3. It is possible that if you paid through your bank on a debit card, you could get your money back through This is a voluntary scheme and you will need to check with your bank.
  4. If a new owner is found for Arcadia or Debehams it will not have to honour the voucher or gift card but it is always worth checking. They may well be of the opinion that if they honour the voucher that you will return and if they don’t you will not go there ever again and tell your friends not to either!
  5. If you have bought your vouchers through a third-party website it is worth contacting them. They do not legally have to refund you the money but they may do so as a goodwill gesture.
  6. If you haven’t spent your gift vouchers in time and the company isn’t honouring vouchers, contact the administration company as soon as possible. You will be added to the creditors list, along with staff wages, the taxman etc., so it is highly unlikely that you will get all your money but you have no chance at all if you don’t register your interest!
  7. Keep hold of your vouchers. Even if the company goes into an administration a buyer may be found later which may honour the vouchers.

Debenhams shop front

Shopping at Debenhams now

  • Your rights remain the same. Currently, Debenhams is trading, so your rights remain the same. If an item has become faulty you are covered by the
  • Consumer Rights Act 2015. Once it stops trading it will be more difficult to get your money back.
  • You have protection from the credit company under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Actif you bought the item on a credit card and the item was more than £100.
  • It is possible that if you paid through your bank on a debit card, you could get your money back through This is a voluntary scheme and you will need to check with your bank.
  • The administrators will want to raise as much cash as possible, so will continue to sell goods, where possible. This is where you may find some bargains both in-store and online. If you buy online you should still be able to return items if necessary, within 14 days, under the Cons
    umer Contracts Regulations. 
  • Remember, though, that if any item you buy becomes faulty you may well not be able to return it if no new owner is found for Debenhams! You may be able to try the manufacturer but your contract is still with the retailer.

Help for employees who will lose their jobs

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