I bought a spa voucher but can’t use it. What can I do?

Apr 23 2013

Stylish Spy

2 min read

Closed sign

Sometimes you can get a refund, sometimes you can't. Read our guide to your rights (and responsibilities).

Spa gift vouchers or pamper-day packages are a great way to treat yourself or someone you love, especially as they often offer a discount on individual treatment prices. A day of pre-paid self-indulgence is obviously a fab gift to receive! However, there are some things to consider before you buy or when you try to redeem.

1. Spa vouchers are usually valid for a limited period of time

Check if the voucher has to be redeemed before a certain date. For example, if the spa voucher states that it must be redeemed within 12 months, the voucher will become invalid after that date. It is very unlikely that you will be able to receive any compensation if the voucher has not been used, although individual spas may allow some leeway.

2. You have a voucher for a spa that has closed

If a spa ceases trading and the company goes into liquidation before you have redeemed your voucher, there is no possibility that you will be able to claim a refund. In almost all cases, as well, you will have no way of claiming any compensation, either. This is because once a company has gone into liquidation, it is only possible to claim recompense if they declare that they have the assets or funds available to repay customers. Since the company may have gone into liquidation because of insolvency — lack of money — this is very unlikely.

For more information on refunds and compensation, you can call the Citizens Advice service, which provides free, confidential and impartial advice on consumer issues. Visit the Citizens Advice website or call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 08454 04 05 06. Citizens Advice advisers are trained in all aspects of consumer rights and can give you current and legally correct advice.

While this all sounds rather worrying, a spa closing is not a common occurrence. However, while there will be no way of finding out if a spa is in financial difficulty, it may be worth considering buying a voucher from a spa in your area that you know is well-established and busy. Also, plan to use the voucher soon after purchase, rather than leaving it for months before getting round to using it.

Consider how much you're willing to spend, too. If buying a £500 voucher means maxing-out on your credit card, perhaps it isn't the wisest purchase.


Stylish Spy

23rd April 2013

Spy Likes:

Minimalist lines; organic products; facial massage; tranquillity; interesting people-watching.

Spy Dislikes:

Discarded towels on loungers; steam rooms that aren't steamy; mobile phones.

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