COLUMN: How to avoid losing out when a shop goes bust

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‘I’ve just found out that a shop I’ve bought goods from has gone bust. How will this affect my consumer rights? ‘

In this scenario when a trader goes into administration its rights and responsibilities change. Depending on your situation you may lose out It is important to know what you can do to protect yourself.

A common problem when shops go bust is what you can do if you have a gift card.

Once they go into administration shops are under no obligation to continue to accept gift cards, although some may continue to do so.

If you have a gift card hold on to it, even if it isn’t being accepted, as the situation can change.

This works both ways, so if a shop is taking vouchers then make sure you use them while you can.

If you’ve put down a deposit on an item that you have yet to receive, then whether or not you receive it will depend on whether it has been ‘earmarked’ for you.

If it has then the shop should fulfil your order, but if not then you may not see the goods.

If you’ve bought something, for example electrical or white goods, which become faulty then it might be easier to claim under the manufacturer’s guarantee.

You can log a complaint with the administrators which will add you on to the store’s list of creditors, but realistically most customers are a long way down the list.

If you used a credit or debit card you may be able to make a claim from your provider, and if the goods or services you bought came with a manufacturer’s guarantee or an insurance-backed guarantee, you may be able to make a claim under them.

If the trader was a member of a trade association, contact them for help. You can find out more about what rights you have by going to www.adviceguide.org.uk or calling our consumer service on 08454 040506.

Remember that Citizens Advice Derbyshire Districts is here to help you so if you are in any doubt on what to do next please come in and see us or give us a call.

Visit your nearest Citizens Advice Bureau or go online to www.ddcab.org.uk for more information.

Alternatively, call the advice line on 0844 3752712 from a landline or 0300 4568390 from a mobile.

Lines are open Monday to Friday, from 9.30am to 4pm. If busy please leave a message during opening hours and you will be contacted within two working days.