A DAD has blasted a Weymouth store for rejecting his son’s Christmas gift card.
Kevin Smith says staff at WH Smith in Weymouth need to make people aware that gift cards cannot be used on items in the upstairs section of the store.
Mr Smith’s son Ashley, 15, was unable to redeem his £20 WH Smith gift card in the town centre shop when he tried to buy Lee Evans and Top Gear DVDs.
He was told that the music, video and games department of Weymouth’s WH Smith is now run by BIG concessions, which cannot accept WH Smith gift cards.
Mr Smith, 51, said: “The manager confirmed that it couldn’t be redeemed and said that Weymouth was one of five WH Smith stores where this was the case.
“Firstly I believe that the card, which was one of several purchased by my brother-in-law, was mis-sold as he was not told at the point of sale that it could not be used in that store on items sold upstairs.
“I blame it on poor customer relations by WH Smith who should at the point of sale advise customers that the card cannot be used upstairs in the Weymouth store.”
Budmouth student Ashley, of Weymouth, said: “The gift card was a present from my Uncle Eric. I felt really hacked off and annoyed. It was all a bit disappointing.”
Mr Smith, who works for Granby Roofing and as a doorman, said he and his son then tried to redeem the gift card in the Dorchester branch of WH Smith but couldn’t find the DVDs they needed among the limited range.
He added: “Smiths is one of the only places in Weymouth where you can buy DVDs and CDs these days.
“To get there and be told that you cannot buy what you want is disappointing.
“You try to shop locally but you can’t.
“To go somewhere like WH Smith and buy a gift card, it seems wrong that you have to go to another WH Smith store to use it.
“On the back of the card it says it can be spent in WH Smith UK stores, but not valid in concessions or motorway service stations. I don’t think anybody expects the upstairs of Weymouth to be a concession.”
A WH Smith spokeswoman said: “We would like to apologise to the customer for any inconvenience this has caused.
“WH Smith gift cards cannot be used in any of the BIG concessions stores.
“However, this is communicated to our customers with signage in those particular stores.
“We would prefer to use our flexibility so the customer can use the WH Smith gift card in the concessions.
“We are actively engaged in discussion with the government on the implications of the new e-money regulations due to be introduced in the UK in April.”
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