Park shoppers furious as Christmas gifts cancelled and replaced with vouchers

SHOPPERS using Christmas savings company Park have been left furious after the company said it would not be providing any gifts or hampers this year and would only offer gift cards.

Normally, customers pay money into their online account each month throughout the year and can choose gift cards or vouchers to spend in stores, or buy hampers and gifts directly from Park.

This allows families to spread the cost of buying gifts and groceries over the whole year.

But in an email to customers it has said for Christmas 2020 it has taken the decision not to offer hampers or gifts in order to keep its staff safe.

It said: "It has become clear that we would have considerable difficulties maintaining safe, social distancing measures in our facilities during the period when we would be packing Christmas hampers and merchandise – when we would typically have large numbers of extra temporary staff on site to help.

"Our extensive supply chain could also be impacted by further outbreaks of coronavirus and further national or localised lockdowns."

Instead, it said it would send customers a Love2Shop gift card of the same value which can be spent in high street retailers, or online.

Park said it had "not taken this decision lightly".

But users on the company's Facebook page said they were disappointed with the decision.



One commenter said: "I’m shielding till goodness knows when and now I’ve got to buy everything instead.

"Love2Shop vouchers is all well and good but half the shops listed are closing or shopping centres are going into administration and I wouldn’t shop at the rest either, I understand the reasons but I don’t want Love2Shop vouchers."

Another wrote: "Really disappointed that you have taken the early decision to cancel all orders that are not gift cards – it's still 4-5 months away.

"Love2Shop gift cards are not a good substitute as it is very limited where you can spend them.

"I cannot go around the shops especially at Christmas which is why I ordered my teenagers main present from you as well as a few smaller items.

"I think you are going to lose a lot of money this year as I will be removing them from my order."

Park: know your rights

Here's what we know about your rights if you want to change your order:

Park has said that the Love2Shop vouchers it offers in place of gifts or hampers will be the same value, so you won't lose any money as a result of the company's decision.

However, it is unclear whether Park will make any special concessions if you want to cancel your order entirely.

A number of Park customers posting on the company's Facebook page said they would be seeking a refund.

Park's website states: "You can amend or delete your order online.

Hamper/gift orders can be amended up to October 4 and vouchers/cards up until November 8.

If you wish to cancel the entire order you may be charged 10 per cent of the order value, with a minimum £25 charge."

 

Park's website states that if you want to cancel your entire order, you can be charged up to 10 per cent of the order value as a penalty.

It did not say whether customers who decided to cancel their order now would face this extra charge.

Another customer said on Facebook: "Christmas all paid for but not getting any of the hampers I ordered just gift card.

"No thanks I would have rather have my money back that I’ve already paid."

A number said they were planning to telephone Park and demand a full refund.

Brits are reportedly saving more than ever as coronavirus curbs spending.

Here's how to save £1,378 in a year with the ‘bingo’ money saving challenge.

Money saving apps can also help if you're looking to put some cash aside for a rainy day.

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