BHS goes into administration: How it affects you

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Clothing and furniture retailer British Home Stores (BHS) has today gone into administration. Moneywise explains what this means for you.

What’s happened?

BHS has today gone into administration, which will be handled by the managing directors of valuation and corporate financial advisors Duff & Phelps.

A statement from the administrator says “[BHS] has been undergoing restructuring and, as has been widely reported, the shareholders have been in negotiations to find a buyer for the business.

“These negotiations have been unsuccessful. In addition property sales have not materialised as expected in both number and value.

“Consequently, as a result of a lower than expected cash balance, the Group is very unlikely to meet all contractual payments. The Directors therefore have no alternative but to put the Group into administration to protect it for all creditors.”

Are the shops and website still running?

Both the BHS website and its 164 stores are still operating – and its 10,000 staff continue to work while the administrators look to sell the group as a “going concern”.

Can I return unwanted items?

Duff and Phelps says BHS is not refunding unwanted items.

You can however exchange goods for something of the same value or less when accompanied by proof of purchase, and within 35 days of the sale.

We’re awaiting clarification on whether BHS will accept online refunds – this is because under the Consumer Rights Act, you have the statutory right to return something bought online within a fortnight with a full refund, even if nothing’s wrong with it.

Can I return faulty items?

If your item is faulty, here your statutory rights come into play – Duff and Phelps says customers’ statutory rights are unaffected by the retailer going into administration.

The Consumer Rights Act gives you have a legal right to a refund, repair or replacement if an item is broken, not fit for purpose, or didn’t match its advertised description.

If you’re having trouble enforcing these rights, contact Citizens Advice, as its team will be able to provide support over the phone.

Alternatively, under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, you can get a refund from your credit card company if something goes wrong with your purchase and you paid more than £100 on credit card.

If you paid less than £100 on credit card, or you paid by debit card, you can try and get your money back under your card provider’s ‘Chargeback’ scheme – but unlike Section 75, this is at the company’s discretion.

Will BHS accept gift vouchers?

BHS will continue to accept gift vouchers but they must account for 50% of the total sale with the rest being settled in cash or by credit or debit card.

So if, for example, you have a £50 gift voucher, you’ll need to buy something worth £100 and pay for the remaining £50 yourself.

Will outstanding orders be delivered?

We understand that the administrators are looking to resolve outstanding orders as soon as possible.

But it’s worth contacting BHS customer services to track what’s happening to your order.

When will we know more?

The administrator says “further announcements will be made as appropriate in due course”.

We’ll include any updates here as soon as we get them

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