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VOUCHER; They promise to pay just HALF the value of your gift token (as gesture of goodwill) EXCLUSIVE.

Byline: By CATHERINE JONES

SHOPPERS trying to use gift vouchers at the troubled Lewis's store are being told they are worth only half their value.

Liverpool Trading Standards today said they had received complaints from furious customers.

But they said it was perfectly legitimate because administrators rather than Lewis's were running the Ranelagh Street store.

Administrators Kroll said today that continuing to accept the vouchers at allwas actually "a gesture of goodwill".

A 40-year-old shopper from Aigburth tried to use pounds 50 worth of vouchers given to her by her sons.

She said: "I had two pounds 25 vouchers. I wanted to buy a pounds 25 handbag and gave them one of the vouchers, but the shop assistant told me they were only worth half the face value.

"In the end I used one of the vouchers on a pounds 15 pair of sunglasses and had to hand over another pounds 2.50 to get them."

Notices are on display in the store to explain the ruling.

It says: "As a sign of goodwill, vouchers issued prior to the date of appointment of the joint administrators will be honoured to the value of 50% of the total value of goods to be purchased."

Liverpool Trading Standards said when a company hands over to administrators any previous arrangements are null and void.

There is also uncertainty whether customers with goods on order from the store will receive them.

A Kroll spokesman said: "They are being reviewed on a case-by-case basis and customers should speak to customer services."

When they were called in a week ago Kroll said they would trade the business as a going concern and shoppers were urged to stay loyal to the 151-year-old store.

Days later closing signs went up.
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 9, 2007
Words:292
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