All Borders Gift Cards Now Expire April 3

Gift cards are the perfect gift, right? Wrong! The administrators now running Borders and Angus and Robertson have put an expiry date of April 3 on all gift cards, so if you don't use them by then, you've just wasted your money.

If the thought of thousands of dollars of unredeemed gift cards sounds bad, you'll be happy to know it gets worse. Redemption of gift cards is only offered if you spend an equivalent amount of your own money in a transaction - in other words, a $40 book would cost you $20 of your own cash and $20 of your gift card, even if you were using a $50 gift card. There's also no option to redeem online anymore.

Given that the administrators will "not redeem gift cards after 3 April 2011 under any circumstance", it means that should you want to redeem your $50 gift card, you'll need to spend $50 of your own money.

Shit solution, right? Well, there is an alternative, although it doesn't sound like a positive one. Should you decide you don't want to spend your on money while claiming your gift card, you can opt to become an unsecured creditor of the company, although the administrators don't think that will work out too well:

You may register as an unsecured creditor of the Company, however in doing so, you will no longer have the ability redeem your card in store (please refer to page three for instructions on how to register your claim). The Administrators do strongly urge you to redeem your gift card under the terms set out above. Please note however that our preliminary analysis has indicated that unsecured creditors are unlikely to receive any dividend in the liquidation of the companies.

It's an all around crappy situation for both Borders and A&R, plus their customers and staff. But if you don't want to end up out of pocket, you best use those gift cards this weekend.

[Ferrier Hodgson (PDF) via BookBee]

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