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Money Moral Dilemma: Should I use the birthday present I got my friend?

edited 17 January at 4:52PM in Special occasions & other celebrations
40 replies 27.3K views
MSE_KelvinMSE_Kelvin MSE Staff
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This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...

Last year, I got my friend a tour of a gin distillery for her birthday. I was recently clearing my emails and came across the voucher code for the tour. I checked the code and it's not been used. My friend's now out of the country, and the code will have expired by the time she's back. So is it OK to go on the tour I bought for her, rather than let the present go to waste?

Unfortunately the MSE team can't answer Money Moral Dilemma questions as contributions are emailed in or suggested in person. They are intended to be a point of debate and discussed at face value. Remember that behind each dilemma there is a real person so, as the forum rules say, please keep it kind and keep it clean.

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  • Penguin_Penguin_ Forumite
    1.1K Posts
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  • JibraeelJibraeel Forumite
    2 Posts
    First Post First Anniversary
    Yes. Knock yourself out, and this year, maybe ask your friend what she would like  ;), that way, you'll both be happy.
  • Ed264Ed264 Forumite
    66 Posts
    10 Posts First Anniversary
    Two points to consider here. Was the voucher valid for only one person? If so, she might not have wanted to go alone to a gin distillery, which explains why it hasn't been used. Secondly, will the distillery consider extending the voucher? If so, ask your friend if she intends to go if it's valid when she returns. 

    If there's no chance that your friend will go, yes I think it's reasonable for you to use the voucher rather than it be wasted.
  • REJPREJP Forumite
    325 Posts
    Sixth Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper
    Where is the dilemma?   If she doesn't use it you have wasted money.
    OP states friend will not be back in time to use it, so it makes sense to either use it or ask the distillery if they do refunds.
    As the saying goes"Use it or lose it."
  • edited 17 January at 10:42PM
    GroomGroom Forumite
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    Second Anniversary 10 Posts
    edited 17 January at 10:42PM
    I can see one problem here, morally and perhaps legally, the code isn't yours to use anymore, you've already given it to your friend - for all you know she may have passed it on to another friend who intends to use it before it expires! 
    Why not just contact her and tell her you found the email and noticed she hasn't had time to use the voucher? Ask if she would mind you using it and that when she comes home you'll either replace it or buy her something else. 
  • nellenoxinnellenoxin Forumite
    1 Post
    Part of the Furniture First Post Combo Breaker
    She may have given it to a friend 
  • edited 17 January at 10:54PM
    JaneHeneryJaneHenery Forumite
    33 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    edited 17 January at 10:54PM
    Yes, of course it is. It's going to go to waste, so why not? I do have to make the observation though that I wonder if you bought your friend a present that was really a present YOU like? Maybe next time buy your friend somehting THEY will actually like.
  • kerri_gtkerri_gt Forumite
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    Mind bending suggestion...speak to your friend and ask her, clearly she's a good enough friend to have bought it for her in the first place.
    Feb 2015 NSD Challenge 8/12
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  • LP53LP53 Forumite
    19 Posts
    Second Anniversary 10 Posts
    Ask if it’s ok to use it as you’ve noticed in emails that it’s not been used and she won’t get chance to use it before it runs out . Tell her you will buy her a lovely gift next year to replace it 
  • keithyno.1keithyno.1 Forumite
    76 Posts
    Eighth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Your friend might be out of the country but I'm sure she's contactable - ask her if she minds! It was your gift to her so it now belongs to HER, not you. 

    As such, you can't just do what you please with it. You might still have the user code but it's not yours to use. If you DID go ahead and use it without asking your friend's permission then that would be a snide act in my opinion and quite frankly she'd be better off without a 'friend' like you.
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