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

MSE_Kelvin Posts: 349 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_ Posts: 1,250 Forumite
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  • Jibraeel
    Yes. Knock yourself out, and this year, maybe ask your friend what she would like  ;), that way, you'll both be happy.
  • Ed264
    Ed264 Posts: 107 Forumite
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    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.
  • REJP
    REJP Posts: 325 Forumite
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    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."
  • Groom
    Groom Posts: 58 Forumite
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    edited 17 January 2023 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. 
  • nellenoxin
    She may have given it to a friend 
  • JaneHenery
    JaneHenery Posts: 39 Forumite
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    edited 17 January 2023 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_gt
    kerri_gt Posts: 11,202 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
    JAN NSD 11/16

  • LP53
    LP53 Posts: 29 Forumite
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    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.1
    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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