Gift Voucher - Change of T&Cs

On Black Friday - I purchased a gift voucher for a meal for two at a local restaurant.

Is there any restrictions on my Gift Experience?
Your Gift Experience can be used from December 26th 2023 until March 31st 2024. Valid everyday except for Saturdays. Unfortunately we are unable to allow extensions on Gift Experiences after March 31st 2024 so please make a booking as soon as possible.

Whilst there were other T&Cs, naturally, there was nothing to suggest any restrictions on usage other than the above (no Saturdays). I couldn't see anything to suggest they can amend the restrictions, either.

They have recently updated the T&Cs to note "Experience voucher can not be used on 14th February 2024."

They have amended the terms (by adding this) months after the vouchers were on sale (as far as I am aware they were on sale for around one day on Black Friday), and after I have made a booking for 14th Feb - which I will now have to cancel.

1. Can a company just change the restrictions of a voucher once you have already purchased it, especially given the fact that nothing in the original T&Cs seemed to suggest they could amend this.
2. Even if they did have a catch-all, "subject to changes", would this have been appropriate?

Unfortunately, they have updated the website to include the above, and the original T&Cs were just a link to the page they've updated, so I can no longer see the original T&Cs exactly as they were - though I did check them thoroughly for any mention of Valentines' Day or Feb 14th.

I do note they have also now noted "Gift experiences are not valid in conjunction with any special promotion we may be running (offers, price promotions, events etc.) and these are defined as such at the discretion of [restaurant] and include 14th February 2024" - I know for a fact that the "and include 14th February 2024" was not there at the time of purchase - however, it's conceivable that the first part was, though I note there is no "offer", "price promotion" or "event" within the restaurant or in relation to their menu - other than the fact that it happens to be Valentine's Day.

I'm sort of content with just moving my booking - I'm just curious as to how inappropriate / unusual / not allowed the practices detailed above are.

Comments

  • user1977
    user1977 Posts: 13,345
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    I would say not allowed, though in the real world I'd never have expected any special restaurant deals to apply on Valentine's Day.
  • Alderbank
    Alderbank Posts: 2,698
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    King___ said:
    On Black Friday - I purchased a gift voucher for a meal for two at a local restaurant.

    Is there any restrictions on my Gift Experience?
    Your Gift Experience can be used from December 26th 2023 until March 31st 2024. Valid everyday except for Saturdays. Unfortunately we are unable to allow extensions on Gift Experiences after March 31st 2024 so please make a booking as soon as possible.

    Whilst there were other T&Cs, naturally, there was nothing to suggest any restrictions on usage other than the above (no Saturdays). I couldn't see anything to suggest they can amend the restrictions, either.

    They have recently updated the T&Cs to note "Experience voucher can not be used on 14th February 2024."

    They have amended the terms (by adding this) months after the vouchers were on sale (as far as I am aware they were on sale for around one day on Black Friday), and after I have made a booking for 14th Feb - which I will now have to cancel.

    1. Can a company just change the restrictions of a voucher once you have already purchased it, especially given the fact that nothing in the original T&Cs seemed to suggest they could amend this.
    2. Even if they did have a catch-all, "subject to changes", would this have been appropriate?

    Unfortunately, they have updated the website to include the above, and the original T&Cs were just a link to the page they've updated, so I can no longer see the original T&Cs exactly as they were - though I did check them thoroughly for any mention of Valentines' Day or Feb 14th.

    I do note they have also now noted "Gift experiences are not valid in conjunction with any special promotion we may be running (offers, price promotions, events etc.) and these are defined as such at the discretion of [restaurant] and include 14th February 2024" - I know for a fact that the "and include 14th February 2024" was not there at the time of purchase - however, it's conceivable that the first part was, though I note there is no "offer", "price promotion" or "event" within the restaurant or in relation to their menu - other than the fact that it happens to be Valentine's Day.

    I'm sort of content with just moving my booking - I'm just curious as to how inappropriate / unusual / not allowed the practices detailed above are.
    Welcome to the forum.

    You are correct that they can't add extra T&Cs after the contract is agreed. The extras would be considered unfair contract terms and could be ignored. The catch-all 'subject to changes' might also be considered unfair.

    However, doing something about it is a different matter. If they stand their ground your only recourse would be to take them to court and produce your evidence, but what is your evidence? Might they claim to have evidence also?

    Even if you won your case, you could not force them to feed you and your loved one on Feb 14th, and would you fancy the food they served you under those circumstances? You would be entitled to a refund of your discounted voucher, so perhaps not much of a win.

    Not strictly consumer rights, but you could call the restaurant and politely discuss your disappointment and see what they could do for you?
    The restaurant business is not transactional like buying a tin of beans at Tesco. A successful restaurateur will always try to make his clients, and his community, feel good about him.
  • King___
    King___ Posts: 4
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    user1977 said:
    I would say not allowed, though in the real world I'd never have expected any special restaurant deals to apply on Valentine's Day.
    I get this - but the restaurant in question is specifically known for serving one thing only at the same price all year 'round. Their menu will not be any different on this day.
  • screech_78
    screech_78 Posts: 421
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    I would also say they cannot change the terms after purchase. 

    However, can you not go another night? It’ll probably be packed on Valentines and in my experience, service and food quality can be worse. 
  • King___
    King___ Posts: 4
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    Newbie
    Alderbank said:
    King___ said:
    On Black Friday - I purchased a gift voucher for a meal for two at a local restaurant.

    Is there any restrictions on my Gift Experience?
    Your Gift Experience can be used from December 26th 2023 until March 31st 2024. Valid everyday except for Saturdays. Unfortunately we are unable to allow extensions on Gift Experiences after March 31st 2024 so please make a booking as soon as possible.

    Whilst there were other T&Cs, naturally, there was nothing to suggest any restrictions on usage other than the above (no Saturdays). I couldn't see anything to suggest they can amend the restrictions, either.

    They have recently updated the T&Cs to note "Experience voucher can not be used on 14th February 2024."

    They have amended the terms (by adding this) months after the vouchers were on sale (as far as I am aware they were on sale for around one day on Black Friday), and after I have made a booking for 14th Feb - which I will now have to cancel.

    1. Can a company just change the restrictions of a voucher once you have already purchased it, especially given the fact that nothing in the original T&Cs seemed to suggest they could amend this.
    2. Even if they did have a catch-all, "subject to changes", would this have been appropriate?

    Unfortunately, they have updated the website to include the above, and the original T&Cs were just a link to the page they've updated, so I can no longer see the original T&Cs exactly as they were - though I did check them thoroughly for any mention of Valentines' Day or Feb 14th.

    I do note they have also now noted "Gift experiences are not valid in conjunction with any special promotion we may be running (offers, price promotions, events etc.) and these are defined as such at the discretion of [restaurant] and include 14th February 2024" - I know for a fact that the "and include 14th February 2024" was not there at the time of purchase - however, it's conceivable that the first part was, though I note there is no "offer", "price promotion" or "event" within the restaurant or in relation to their menu - other than the fact that it happens to be Valentine's Day.

    I'm sort of content with just moving my booking - I'm just curious as to how inappropriate / unusual / not allowed the practices detailed above are.
    Welcome to the forum.

    You are correct that they can't add extra T&Cs after the contract is agreed. The extras would be considered unfair contract terms and could be ignored. The catch-all 'subject to changes' might also be considered unfair.

    However, doing something about it is a different matter. If they stand their ground your only recourse would be to take them to court and produce your evidence, but what is your evidence? Might they claim to have evidence also?

    Even if you won your case, you could not force them to feed you and your loved one on Feb 14th, and would you fancy the food they served you under those circumstances? You would be entitled to a refund of your discounted voucher, so perhaps not much of a win.

    Not strictly consumer rights, but you could call the restaurant and politely discuss your disappointment and see what they could do for you?
    The restaurant business is not transactional like buying a tin of beans at Tesco. A successful restaurateur will always try to make his clients, and his community, feel good about him.
    Thanks very much for the welcome and the detailed response.

    Whilst they responded via email saying nothing could be done as exceptions can be made at their discretion, I later received another email (2 minutes later) saying they will honour the voucher on this occasion and have made a note on my booking. Obviously not the nicest circumstances given the back and forth but I trust the restaurant.

    I still feel uncomfortable with what they've done (and would have liked explicit confirmation from them that they HAVE added additional terms), but given I don't have to amend my booking, I have thanked them and will leave it at that.
  • King___
    King___ Posts: 4
    First Post
    Newbie
    I would also say they cannot change the terms after purchase. 

    However, can you not go another night? It’ll probably be packed on Valentines and in my experience, service and food quality can be worse. 
    Thanks.

    As noted - the restaurant serves one menu, and is always busy - so hopefully not you usual Valentine's Day issues. It also sells out way in advance, so moving the booking at this stage would be tricky unless I was happy to delay by a week or so - which I would happily do, but I've already promised my partner we'd go out this year...so that's something I'd rather not deal with.
  • visidigi
    visidigi Posts: 6,439
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    Take it this is Six by Nico?

    I can't see a previously cached version of the page on a quick search unfortunately.
  • lincroft1710
    lincroft1710 Posts: 17,463
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    Alderbank said:
    King___ said:
    On Black Friday - I purchased a gift voucher for a meal for two at a local restaurant.

    Is there any restrictions on my Gift Experience?
    Your Gift Experience can be used from December 26th 2023 until March 31st 2024. Valid everyday except for Saturdays. Unfortunately we are unable to allow extensions on Gift Experiences after March 31st 2024 so please make a booking as soon as possible.

    Whilst there were other T&Cs, naturally, there was nothing to suggest any restrictions on usage other than the above (no Saturdays). I couldn't see anything to suggest they can amend the restrictions, either.

    They have recently updated the T&Cs to note "Experience voucher can not be used on 14th February 2024."

    They have amended the terms (by adding this) months after the vouchers were on sale (as far as I am aware they were on sale for around one day on Black Friday), and after I have made a booking for 14th Feb - which I will now have to cancel.

    1. Can a company just change the restrictions of a voucher once you have already purchased it, especially given the fact that nothing in the original T&Cs seemed to suggest they could amend this.
    2. Even if they did have a catch-all, "subject to changes", would this have been appropriate?

    Unfortunately, they have updated the website to include the above, and the original T&Cs were just a link to the page they've updated, so I can no longer see the original T&Cs exactly as they were - though I did check them thoroughly for any mention of Valentines' Day or Feb 14th.

    I do note they have also now noted "Gift experiences are not valid in conjunction with any special promotion we may be running (offers, price promotions, events etc.) and these are defined as such at the discretion of [restaurant] and include 14th February 2024" - I know for a fact that the "and include 14th February 2024" was not there at the time of purchase - however, it's conceivable that the first part was, though I note there is no "offer", "price promotion" or "event" within the restaurant or in relation to their menu - other than the fact that it happens to be Valentine's Day.

    I'm sort of content with just moving my booking - I'm just curious as to how inappropriate / unusual / not allowed the practices detailed above are.


    However, doing something about it is a different matter. If they stand their ground your only recourse would be to take them to court and produce your evidence, but what is your evidence? Might they claim to have evidence also?

    Even if you won your case, you could not force them to feed you and your loved one on Feb 14th, and would you fancy the food they served you under those circumstances? You would be entitled to a refund of your discounted voucher, so perhaps not much of a win.

    .
    With this particular case, Valentine's Day will have been and gone long before any court hearing
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