Why won’t my £100 Tickemaster gift card work? | Money

For my 70th birthday last year, three friends clubbed together to give me a £100 Ticketmaster prepaid card so I could book some theatre tickets and, at the time, I was delighted. Ever since, we have been trying to use this card but to no avail. My more technically literate husband tried to validate it according to the instructions. When that failed, my daughter-in-law had a go. Ticketmaster told her the card had not been validated by the original retailer and said we would have to return it with the receipt and ask the store to validate it properly. None of the three friends can find the receipt, so it seems they have donated £100 to Ticketmaster coffers.

CL, Stockport

Every year millions of pounds on gift cards end up in retailers’ coffers as they are lost, expired or forgotten. It looks as though the fault was with the store or website that your friends used to make the purchase.

Happily, Ticketmaster has quickly resolved the matter, and you now have a card that is ready to use. The problem with these disputes is that the recipient is rarely the buyer, so doesn’t have a relationship with the provider. If you want to buy someone tickets to an event, problems that may emerge down the line are far easier to resolve if you book direct with the venue.

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