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Made a mistake with Red Letter Days *Resolved

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I want to book a hot air balloon flight voucher for 2 for my partner for a Christmas present. I looked around for the best prices and found that red letter days had a special where you get a £30 gift voucher for £18






I found this through their weekly deals link on their website and assumed it was a £30 gift voucher you can use towards anything and could use more than one at a time. the page states 'Total flexibility means the gift card can be used to book any experience' so I figured that it could be used for a balloon flight and there seemed to be nothing in the terms about only using one voucher per experience, only that you couldn't use a discount code with it.



I was going to get 10 vouchers to total the cost of the balloon flight and have purchased 5 and was going to get the other 5 on Friday when I get paid to then book the balloon flight, I started to register the vouchers to my account today so I didn't have to sit and do all 10 at once and I have done 2, they seem to have separate redeem buttons so cant be used together to go towards a bigger experience and when looking through what they can be used towards there is nothing in the hot air ballooning option.



The customer service is closed now so I will need to call tomorrow, but any advice before will be really handy.

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There are two questions here.


Can the vouchers be used to pay for balloon flights when they say they can be used for any experience and the even include a picture of a balloon on the accompanying brochure.


The answer to this has to be – Yes. Where is it you have seen that balloon experiences are not included?




The second question is whether you can use multiple vouchers to pay for a single experience?

This is more tricky. It certainly doesn't surprise me that they have a rule that there is only one voucher per experience. On the other hand, this is such a common requirement which is stated in most sets of terms and conditions which are used by these kind of organisation that the fact that it is missing here would suggest that you can use multiple vouchers.


The system all seems a bit complicated to me but at one point they talk about activation of the booking. Activation would suggest to me that only a single voucher would be used. However, later on in the terms and conditions they talk about vouchers being use as "part payment". Because they are prepared to describe the use of vouchers as being part payment for an experience, then that would indicate that you could use multiple vouchers to pay a larger part of the price of the experience.


I think that this second point would take more forceful arguing in order to establish your position.


It is certainly very careless of them to omit any reference to how many vouchers can be used per experience when this seems to be a standard term of any of these kinds of voucher contracts. I would strongly argue that the fact that it was omitted would indicate that it was intended to be omitted. Whether it was omitted simply in order to persuade people to buy more than one voucher – or whether it was simply an accident, I don't know. But it wouldn't be unreasonable to imagine that as there is no reference to only a single voucher to be used per purchase, that there was no problem with multiple vouchers. If you look at the gift voucher system that you find in shops, there is no problem with redeeming multiple gift vouchers against a single item – whether it is a book or some electronic device. So the principal of multiple vouchers being used for single purchase is not at all unknown and therefore you would expect any organisation with resources and experience to refer to this in their terms conditions.


Can use multiple vouchers? Very possibly – but it would take a lot of arguing. If you took it to court I think that they would bottle out and they would allow you to use the multiple vouchers "as a gesture of goodwill" which is the little get out used by all these companies that don't want to risk losing an important principle.


How you want to play it is up to you. However if you decide to make an issue of this then I doubt whether you're going to get your balloon rides in time for Christmas. On the other hand I wouldn't really fancy being up at 1000 feet or so in the winter cold even if it is a beautiful day.


If you decide to make an issue of this then I would start taking screenshots from their website including all of the terms and conditions and then write to them with your complaint. They claim to have a complaints process.


Don't expect to get too much cooperation and don't expect to have your letters to them replied to particularly quickly.


If you want some help to press your point – then we are here for you.

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I didn't get a chance to ring them today as I was snowed under at work so will call tomorrow,



when I clicked on redeem voucher it comes up with a list of types of experiances you want to choose from and under the balloon ride it is empty. we wouldn't go on the balloon ride till spring/summer but I was going to present the balloon voucher for xmas so worst comes to worst can just present the gift vouchers and go through the complaints procedure from there.



the pack with the voucher in came with a print out of the terms and conditions but I will get a screen shot of the page showing that it can be used for any experience. I will update you tomorrow on what they say, I plan on initially phoning to say im having trouble booking so want to do it on the phone and see if they will just do it there and then.



I don't see why you can only use one voucher per experience, the only time I have ever had a gift card that was one per transaction was when I got a £10 toys r us voucher when I spent £40 on lego and It clearly stated on it that it was one per transaction.

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so I called today to see if I could book over the phone and the lady said it is just one per booking, I asked her to point out to me where it explains this in the terms and conditions and she said it is covered by the promotional offers bit that states -



Promotional Codes and Discounts

Only one valid Red Letter Days promotional offer or discount code can be applied per order and can only be used if a discount has not already been applied. Promotional offers or discount codes must not be used with existing vouchers or credit balances. They may be subject to specific terms, conditions or validity periods and may be withdrawn without notice at any time. We reserve the right to restrict their use in conjunction with vouchers, credit balances, Lifestyle or Points balances, or against certain products, charges, order channels or order values. We reserve the right to void vouchers or credit balances acquired through violation of this condition.



now my understanding of this would be that the voucher itself having 40% off is a promotion so you could not stack discount codes with it to get further discount, but the voucher itself when received is not an offer and it makes no mention on the voucher of it being an offer and so would not fall under these terms.



I used a promotional offer to purchase a gift voucher, and as there was no specific terms relating to voucher use it is assumed that it can be used alongside other gift vouchers as is common practice.



The voucher is a gift voucher so it would be assumed that it is intended to be given as a gift to somebody who would be unaware that any promotional offer was involved when purchased as there is no information on the voucher to specify this.



I believe that the terms and conditions are unclear and misleading and therefore unfair and so should be honoured.



I am expecting a call back from a manager, as conveniently there was none available when I called, but from experience with other companies I will not hold my breath on this and will be sending an email of my complaint also.



Any advice of how I should word it would be appreciated.



Would this be something I could report to OFT if they fail to honour this? as this is sold to be intended as a Christmas gift there must be many other people who may have this issue in a couple of weeks, say for example someone wants a pricey experience and asks their friends and family for vouchers to go towards it as its too much in one lump and wont discover until after Christmas when they try to book, when conveniently they 14 days refund period will likely have passed (I am still in the 14 days so still have a get out clause, but would much rather the vouchers be honoured)

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it seems I worried for nothing.



a manager called back and said that after looking at the terms there is no reference to only using the one voucher so she honoured it, but to book she had to combine the vouchers together and then sent a new code. Balloon ride voucher is now all booked :)

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