Trixy, Trampas Thieves.
My brother is a lovely man. A nice, friendly, generous and personable man. One thing he isn’t, is cheeky.
For his birthday, in October 2013, I sent him a bottle of gin from The Whisky Exchange. As a little extra, I looked to book for him to have a hot towel shave and a haircut. This might sounds a little odd, but I love a hot towel shave. It is fabulous to sit quietly while someone pampers you. And I thought my brother would enjoy this experience. He lives in the north of England, so I used Google to find a place that could do this. I found Trampas – The Mens room in Durham. They had an offer on at the time so I Emailed to book this treat for my brother. The reply from them suggested that I call to complete the transaction.
I called and we agreed on a particular treatment. I gave my credit card details over the phone and they promised that they would send the voucher to my brother in time for his birthday. I didn’t have the address to hand, so I Emailed it a couple of hours later. Trampas replied to tell me that my payment had “gone through” fine. All sorted. I was looking forward to hearing from my brother about the thoughtful gift I had arranged.
I did hear from my brother. He thanked me for the bottle of gin. I asked if there was anything else? He said no. I told him what I had organised and presumed the voucher would arrive in the following postal delivery. I kind of forgot about it then for a while, until I met up with my brother when he was nearby for business. I asked him if the voucher arrived. It hadn’t. Once home, I contacted Trampas to find out what had happened. The same guy I spoke to (name withheld for now) told me that he hadn’t sent the voucher, but would immediately. Oh well. No point getting stressed about a late birthday gift. Two months late now. But hey ho. At least he had a nice bottle of gin, sent on time, at a great price and with great service from The Whisky Exchange (I really do recommend them).
This year I sent him a pair of Adidas Samba trainers. He was so delighted that he sent me a picture of him wearing them. While wearing the pair of the exact same Adidas Samba trainers he already owns. Bugger. Not good at this, am I?
As it was his birthday, I was reminded about the hot towel shave I paid for him. He had received no voucher at all. This made me a little angry. I Emailed Trampas and asked what happened. I received a reply from a different person, apparently the owner. He told me that as 12 months had passed from when I bought the voucher, it was no longer valid. He informed that it wasn’t his company policy to refund vouchers and as the 12 months had passed, he would not honour the voucher I had paid for. I explained that the voucher had NEVER been sent and asked how that voucher could be redeemed when it didn’t get sent, or exist. I also asked how I could know about his terms and conditions when the voucher that may have contained them wasn’t sent and the website didn’t state them. He told me that as he had banked the money, and paid income tax on it, that it was done and dusted. No explanation of why the voucher wasn’t sent. No response when I pointed out that I had Emails from his employee showing that they hadn’t sent the voucher. Nothing. Just attitude and dismissal.
Do Trampas expect people who are “given” a gift to chase up that gift? I don’t think that, if I was expecting a gift from someone, I would be comfortable hassling the giver to demand where my gift was. Remember that my brother is a nice man. He definitely wouldn’t behave like that.
Now…… And I apologise if my brother reads this……… the cost wasn’t very much money. I could, and probably should, pursue Trampas in the small claims court. As a Law degree holder, I am extremely confident that this would be fun and successful. However, as it is such a small amount of money, I prefer to spend the one thing that I do have plenty of, time, into writing to and about them to ask why Trampas think it is ok to take and bank cash from customers without sending them the item that they have paid for. I have repeatedly asked on Twitter too. If you felt like it, you could ask them on my behalf too. It might be fun. I suspect this is part of Trampas business model. Issue vouchers with the knowledge that many people won’t claim the value of them. Money for nothing.
In any other situation, taking money from people would be theft. Dishonestly appropriating the property of another person with the intention of permanently depriving the other person of it. I prefer to view Trampas as having stolen my money, as little as that amount may be.
This is why I hate vouchers. I hate giving them and hate receiving them. Companies that use vouchers are working on the knowledge that many of the vouchers won’t be “cashed in”. Think about it. Have you used every voucher that you ever received? What about checking up that every voucher you paid for has been used by the people you gave them to? If they haven’t, you have given money to a company for nothing. I can’t be happy with that. And that is without the company doing anything to nick the cash. Trampas went one step further and didn’t even send out the voucher, then refused to honour it.
Still, at least my brother had a nice bottle of gin and some back up trainers. And I get to be annoyed about something. And be annoying to someone. If one person reading this is deterred from buying a voucher from Trampas, then that is a bonus as I will have potentially stopped one more person being ripped off. That’s all I need. And that makes me happy.