Eric Nolan, from Tyrellstown, Dublin, told the Irish Independent that he took three computer games from the Dublin store in fury, after staff refused to take his grandson's €40 gift voucher. He was stopped by security staff, but ignored them, and after they followed him down the street they eventually gave up.
But is he alone in his anger?
NolanNolan had given his grandson the voucher as a Christmas present, and was horrified to hear that the chain had announced they were no longer accepting gift cards and vouchers. He took his grandson down to the store, where he picked out three games, and then he tried to pay using his voucher.
After staff refused to accept it, he simply took the games and walked out of the store.
Nolan told the newspaper: "Somebody has made a conscious decision not to pay out on vouchers and it's despicable." He said he would be sending the voucher, and the outstanding balance of €6.80 to the store. He added "We are a nation of sheep – but I was determined to win this."
Was he right?It's a loose definition of a win. There's still the chance he could be pursued for what is technically shoplifting. He may feel morally vindicated, but legally he's on thin ice.
However, responses to the story have shown a great deal of sympathy for Nolan. After DigitalSpy tweeted the story saying: "A grandfather stole from his local #HMV store after staff refused to accept his gift voucher." It received a number of responses, including: @madcow42 who said: "surely its HMV that have robbed the customer by selling him a gift card then not honouring it. Rip off merchants." And @Piercy0812 who said: "So after @hmvtweets stole off everyone over xmas, This legend gets his moneys worth. Everyone should do this." @_davidmercer added: "good on him!!"
AngerThis isn't the first incident in which anger and frustration have boiled over. According to Eurogamer, yesterday police were called to a HMV store in Oxford to sort out a disagreement after staff refused vouchers from two customers.
It's easy to see why people are getting so cross and taking it out on staff, but this may not be a wise approach. It's not the fault of counter staff that vouchers have been declared invalid, and they are facing a difficult enough time without having to deal with angry customers too.
As we reported yesterday, if you have vouchers, you may still be able to get your money back through the Chargeback scheme. And there is no guarantee that the decision not to accept vouchers is a final one - any buyer of the chain will be free to decide whether or not to accept them.
But what do you think? Do you have worthless vouchers? Do you have any sympathy for Mr Nolan? Let us know in the comments.