Mothercare customers have lost hundreds of dollars worth of gift cards and deposits since the baby clothing retailer was put into voluntary liquidation.
The customers, many of whom are expectant mothers, are angry with the retailer, which has refused to honour gift cards or deposits after going into administration six weeks ago.
One expectant mother Tara Bartlett was told by the administrators, BRI Ferrier, she would not be getting the baby furniture she had pre-ordered and paid a $75 deposit on at a Mothercare store in Brisbane.
Ms Bartlett was also told she could not redeem her $100 gift voucher. ''The way it has been handled has been atrocious,'' Ms Bartlett said.
Another expectant mother, Daniela Intili, was told she could not use her $50 gift voucher that she had been given only two weeks before. ''I was furious,'' Ms Intili said. ''When you get a gift voucher and you're about to become a parent you're going to spend more than that anyway,'' Ms Intili said, who is expecting her first baby in three weeks. ''In the end they're the ones who lose money.''
In a notice to customers, the administrator said Mothercare credit notes and gift cards cannot be redeemed. It also said refunds of order deposits would not be given and exchanges would only include full-priced items if the purchase is within two weeks.
A Newcastle woman, Bonnie Humphries, bought a $200 gift voucher a day before the company went into administration. Three days later, she was told her voucher was no longer valid. ''[I] went over to the shop to ask why I was issued a voucher the day before they went into voluntary administration.
''The answer was, they didn't know,'' she wrote to the Newcastle Herald, owned by Fairfax Media.
A spokesman for the administrator said the next creditors meeting would be determined before May 3, when creditors would ''decide the future of the company''.
There are 43 Mothercare, Early Learning Centre and Kids Central stores in Australia.
Eighteen stores have closed since late January.