Public concern over high street voucher access

LOCALS remain up in arms across Fermanagh over continued issues when applying for the High Street Voucher Scheme.
While concerns remain apparent, one member of the public has called-out the process deeming it a total “fiasco” while many more appear to be finding it nearly impossible to retrieve that all important spend local voucher.
One local woman aired her frustrations with the Herald stating, “The NI voucher scheme is turning into a bit of a fiasco, checking details is one thing but this is nit-picking that they are engaging in.
“I find it insulting to be asked to upload birth certificates and utility bills just because some government department spelt my name wrong or got one line of my address wrong.
“Their money would be better spent in the out-patients departments in the local hospital which are woefully understaffed.”
Herald reader Selene Fee said, “They wanted my 18-year-old daughter to provide further proof of age and address by sending driving licence and mortgage details. These are things that she doesn’t have at 18 and details that she does have are apparently not good enough.”
Phyllis Beacom warned others to “be careful” when applying after she applied on behalf of her mum. Sharing her experience, Phyllis said “After a few attempts I eventually got an email to say it was verified and would be sent on to the card provider.
“Since then I received an email asking for more information but luckily my daughter noticed the email was slightly different and it was a scam.”
While Bronagh Maguire agreed and said, “We had three family cards turned down in DV8 and £60 taken out of one yet declared void but money was not returned onto the card so £60 was lost.”
Despite this, Judith Johnston like many others across the county experienced little difficultly when applying for her high street card, she explained “We got ours last week after applying for it the second day into it and didn’t have to provide extra ID.”
With around 700,000 high street voucher cards still awaiting delivery before the deadline was extended for a further two weeks last Tuesday by the Economy Minister, shoppers are still in fear as to whether they will be able to access and spend their voucher before the new deadline of December 14. In what appears to be a hit or miss process, Michelle McLaughlin told the Herald that her two eldest kids didn’t get their cards even though they applied before her.
Jocelyn Ferguson said, “I had no problem receiving it but on my second purchase it was declined even though there was over £70 remaining on it,” while Sarah Shanley explained, “I got an email to say my details had been verified and I would receive my card in the post.
“A couple of days later I received another email looking for me to provide more information. I rang the number provided and I was given another number to contact and an email address to write to as there is no actual contact number for this department. I emailed a week ago and haven’t had a reply yet.”

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 28 Belmore Street, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, BT74 6AA