So I popped into Argos this morning to pick up another watch of the same design I've been wearing for the last 10 years or more. I've been carrying a paper Argos voucher in my wallet for a while, so this seemed like a good opportunity to use it.
"Haven't seen one of those for a very long time ..."One call to the store support line later, and the news was that Argos stopped taking these vouchers a couple of years ago. However the paper voucher has no expiry date mentioned in the text on the back - and I didn't ever notice signs up in Argos to warn customers that the vouchers were being withdrawn (M&S had quite a publicity campaign when they withdrew their paper vouchers).
In the end, the Rosses Court staff were great and applied a discount to the value of the voucher.
I suspect that since vouchers aren't actual currency, stores are quite within their legal rights to refuse to take them at any time. However, from a customer service perspective, I was glad that Argos honoured the voucher.
But if you've any paper Argos vouchers in your drawers or wallets, best get them out and spend them as quickly as possible. And that probably holds true for other antique specimens from other retailers.
Update - Michael suggests:
In the law of contract, a paper voucher is an offer which you can choose to accept. Offer + acceptance + consideration (in this case the watch) = binding contract. If there is no date on which the offer expires it is basically on the table forever. Unless the Terms and Conditions state otherwise.