Thousands of shoppers are set to lose out after BHS will no longer exchange goods to the full value of vouchers purchased before the company went into administration.
One elderly woman was left shocked when she was told her £50 gift card was only worth £25 - and to spend it she would have to pay cash for half the value of the goods.
Maureen Halliday, 82, tried to spend the £50 gift card that her son gave her as a Christmas present at a BHS store.
She was told that the gift card was only worth £25 and that she must also spend £25 cash to redeem the card at the store in Bromley, south west London.
Maureen, from Mottingham, south west London said: "We have had several deaths in the family and I haven't really thought about clothes until now.
"I went in there and they told me that were was only £25 on there, it's disgraceful."
BHS has agreed to continue accepting gift cards despite going into administration, but shoppers need to spend twice as much as the face value of the card.
Maureen felt the situation was not made clear to her while she was shopping or when she tried to pay at the store on Tuesday morning.
She said: "The assistant just said that was the rules and regulations with them closing down, I said can you explain to me why I've got to pay anything to anyone.
"It is just not right, they have just got a small thing up on the counter, and she wasn't very patient.
"She was looking at me like I couldn't understand what she was trying to tell me."
Maureen left the shop with nothing as she did not have the money to pay half in cash.
She said: "I couldn't pay for the clothes that had been put by for me, I said that I'm not having that, I said I'm an old age pensioner, I don't get money out of the sky.
"Now I have lost the whole £50, the reason that I had the card was to treat myself, from my son.
"It is terrible, I can't believe my son paid £50 and I have got to pay half of what I buy.
"They are taking money off you, I wish something could be done because I think it is all wrong."
Money Saving Expert advises that people spend gift cards as soon as possible after receiving them.
When a company goes into administration it is no longer obliged to accept gift cards - yet many shoppers may not be aware that their vouchers are suddenly worth less.
BHS entered administration last month, threatening a total of 11,000 jobs.
The company, which has 164 stores across the UK, has debts of more than £1.3 billion and a pension fund deficit of £571 million.
Phillip Green bought the company for £200 million in 2000 and sold it to Retail Acquisitions last year for £1.