compensation | 

Brown Thomas customers offered 20pc discount after orders cancelled in ‘pricing error’

A number of Brown Thomas customers voiced their frustration online today after orders they placed were cancelled

Brown Thomas on Grafton Street. Photgraph: Arthur Carron


Brown Thomas is set to offer customers who were impacted by a “pricing error" on its website, 20pc off their next order by way of compensation.

A number of Brown Thomas customers voiced their frustration online today after orders they placed were cancelled because the items were priced incorrectly.

Just after 11am Brown Thomas posted a tweet stating that there was a “pricing error” on the its website.

“To our customers, please note we experienced a pricing error on our website this morning. Orders sold at an incorrect price will be cancelled as per our terms and conditions. We are investigating this technical issue and apologise for any inconvenience,” the company wrote.

The company following up by tweeting a link to its terms and conditions webpage.

Under the “order process” section on the Brown Thomas webpage it states: “ All orders that you place on this website will be subject to acceptance in accordance with these Terms and Conditions… We have identified a pricing or product description error.”

However, under the “pricing” section of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission’s (CCPC) website it states: “What if a shop displays one price but charges a higher price – can you pay the lower price? Shops must display the correct price and ensure it is not misleading. This means that the price shown must be the price charged at the checkout. The same also applies to websites.”

A number of Twitter users cited the CCPC guidelines and asked the company to clarify the situation, while a number of Brown Thomas customer asked if their purchases would be honoured.

One woman Tweeted: “My order has been removed from my account with no communication on this. I have confirmation emails and a second that the order is being fulfilled.”

While another wrote: “I've literally just been sent a conformation email of my order? So, @brownthomas are the orders cancelled or are you honouring them?”

In a statement released to Brown Thomas said the incorrectly priced items were “unavailable”, which it is understood means they were either out of stock or that there was insufficient stock to fill the orders.

"This morning, Brown Thomas experienced a technical error on our website which resulted in a large number of unavailable items being offered for sale, at incorrect prices. This issue is now rectified. We deeply regret this situation and apologise to all affected customers.

"These orders will be cancelled as per our terms and conditions. Impacted customers will receive a cancellation notification from Brown Thomas in the coming days as these orders cannot be fulfilled. We are working to identify all incorrect orders so that refunds can be processed as quickly as possible. Those customers impacted will also be offered compensation in the form of a 20% discount off their next purchase online with Brown Thomas.”

The CCPC said it does not comment on the on the practices of individual traders.

However, in a statement released to a spokesperson said: “When a consumer purchases a product, the consumer enters into a contract with a trader. If the trader made a genuine error and displayed a price incorrectly, then contract may be set aside. In practice, this means that the consumer is not entitled to enforce the sale price that was displayed in error, although they are of course entitled to a full refund.

“However, if a consumer is unhappy with how the matter was handled, we would suggest that they submit a formal written complaint to the business outlining their dissatisfaction and how they would like the issue to be resolved. Information on how to complain to a business can be found on our website

“If a consumer wishes to contact the CCPC’s dedicated helpline to find out more about their consumer rights they can contact us via email or by phone on (01) 4025555.”

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