Highstreet retailer Debenhams has made what could potentially be one of the biggest e-commerce faux-pas on their website. A platinum wedding band previously priced at £1,799 has now been reduced £13.49. Huge offer, terrible error or attempt to drive traffic?
The mistake was originally tweeted by @moneywatch:
Judging from the mis-spelt content of the page I’m going to assume this is a mistake. At the moment transaction won’t go through to the final stages (despite my best efforts ;-)) but we’ll see where this goes. No doubt it’ll make big news. But could Debenhams’ error be of benefit to the brand like the Red Cross’s beer tweet?
What will they do next?
I think the best way to deal with all this publicity would be to admit the mistake and perhaps offer to honour the purchases already made. They could even create a frugal wedding campaign out of it.
Will update you on what happens next.
Have spotted a tweet about one lady buying two of the rings.
Deal already posted on hotukdeals
Have tweeted and left Debenhams a Facebook comment. I guess we’ll see how fast their team are at responding.
This wouldn’t be the first time, comment on this blog reveals Debenhams once offered a kingsized bed for £2. Sweet deal!
Tweet from Debenhams…
Does anyone know the legal position on this?
I found this in Debenhams Terms & Conditions:
Have heard that Debenhams has now added ‘Out of stock’ to the ring’s page. Price has now been adjusted but ‘wedidng’ hasn’t.
So it looks folks that even if you did manage to order the ring, the transaction will be cancelled. Shame. I hoped they’d turn this into something more positive as it’s a great PR opportunity for example:
Today Debenhams proved they’re a brand with a heart by giving away a platinum engagement ring to a graduate couple for just £13.49. The kind offer came as the result of a mistake on Debenhams website that was later corrected, but they went through with an order to a gentleman from Essex who, hit by the recession, couldn’t afford the ring under the usual £1,799 price-tag.
but I understand that although this does appear to be false advertising the small-print was there.
The ring now seems to have been removed from the website. Which I would imagine is temporary incase any of you are interested in buying it at the usual price.
They’ve also left me a reply on Facebook, where comments allow you to have a more long-form answer.
Wouldn’t be surprised if I’d gotten their sale more publicity!
@intangenta has pointed out that it might be possible to make a case to The Office of Fair Trading for violating Distance Selling Regulations which says:
“you must give consumers clear information including details of the goods or services offered, delivery arrangements and payment, the supplier’s details and the consumer’s cancellation right before they buy (known as prior information)”
@lindsaydavies has mentioned the Zappos case where the American brand honoured orders of $1.6m.
One last update methinks. Here’s the Debenham’s response on Hot Deals UK:
If anyone has anything to add or wants a quote from me as a communities editor on the Debenhams debacle just pop me a tweet @charlotteclark.