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Company apologises over Christmas presents delivery delay

Christmas Direct customers had complained of delays with the products they had ordered.

AN IRISH COMPANY has apologised to some customers after delays meant parents feared they would not receive presents in time for Christmas Day.

ChristmasDirect.ie, which is based in Tramore, Co Waterford, has been the subject of a number of complaints from parents who said their promised items had not been delivered, and they were afraid they would not get them by 25 December.

A number of customers contacted TheJournal.ie by email to say they had not yet received items which they had purchased from the Christmas Direct website.

One said he had “received about €60 of an order which totalled almost €400″, while another said she was waiting on items including a Nintendo 3DS.

The National Consumer Agency said that it had received 25 contacts from people about Christmas Direct.

One customer, who wished to remain anonymous, told TheJournal.ie that she had purchased a number of items from Christmas Direct, but still is waiting on four of them to arrive.

She said that she received an email from Christmas Direct on Friday of last week which “just said over the next 3 – 5 days that they would have deliveries out”. She said she has not heard back from them since then but has emailed a number of times.

The woman said the original email from the company said all deliveries would be made by 15 November, but this date was later changed by Christmas Direct.

She said that two of the four items she bought and is waiting on are worth around €40, including one for her godchild who is going away on Saturday.

“I feel sick really,” she said. “There’s nothing really I can do only replace the presents.”

A Facebook site for a company also run by the Christmas Direct directors was subject to complaints from disgruntled customers, while others discussed it on the Rollercoaster.ie forums.

Rectifying delays

Today, Mary Ronan of Christmas Direct told TheJournal.ie that they are dealing with the situation.

She said: “We have a number of orders that were delayed and we are rectifying that. We have contacted our customers and all customer orders that are outstanding will be filled.”

She acknowledged there had been a delay with fulfillment of stock but said it is being rectified and that all customers who have outstanding deliveries have been contacted.

She said the company has a small amount of staff and the demand for the service increased this year.

Ronan said that 95 per cent of their customers have had their items sent to them, so 5 per cent are currently being dealt with.

Customers were able to order their items throughout the year on Christmas Direct’s website, and then pay for them over the 12 months leading up to Christmas using a flexible pay scheme.

“The majority of our customers are extremely happy. They are telling us it’s a great service,” said Ronan. “Our priority today is just to keep everyone happy and get out the last orders.”

She said the customers in question have been apologised to.

The National Consumer Agency said that it received 25 contacts from consumers in relation to Christmas Direct. It has engaged directly with the company and reminded them of their obligations to consumers under EU law.

“Christmas Direct have advised us that all orders will be delivered by close of business on Saturday 21st of December,” said the NCA.

Legislation

The NCA added that there are several pieces of legislation that combine to provide consumers with protection when buying online.

  • From a consumer perspective, the most important piece of legislation is the European Communities (Protection of Consumers in Respect of Contracts made by Means of Distance Communication) Regulations 2001.
  • These are commonly known as the “Distance Selling Regulations”.
  • The legislation highlights that unless otherwise agreed between you and the web trader, the contract must be performed within 30 days of the order being placed.
  • Furthermore, the legislation states that once the order is cancelled, a refund must be provided within 30 days. This is the maximum timeframe as set out under Distance Selling Regulations.

Read: As parents wait for books or their money back, Schoolbooks.ie stays silent>

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