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Customers still waiting for Christmas Direct refunds as NCA investigates situation

The company said that it has apologised “to each and every customer” impacted by the delay in product shipment from its suppliers.

SOME CUSTOMERS WHO ordered items from Irish online company Christmas Direct that did not arrive are still waiting for their refunds.

A number of customers told TheJournal.ie that they are still awaiting refunds, with some of them having had no contact since Christmas from the company, which is based in Tramore, Co Waterford.

The National Consumer Agency said that it has received a number of contacts from consumers in relation to Christmas Direct. It has also been in contact with the company directly.

“We are continuing to investigate these issues and are therefore unable to comment further on specifics,” said the NCA.

The agency encourages consumers who have had difficulties with Christmas Direct orders, or in getting refunds, to contact its consumer helpline on 1890 432 432.

Apologies

In a statement released to TheJournal.ie, Christmas Direct Ltd said it “has apologised to each and every customer who had been impacted by the delay in the receipt of our final product shipment by our suppliers and therefore found themselves without all of the items on their order list from Christmas Direct.”

They company owners said they “became aware of the problems arising with certain stock lines from some of our main suppliers we had secured and that were needed to finalise our 2013 order in the week leading into the Christmas period”.

Since that date the Christmas Direct team worked day and night to find alternative suppliers to help us fulfill our customer’s orders. This was successful for almost all of our customers.

According to Christmas Direct management, fewer than 80 of their customers did not receive all of the items on their Christmas lists and for that they apologised to each of those customers profusely.

“We did contact all of these customers individually and offered them a full refund on these items not delivered plus an additional (10 per cent) as a token of our sincere apologies,” they said.

“All refunds are being processed, at present the majority of these customers have already been refunded and the remaining refunds are currently being processed and customers will be in receipt of them within 14 days,” said Christmas Direct.

Some customers are still deciding upon their refund options, once confirmation of this options is provided by the customer we process this accordingly. This is processed within 30 days from the receipt of that information in accordance with company law. The Christmas Direct customer service reopened Jan 6, 2014 and we have been working with customers since this date.

Christmas Direct, which is an Irish-owned and family-run business, described it as “a very regretful situation both for our customers and for our company”.

“Since this has occurred we have examined our supply chain in great detail and we can assure customers that this issue will not arise at any point again in the future,” they said.

They promised “a recruitment drive for additional customer staff and a better all-round structure” this year.

Customers

One customer, Sinead, told TheJournal.ie that she ordered three items from Christmas Direct and received two.

She said she has been told she will receive a refund.

“I was talking to one of their employees on Facebook. They said they would issue a refund into my bank account and I gave them my bank account details,” she said.

Three or four days later there was nothing. One said if you need it into your bank account we need your bank account details. I said we’ve already been talking about it. It still never happened.

She said she has emailed a number of times and was told that refunds will be received by those affected via An Post, but she has not received money or emails in recent weeks.

She described the situation as “just ridiculous”. “I was just lucky, I could go and replace it – I had the money.”

Catherine Bennett is another customer waiting on a refund. She said that “the only update I have is I got an email the other day just saying they were looking into seeing the train table [which I had bought] had been returned”.

She said that she had returned the item – which she had been in contact with the company about returning – via a courier in December who was delivering other Christmas Direct items to her.

She sent a number of emails and also contacted the company through a ‘ticket’ function on its site.

They updated the ticket two days ago “saying they were investigating to see if the train table was returned”, said Bennett. “I haven’t had any more updates.”

She described the situation as “extremely frustrating” and said that she would not be using the company’s services again.

Christmas Direct said its customer service desk is open and customers can contact them via christmasdirect@live.ie

Read: Company apologises over Christmas presents delivery delay>

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