This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 18 °C Saturday 21 September, 2019
Advertisement

Four months on and Christmas Direct customers STILL waiting for refunds

The company says it hopes to have all refunds sorted out within three to four months.

FOUR MONTHS AFTER they did not receive some of the items they ordered through online company Christmas Direct, a number of its customers are still waiting for refunds.

A number of customers have been in contact with TheJournal.ie to say they still have not received the money due to be refunded to them.

To find out what is happening with the company, and whether the refunds will be paid back, TheJournal.ie spoke to Mary Ronan, who runs Christmas Direct with her husband Damien Daniels.

Customers due refunds

Ronan said that out of around 4,000 customers who ordered items last year, 80 were affected by supply issues.

Seventy per cent of these people have been refunded, with a remaining 30 per cent who they hope will be refunded in between three to four weeks.

Ronan said the issues arose in December of last year.

“We had some supplier issues from the UK [with] some of our suppliers that honour stock,” she said. Christmas Direct was run as an online ‘layaway’ programme where the items were not required from the supplier until near Christmas.

Daniels said that with some customer accounts, they may have had a certain number of items ordered, but issues with just a few of the products.

“We have tried to work with suppliers from the UK to try and get our money back so we can reimburse customers,” said Ronan. “Seventy per cent have been fulfilled and 30 we are working with.” She said they have been in contact with the affected customers by email.

Apology

Ronan said she can “understand people’s frustration”.

“We apologise,” said Ronan. “We’ve apologised to our customers at the time. It was a very unfortunate situation. It was certainly not the intention [of the company].”

She said that they had thousands of extremely happy customers, and get “emails from them all the time asking when are we going [to be back]“.

Ronan said she and her husband are working as hard as they can to rectify the situation.
“It is a very unfortunate system,” she said. “I didn’t want to find myself, or find my customers in it. We are a genuine company that has run aground and have run into issues.”

Asked if Christmas Direct is out of pocket, Ronan said they are. She said that on one occasion they had to buy games consoles from a local store because they couldn’t be fulfilled by a local supplier. She said they paid “thousands above the price we had” to “ensure no one was left without a gaming console”.

She also said that the company “tried to make sure there was no one left at Christmas with a substantial gift affected”.

The items were ordered from a wholesale supplier who in turn had a number of suppliers for different lines. Some of the main lines that were affected were the fragrance lines and toy lines.

Christmas Direct is working with suppliers from the UK to try and get reimbursed for stock and in turn refund the remaining customers.

Has it affected business?

The company are “assessing the whole model” of the company and are not sure if they will continue. They are also liquidating some stock.

“Of course it has affected the business and I would be very passionate about this. I think it did offer really good value,” said Ronan. “It’s just so unfortunate that in this format an issue has arisen.”

Is she worried about the reputation of the business? “You would be worried about the reputation of the business,” said Ronan. “That is something we’ll have to look at when we resolve it.”

She said that no accounts would be deactivated or deleted on their website, but the website is not working as it was before the issue arose.

Customers should have copies of invoices that were mailed to them when they ordered items.

National Consumer Agency investigation

The company has spoken to the National Consumer Agency, which is carrying out an investigation.

The National Consumer Agency has received a number of contacts from consumers in relation to Christmas Direct.

As the Agency has an investigation ongoing, we are not in a position to comment further at this time. The Agency encourages consumers, who have had difficulties with Christmas Direct orders, or in getting refunds, to contact our consumer helpline on 1890 432 432

Read: “I’m behind in bills” – customers continue to wait for Christmas Direct refunds>

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

Read next:

COMMENTS (34)