Sports Direct has gone back on its promise to refund House of Fraser customers who are waiting on undelivered goods, leaving many out of pocket.
Days after Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct purchased the collapsed retailer out of administration for £90 million, it issued a statement on Twitter apologising for “delays with delivering online orders” promising to “cancel and refund all orders that have not already been sent”.
It added that customers would receive an email regarding their refunds in a couple of days.
However, nearly a month later the retailer has reneged on its promise, advising customers awaiting refunds to contact administrators EY, sending them to the back of the queue of unsecured creditors which are still owed multiple millions following its downfall.
“We cannot comment on individual cases, however the correct course of action for customers who have issues regarding goods purchased prior to 10 August is to contact the administrators at EY,” a spokesperson for the department store said.
Since the collapse of House of Fraser on August 10, its website has been down amid an ongoing dispute with workers at its distribution centre over a £30.4 million debt that was owed before it fell into administration.
This has led to “radio silence” from the retailer, forcing customers to go online to try and gain information and vent their frustrations. Many reached out to Retail Gazette:
“They are not sending customers orders placed on 13th August…but they are not refunding either, it’s disgusting! £388.00 worth of online order, no goods or refund. Utterly disgusting!”
“Nothing but radio silence from HoF to all customers with outstanding orders, gift cards or returns. If they have no intention of paying for refunds, they should let customers know so that they can recover the money through their banks. They need to plan a massive write off of goodwill for every day customers are kept in the dark, or has this always just been about stripping the assets?”
“I have sent 3 emails, nothing, they took my money on the 14th August, I was told by people in the shop that I would get response in ten days, nothing, house of fraser still open for a while in chichester, but I won’t go in, out of principle…..I’m very disappointed in the what was a reliable shop…”
Having bought the retailer as part of a pre-pack administration, Sports Direct has no legal obligation to pay any of its outstanding creditors, with many suppliers expecting to receive just 3p on the pound of what they’re owed, with payments taking at least a year.