More than 1,000 Very customers who paid for reduced-price PlayStation 4s have been left disappointed after the online retailer failed to deliver the consoles and has now cancelled orders due to lack of stock.
Around 3,000 bargain hunters placed orders with Very for heavily discounted PS4s last week. But 1,412 of those have been left empty-handed after a "technical glitch" meant that some people were making payments for stock that didn't exist.
Some shoppers had paid £149 for a PS4 bundle (including a game), which would usually cost around £300. A number of disgruntled customers who have spoken to MoneySavingExpert.com also described waiting at home for a delivery from Very, only to check their online account and discover that their order had been cancelled.
To add insult to injury, those affected will have to wait up to 14 days for refunds and Very has ruled out ordering in any more PS4 stock.
However, the online retailer has promised to offer any returned PS4s to customers who ordered but didn't receive one – this will be done on a first come, first served basis (meaning those who ordered earlier are more likely to be offered a returned console).
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'No email or text saying the order had been cancelled'
We've spoken to Very customers who have been impacted by the glitch.
Hayley Cook says: "I ordered the PS4 from Very for £149 and had an email confirming the order. They credited my account and then sent an email saying the order would come on Friday [30 September]. I stayed in all day waiting, only for them to send me an email later that day saying they were out of stock and the order had been cancelled."
Michael Caldwell encountered similar problems. On 30 September he ordered a PS4 and Lego Star Wars game bundle and received confirmation that his items would be delivered on 4 October.
He says: "To do this, I opened an account with Very as I had not shopped with them before and selected to pay the item off over the next three months. On Sunday I decided to have a look at the account out of interest. To my surprise I saw that the order had been cancelled. I'd received no notification that had happened."
Lisa Billington ordered a £180 PlayStation bundle and, despite receiving confirmation of payment, was not given notification that her items had been cancelled.
She says: "I logged in to see when I could expect it to be delivered. When I looked in my account, I realised the order had been cancelled. There was no email, text or any communication telling me this. I emailed Very who told me that they were sorry, and that they would refund the money within 14 days."
Meanwhile, customers continue to report being given conflicting messages about the problems.
Graeme McCafferty told us: "I was told by live chat that once stock is back in I would receive the original deal of £179, to which the social media team stated this was not possible."
How do I know if my order has been cancelled?
Very says it's currently contacting everyone who's been affected, though many customers have had their orders cancelled before being contacted – so if you have concerns it's best to check sooner rather than waiting for an email.
There are a number of ways to monitor the progress of your order. If you have an account with Very you should be able to check the status of your order online.
Very's customer services team can be contacted on 03448 222 321 from 7am to 11pm.
Will I eventually get my items?
Despite reports that some customers had been told by Very's customer services team that more full price PS4s would be available in future, a spokesperson for the online retailer has confirmed to us that this is not the case and that it will not be receiving any more.
However, as above, Very has confirmed that customers who missed out will be allocated any PS4s that are returned on a first come, first served basis.
This means that if Very receive 30 returned consoles, the first 30 customers who placed their orders after the item originally sold out should, eventually, receive their orders.
All other customers will receive a refund.
As a goodwill gesture, Very is offering those affected by the cancellations £20 back on their next order – however, to claim this customers will have to spend over £50.
How long will it take to get my refund?
How long your refund takes will depend on how you chose to pay. Those who purchased the PS4 through PayPal should receive the funds back in their account within three working days.
Those who paid directly by debit or credit card can expect their payment to be returned within 14 days. This period starts from the date on which customers received the email confirming cancellation of their order.
What are my rights?
Unfortunately, there's not much you can do legally. When you place an order with Very, you agree to the company's terms and conditions. These state that all customers will receive a confirmation email and an estimated time of delivery, but that these are dependent on stock levels.
In addition, the T&Cs state: "Neither of these emails constitute acceptance of the order by us. Your order will be accepted by us (and a contract will then be formed between us) when we dispatch the goods to you."
For more info on your Consumer Rights, check out our guide.
What does Very say?
According to Very, the problem arose due to the popularity of the PS4 deal. A spokesperson for the online retailer confirmed that due to a "technical error" there was a time period where customers were able to place orders with Very despite it being unable to meet demand.
A spokesperson says: "We'd like to apologise again to customers inconvenienced by this technical error. We know how disappointing it is to get excited about a purchase and to then receive a message saying that your order won't be fulfilled, and we're very sorry for that.
"We always strive to provide the highest standards of customer service. On this occasion we fell short of our desired level of service and are looking into the circumstances to help ensure the same mistakes aren't repeated."