House of Fraser U-turn - customers now WON'T get refunds for undelivered items
House of Fraser customers have been told they now won't be refunded for unfulfilled orders they placed before the store went into administration - despite the firm previously saying they would be.
Last month, six days after the department store was taken over by Sports Direct, it tweeted to tell customers that it had decided to cancel and refund "all orders that have not already been sent to customers".
But Sports Direct, which purchased House of Fraser immediately after it went into administration, has now backtracked and told customers who have been waiting weeks for a refund that they will have to go to the administrator, EY.
If you are awaiting a House of Fraser order that hasn't arrived and do approach EY, you're very unlikely to get much money back as you'll be in a long queue behind many other creditors.
The news will anger many customers that have been left in the dark for a month over the issue, and were expecting money back. And there's also still confusion over what's happening with gift cards and returns.
What did House of Fraser originally say?
Back on 16 August, House of Fraser told customers that they would be given refunds for undelivered online orders that had not been delivered, via the following tweet:
Since then House of Fraser has given little new info on how outstanding orders are being dealt with - so customers have been expecting to get full refunds.
What does House of Fraser now say?
In a statement issued on Friday 14 September, a House of Fraser spokesperson said: "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."
House of Fraser says the comment made on social media on 16 August only related to orders received by the current company - ie, House of Fraser AFTER it had been purchased by Sports Direct. It says it doesn't have any new statement on whether customers who placed orders after 10 August will get refunds, but we're pushing to get more info.
'I haven't heard back about my £350 order'
Throughout the past month, we've heard from dozens of customers via email and social media confused at why they hadn't been given the refunds they were expecting.
Some comments from disgruntled customers can be seen below:
What else can you do to try and get cash back?
If you've ordered something from House of Fraser and it hasn't been delivered, then your best bet is to go to your card firm for help - there are two main routes to try:
- Paid on a credit card and your order cost more than £100? Try Section 75. Under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, if you pay on your credit card for an item costing more than £100, the card company's equally liable and you may be able to claim from it.
Bear in mind though that individual items have to cost £100 for you to be able to use Section 75 - if they only reach £100 collectively, this doesn't count. See our Section 75 guide for more info and how to file a claim. If your credit provider won't help, then contact the Financial Ombudsman to make a complaint.
- Order cost less than £100 or paid on a debit card? Try chargeback. This involves asking your card provider to ask House of Fraser for your money back as you have not received the service. Unlike Section 75, chargeback isn't a legal requirement.
You'll need to claim via your bank. As a general rule the Financial Ombudsman Service says you've 120 days to submit a claim from when you first became aware of the problem, and 540 days from when you bought your item, but do it ASAP. See our Chargeback guide for full help.
You can also try registering as a creditor. You can do this on the EY website. However the administrator itself admits you're unlikely to get much back via this route.
An EY spokesperson said: "Customers can submit a claim against the HF Stores Realisations Limited (formerly House of Fraser (Stores) Limited) for the refund. However, this will be treated as an unsecured creditor claim and unfortunately they will only receive a very modest recovery against the amount claimed."
What about gift cards and returns?
After Sports Direct purchased House of Fraser, customers with gift cards were told to send them to House of Fraser's head office for a replacement.
But now, weeks later, many customers we've heard from still haven't heard anything and despite us asking Sports Direct several times, we've not been given any update on the situation.
Customers remain worried that they won't get replacements, as the tweets below show:
Customers who returned items after House of Fraser went into administration are also finding their items are being sent back to them, with notes from Royal Mail saying all deliveries have been "refused" by House of Fraser's warehouse.
Again, we've contacted Sports Direct's press team about this, and have heard nothing back.
Have you been affected? Let us know
Still waiting for a response from House of Fraser on an online order, gift card or return? Or have you now successfully resolved your problem? Let us know in the comments below or by emailing email@example.com.
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