Updated: Wednesday, 20th November 2019 @ 5:39am

Ex-Bolton councillor slams M&S after retail giant refuses to sell £700 chairs mistakenly offered for 50p

Ex-Bolton councillor slams M&S after retail giant refuses to sell £700 chairs mistakenly offered for 50p

By Jon Harris

A former Bolton councillor has slammed Marks and Spencers after the retail giant cancelled all orders of a reclining chair it mistakenly offered on its website for 50 pence instead of £700.

The mistake sparked a mad rush to buy its range of armchairs after the offer was made online with other chairs and sofas and even included free delivery and assembly – describing the recliner as a 'traditional timeless classic'  and a 'real future favourite’.

The website was deluged with online shoppers who spotted the mistake and tried to snap up the chairs in bulk.

One tried to buy seven of the High Back Richmond recliner chairs costing a grand total of £3.50, rather than £4,900.

Eventually M&S, which has just recorded a slump in sales over Christmas, realised their mistake and cancelled all orders and offered refunds.

But shopper Stuart Lever, 45, a former Conservative councillor in Bolton, Greater Manchester who planned to donate the chairs to a local hospital said: "I was very disappointed to hear that Marks and Spencer wouldn't be going through with the order – as far as I'm concerned they should honour the deal without any question.

"They are a big company and hey should take the mistake on the chin and pay out, they have already confirmed that they received our order."

"If everyone kicked up a fuss, you never know they might end up changing their minds. I had contacted the hospital about possibly giving the chairs to the maternity unit, but obviously that won't be happening now."

In a letter to customers Marks and Spencers said: ''We are aware that, for a short period of time on our website yesterday, our Richmond Highback Recliner Chair was incorrectly priced at 50p.

''During this time an order was placed for the chair on your account and we’re sorry to let you know that this order will not be processed further.

''We know that this will be disappointing for you, however, we hope you can see this was an obvious pricing error on our part and we apologise for any inconvenience caused.

''You will receive further emails from us today to notify you that your order has not been progressed and a refund processed.  If your order included any additional items, apart from the chair, we’re afraid that you will have to place a new order for those items.''

''Once again, we do apologise for any disappointment or inconvenience caused by this.''

Another shopper sent a poem online saying: ''My house is very cold, but there's a dream that I still hold, Oh please do be a flower, send me my recliner, Oh nothing would be finer."

Initially on its website M&S proudly trumpeted the Richmond as being 'supremely comfortable and supportive with the split headroll lumbar back cushion. The combination of comfort with the beautiful proportions and classic lines will make this a real future favourite’.

It added: ''Free, eco-friendly home delivery. Our crews will unpack, assemble and position the item.''

But today the chair was nowhere to be seen on the website – although other items in the same range were being offered for sale.

A Marks and Spencer spokesman said the pricing mistake was down a 'technical error' which was corrected as soon as it was spotted.

He said the chairs would not be sold at 50p and a full refund would be given.

A statement said: "We have contacted customers and apologised for any inconvenience caused."

A Bolton Council trading standards spokesman said: "When someone makes an order on a website, they are offering a contract and it is within the seller's rights to accept or reject that contract.

"In cases where there has been a clear mistake, such as the pricing of armchairs at 50p, the seller is able to reject or cancel the order as it was not a genuine contract."

Story via Cavendish Press.

Image courtesy of Ell Brown, with thanks

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