Amazon had its very own happy hour last Friday, when a technical glitch reduced thousands of product prices to just 1p.
From 7-8pm, software firm Repricer Express went completely haywire – leaving many small businesses high and dry in the run up to Christmas. The software provider is used by third party sellers to ensure their prices are the cheapest in the market and claims to be ‘trusted by more than 2,025 happy Amazon sellers across eight international markets’; however in this instance it’s cost some businesses more than 100,000. Judith Blackford, owner of Kiddymania, is distraught after losing £20,000 overnight (around $30,000). Judith stated that ‘having asked Amazon to cancel the orders, they are still sending them out and charging me horrendous fees. Surely someone has to be accountable for this. I will be bankrupt at this rate by the end of January.’
Chief Executive of Repricer Express, Brendan Doherty, apologized for the mistake and said ‘I am truly sorry for the distress this has caused our customers. We understand that you are angry and upset and we will endeavour to work to make good on this issue and to work to restore your confidence in our product and service’. However this has not eased the rising tempers within the ecommerce community, with many merchants understandably now seeking legal advice.
Amazon are still dealing with the issue, but a spokesperson stated that ‘we responded quickly and were able to cancel the vast majority of orders placed on these affected items immediately and no costs or fees will be incurred by sellers for these cancelled orders. We are now reviewing the small number of orders that were processed and will be reaching out to any affected sellers directly.’ Unfortunately it seems that the eCommerce Giant will not be pursuing processed items, in further stating ‘we cannot cancel or reimburse orders that have already shipped or been charged to the customer.’
With the festive season upon us, this will certainly be a Happy Christmas for the buyers on the other side of the mishap; however it’s looking to be a very distressing time for all of the sellers involved. Lets just hope that Amazon can resolve the issue ASAP.