Something for nothing: Company gives away £10,000 worth of goods free after website glitch

Hundreds of Britons have proved the old saying wrong after a cookware company agreed to give away more than £10,000 of goods for nothing more than the cost of delivery after a mistake on its website.

On Friday a slightly confused user posted details of this spectacular find on the HotUKDeals website.

“Needed some new cookware and whilst browsing the frying pan section online noticed this was down as £0 with £4.95 delivery. Ordered two last night and got email confirmation to say it has been dispatched,” wrote SlobRob.

“Not sure if it’s a mistake or not but I should be receiving them Monday hopefully. No email yet from ProCook to say this is incorrect.”

The online community was split between disbelief and enthusiasm for the potential bargain.

“Not wasting any of my frying time ordering this... I pan assure you, you will not get it through!” joked user aaadam.

But this scepticism didn’t stop hundreds of people piling in after seeing the potential for a bargain. Some 600 people eventually signed up for the free pans.

“Fingers crossed it's next day delivery so they might process it tomorrow before the boss turns up for work Monday,” said HotUKDeals user squillion.

Sadly for them, the website noticed well before Monday, removing the ‘deal’ from the site on Saturday and re-posting it at its proper price.

But while other companies – notably Tesco after it mistakenly priced iPads at £50 – simply refuse to deliver on mistakes, ProCook decided it should take the error on the chin.

The site wrote the following email to customers who got online quick enough to sign up for the “free” frying pans:

Dear Customer,

You may be aware that over the weekend we had a system error on our website, the result being that our 28cm Fusion frying pan was showing at a cost of £0!

Clearly this was an error for which we apologise, and it is now showing at its proper price of £18 (High St price £36) which, we are sure you will agree, is still great value.

However, we recognise that you really wanted to enjoy the opportunity of receiving a free frying pan and so, as a gesture of goodwill, we are going to send you one free of charge in any case. If you ordered more than one frying pan then you are welcome to reorder any quantity over and above your free one but at the correct price. P&P charges, where applicable, will still be charged to your account.

As we have to amend our system and sort out the huge number of orders we received for this item you will hopefully understand that your order will take a little while to process and we respectfully ask for your patience until the end of the week to receive your parcel.

With best wishes,

ProCook


It was a move that’s been widely praised.

“ProCook’s response to the price glitch has been first class. They don’t have a legal obligation to honour it, but they are savvy enough to realise that a swift, fair response will enhance their reputation with shoppers,” said HotUKDeals site manager, Paul Nikkel.

“We and our members welcome their stance and only wish other retailers were as fair in their treatment of price glitches.”