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Dixons Group Web sites still down

Our story is "frankly fictitious"

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Updated Despite assurances yesterday, all of the Dixons Group's Web sites remain down today. The message "We apologise for any inconvenience caused, however you can still purchase from our great range of products by calling one of our sales advisors" greets all vistors to PCWorld.com and co.uk, Dixons.com and co.uk, Currys.co.uk and TheLink.com and co.uk.

A spokesman for Dixons told us yesterday that the problem was thanks to "an additional security enhancement" and tried to persuade us it was simply a routine procedure.

We have subsequently learnt however that the problem lies in the introduction of new application servers installed over the weekend for the Web services part of the Dixons group.

We don't know what exactly the problems with the servers have been but a large number of people have been in touch to say the various sites were offering bargain-priced consumer goods by mistake.

Dixons also needs to review its Web security since while the sites are officially down, they can be easily bypassed by simply asking for the index HTML page of the site. There have also been reports that the companies' puchasing systems can be side-stepped by simply adding order numbers at the end of a relevant URL.

Update

A concerned Dixons has been in touch calling our story "frankly fictitious" and "highly speculative". The sites have all been up from this afternoon, without a holding page. The sites "will have to be taken down periodically as Dixons continues to invest in e-commerce."

As for the widespread claims that Dixons has wrongly priced several items of consumers electronics: "As far as we are concerned there is no mix-up on pricing. We have special offers from time to time."

As for our claim that the problem is down to new servers installed over the weekend, there is "absolutely no truth in that at all". And adding numbers to URL to bypass the buying system? "Absolutely incorrect."

We hope this makes things clear. ®

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All Dixons Group's Web sites down

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