Feeds

Net Vikings pillage Hamleys website

Voucher scheme error provokes festive carnage

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

UK toy retailer Hamleys website was ransacked over the weekend after sharp-eyed web shoppers spotted "a glitch in a voucher scheme which allowed customers to claim a cumulative 60 per cent discount if they bought goods from the Hamleys online store", and moved in for the kill.

According to The Guardian, the error was spotted by users of HotUKDeals on Saturday afternoon, and "within hours of details of the offer being posted on the internet, thousands of shoppers across the web had taken advantage of it". The result was that by Sunday morning, Hamleys e-shelves were stripped of goods at a fraction of the original price "with more than half of the top-selling doll and toy ranges out of stock".

One dazed surfer reportedly described the carnage thus: "It's like the Vikings have been to Hamleys. If you get on to their site, it's been emptied and pillaged."

Hamleys was caught on the hop by the onslaught, and its site reduced to a crawl. The company quickly withdrew the offer, but the effects may be serious. Hamleys doesn't yet know how many people availed themselves of the opportunity and "since the store uses a central warehouse for both its actual store and its online store, the shortage [of goods] will affect both outlets".

Hamleys chief executive Nick Mather said yesterday: "We addressed this issue immediately and it was resolved within 24 hours. We would like to apologise to customers who were unable to access the website and place orders during this time."

The company added it would honour "any orders made as a result of the error" - which may cost it dear. According to The Guardian, one highly-satisfied customer "boasted about ordering a full-size snooker table worth £13,000 for just over £5,000".

A Hamleys spokeswoman described the Viking raid as "one of the downsides of ecommerce". ®

Update

It seems Hanleys later changed its mind about fulfilling those Viking orders. Here's the email (un)lucky customers received:

Dear Customer

Thank you for your order.

Unfortunately Hamleys experienced a technical error on our site at the weekend. This resulted in you being able to apply a discount code more than once. Multiple use of the discount code contravened the terms and conditions of the offer and as a result we are unable to fulfil your order.

We appreciate that at this time of year no one wants to be disappointed. As a gesture we would like to offer you a 25% discount on your next order. Rest assured if you complete your order by the end of today we will guarantee delivery before Christmas.

To use the offer please enter the promotions code hamrefxxxxx at the checkout stage. This offer is more generous than the original terms of the promotion and is valid for 30 days subject to the terms and conditions below.

The funds which were reserved for your order have been released to your account and will be cleared according to your bank’s procedures. No money has been taken from your account.

We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience that this has caused you. And hope that we can still help to make your Christmas magical.

Best wishes,

Hamleys

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Fast And Furious 6 cammer thrown in slammer for nearly three years
Man jailed for dodgy cinema recording of Hollywood movie
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?