Shoppers rush for free Reebok trainers worth £110
A glitch on the Reebok website meant the company was accidentally offering free customised trainers. They were showing at the full price of £110, but customers started to realise that once they had customised the trainers the amount changed to £0, so all shoppers had to pay was £8.50 postage. They quickly shared their find on deal websites, and an incredible 30,000 people have ordered them.
But will Reebok honour the deal?
The dealOne HotUKDeals.com user posted details of the deal on Sunday night, and thousands of people joined the rush to order.
The sheer level of demand meant that many users had problems customising the trainers and getting the website to load, but others kept the design simple and were able to put in an order.
However, less than an hour after the deal was first posted, people started speculating that it was unlikely to be honoured. One user calling themselves noodledoodles said: "I don't for one minute expect to receive them, I am 99.9% positive order will be cancelled but 'gotta be in it to win it' as they say!" Another highlighted the Reebok policy that: "The offers on our Website are without obligation and do not bind Reebok. "
Most deal-hunters are aware that companies tend to structure their terms and conditions so that if there's a glitch they don't have to honour it.
No ordersNow Reebok has said in a statement that the price was a mistake on the website and that it would not be sending out any free trainers. It has offered customers a 20% discount by way of an apology.
Some of the deal-hunters were incensed, and some threatened to sue Reebok. However, Mark2111 pointed out: "I think most people don't take glitches too seriously. It's a bit of a laugh really, most of us go for it in case there is the rare exception when glitch prices are honoured. The banter then is a bit of fun."
Sadly for the deal hunters in most cases when big ticket orders are seriously underpriced, glitches like this are fixed and the offers never materialise.
In March this year Debenhams was accidentally advertising Land's End clothing for 99% off. The orders were cancelled within a few hours.
Perhaps most famously, Tesco accidentally put iPads on its site for £49.999 last March, but Tesco never took any money from shoppers, and didn't honour the price.
HopeHowever, there are the rare exceptions which keep people coming back for more. In early 2012 M&S accidentally sold 50 inch Panasonic TVs for £199. In this instance they were forced to fulfil the orders because their terms and conditions didn't make it clear that they had any right to cancel mispriced orders after payment had been accepted
And occasionally there's a flash of goodwill which makes all the dedicated bargain-hunting worthwhile. In October last year the cookware company ProCook accidentally offered a frying pan for £0 with £4.95 delivery. The pan normally sells for £18, and the company had no obligation to honour it. However, it sent one frying pan to each person who had ordered - a move which was said to have cost it over £10,000. The company explained at the time: "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."