Argos was struck by a Good Friday meltdown across the country after an IT glitch meant shoppers could only pay by cash and had trouble collecting online orders.
Frustrated shoppers from Dunfermline in Fife to Woking in Surrey complained about the disruption at the catalogue shop, which forced a number of stores to close. Stores’ phone lines were also affected, leaving many shoppers unable to check whether their local outlet was open. The Easter weekend is one of the busiest times of the year for sales of home furnishings and DIY gear.
The retailer said: “We unreservedly apologise to any customer affected by an IT issue in Argos stores which prevented them from taking card payments for a two-hour period.
“A very small number of stores closed temporarily. However, the vast majority of were able to continue trading throughout by taking cash and some lower-value card payments. Systems were restored and all stores operating as normal by lunchtime.”
It said only “check and reserve” online orders had been affected.
Shoppers turned to social media to complain about a lack of information from the retailer.
“Argos why haven’t you put any news on the website about your stores being closed? Really annoyed because I got a text telling me my item had arrived in store to find the store closed due to technicalities! Wasted time and money coming down and no warning or information has been given to customers,” wrote Jonathan Burr on the company’s Facebook site.
“Self service kiosks down. Long queues at the tills because transactions are slow,” wrote one customer who had visited Argos’s outlet in Hayes, west London.
Argos is in the process of revamping all its stores to clear away its traditional paper slips and tiny pens in favour of tablet computers and digital ordering. But the hi-tech systems have been hit by problems before.
The launch of the first six digital outlets was delayed but a glitch on the retailer’s website allowed customers to order items for pick up at the yet-to-open stores.
This article was written by Sarah Butler, for theguardian.com on Friday 3rd April 2015 19.14 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010