Derry firm apologises for role in accidental Amazon price cut
Software problem blamed by Repricer Express for error that saw products reduced to $0.01
Amazon.com workers load boxes with orders at the company’s centre in Tracy, California. Photograph: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg
A Derry company at the heart of a Christmas calamity on Amazon which saw some prices accidentally reduced to just 1 pence and $0.01 has publicly apologised to its customers for the software problem at their “most important time of year”.
Some online retailers in Britain and the United States claim the the problems experienced by RepricerExpress, which has offices in the Strand Road in Derry and Madison Avenue in New York, could cost them thousands of pounds or dollars.
Repricer Express provides repricing software to retailers that sell products on the likes of Amazon, Rakuten’s Play. com and eBay. It enables them to manage their pricing and set minimum and maximum prices to avoid selling too low or too high.
The Derry company says repricing can operate at 60,000 listings per hour, which can give retailers a significant advantage over their online competitors. But for one hour last Friday, RepricerExpress experienced a problem which resulted in incorrect pricing being sent to Amazon. This reduced the price and caused an online sales frenzy, with shoppers claiming on social messaging sites that they had paid just a penny for thousands of pounds worth of products.
Brendan Doherty, chief executive of RepricerExpress, said Amazon had assured the Derry company that seller accounts would not be penalised for the problem and that Amazon had also stated that the vast majority of orders placed were cancelled.
Mr Doherty said: “I understand that this issue comes at the most important time of the year for our customers and I am deeply sorry by the disruption that has been caused.
“We have communicated with Amazon to help minimise orders with incorrect prices being shipped and we encourage sellers to contact Amazon for up-to-date info on this.”
He said the company was investigating the causes and intended to put measures in place to prevent it from happening again.
Mr Doherty added: “We take a lot of pride in the levels of service we provide so everyone here is disappointed that our customers have experienced this issue. We will continue to work to provide the highest levels of service we can in order to regain the trust and confidence of our customers.”
But some angry retailers have set up a Facebook group entitled: “RepricerExpress Review and Lawsuit on error/mistake on Amazon $0.01.”
This group hopes to create a network that will seek compensation for any losses they have suffered as a result of the software problem.