Comet Crash: Customer Fears As Site Goes Down
Comet's customers have been left worried about their deliveries, warranties and gift cards after its website crashed.
On Thursday, the electricals firm confirmed it would go into administration next week, leaving more than 6,000 jobs hanging in the balance.
Following the news its website stopped working, hosting the message: "Sorry comet.co.uk is currently unavailable. Please try again later."
MoneySavingExpert's Dan Plant advised worried consumers to keep ringing the customer service phone numbers, despite the site's crash.
He identified three issues that could impact consumers if Comet does collapse: gift vouchers, deliveries and warrantees.
He advised people with gift vouchers to spend them as soon as possible. "Spend them straight away - today or this weekend if possible," he told Sky News.
"If Comet goes into full administration, gift vouchers will almost certainly become valueless and people will lose their money."
He said that JJB set a very short deadline on their gift vouchers when they went into administration, "and it would not be a surprise if Comet does a similar thing".
Those who are expecting Comet deliveries should not panic until the expected delivery date has passed, he advised.
But if the delivery does not arrive - and the item was worth over £100 and paid for on credit card - customers should approach their card company for a refund as they will be covered by the Consumer Credit Act.
"This is one of the main reasons we advise people to buy all big-ticket items on credit card, " he said.
For those who paid on debit card, Visa and Mastercard have similar schemes - called Charge Back - which could pay out, he added.
Mr Plant said that most warrantees regulated by the FSA would still be covered by independent insurance firms.
But if customers took out a service agreement - in which the store promised to replace faulty goods - they are unlikely to be covered, he said.
As such, he advised customers to check their policy wording carefully.
The chain has been having cash-flow problems for some time, and began trading without credit insurance - which protects its suppliers should the business fail.
It said it is "urgently working" on plans to secure its future, and has lined up restructuring specialist Deloitte to handle the administration.
They are expected to attempt to find a buyer for the business, which has 240 stores across the UK.