Chinese consumers have filed hundreds of complaints against Lane Crawford accusing the luxury department store of cancelling hundreds of online orders for no reason after customers had made payments. The store is currently being investigated by a local consumer protection organization in Shanghai.
According to the complaints received by the consumer protection agency, as per the People’s Daily, which is a state-run publication, customers claim the department store offered certain luxury products for a steep discount (about 90 percent off) compared to what similar items were being sold for on other online shopping sites. They placed orders and paid the discounted price for them. It is alleged, however, that the deals were all quickly canceled by Lane Crawford.
After a June 9 meeting with the consumer protection agency, at the municipal level, in Shanghai, Lane Crawford responded on June 12 with an official statement saying that due to a systematic error on the website, the wrong prices were shown on the luxury items and that they had shut down the website for maintenance. The statement in full can be read on the website of the consumer protection agency in Baoshan District, Shanghai.
The store also revealed that since the end of April, due to the mistake, there were a total of 213 deals that had been canceled.
Many affected users told the local media that even though the department store agreed to refund the orders, they did not offer any legitimate reason for having canceled them in the first place.
People’s Daily reported that the company has verbally committed to fully refunding each of these faulty deals, and promised to send the affected users, as compensation, online shopping cards that are worth three times the value of the amount they paid.
The Hong Kong-based Lane Crawford, which has long been doing business in mainland China, offers Chinese consumers everything from mainstream luxury labels to niche brands that are continually sourced from emerging fashion designers around the world. Lane Crawford has always had an edge over rivals by evolving to meet the shifting tastes of sophisticated shoppers.
It is unclear whether, in the long run, the current issue will have any negative impact on the branding of the department store.
At the time of this publication, the official website of Lane Crawford in mainland China was still down.