No refunds - why has Additions still got our money?

6 April 2010

How many customer orders cancelled by Additions has the company failed to refund delivery fees on? It's a question we'd like the answer to and if you've ever ordered anything from Additions, you might too.

In January, Additions advertised a Buffalo Ministation 320GB external hard drive for just £24. It seemed like a ridiculously low price but dozens of Hot UK Deals forum members ordered them anyway, because occasionally a retailer will make good on the price. We were also curious to see what happened, so two of us in the Bitterwallet office ordered the product on 18th January. Here's what Additions charged me:

Bitterwallet - we buy a Buffalo hard drive from Additions

The total charge was £24.35; £24 for the product, a 15% discount code, plus a £3.95 delivery charge. This is how the detail looked in the confirmation email from Additions:

Bitterwallet - Additions confirmation email
The total amount was debited at the time of order, not the time of delivery. Several hours later, Additions appeared to cancel all the orders, citing a mis-price. By their terms and conditions they were within their rights to do this, because a customer's order is only accepted once the goods are dispatched; the order confirmation emails are described as merely acknowledgments. A quick phonecall to Additions to confirm the cancellation and ask for my refund, and three days later the money is back in my account.

So then. Lots of chancers hoped to get lucky on a low price; they didn't, and instead they got a refund. What's the problem? Additions didn't refund all the money - they kept the £3.95 delivery charge:

Bitterwallet - Additions don't refund the £3.95 delivery charge

They didn't just keep our money; according to the Hot UK Deals forums, they failed to refund dozens of other customers; there are examples here, here and here. In fact, in all the cases we're aware of, Additions only refunded the delivery charge after the customer contacted them to request it; more examples are here and here, and Bitterwallet reader Scott also contacted us concerning problems with refunds.

Perhaps customers were being impatient, and Additions would eventually get around to refunding the delivery charge? So the two of us at Bitterwallet waited to see what happened. Guess what? Nothing did. The 60 day limit for refunds set by the Distance Selling regulations came and went, and Additions failed to refund the delivery charges. So do Additions only refund charge manually if they're asked to?

£3.95 isn't a big deal, and for that reason it's possible many people didn't bother to chase Additions for a refund, or even notice it hadn't been paid back. It doesn't matter a damn - it's the customer's money. The question is - how many customers did Additions charge and fail to refund? And has Additions failed to refund delivery charges on other occasions? It may not be a matter of a few pounds; it may be thousands of pounds, perhaps more, of customer's money. We don't know how much for certain without asking Additions. So that's what we're doing.

We're sending this letter to Shop Direct Home Shopping Limited, the parent company of Additions. We've asked for some straight forward answers to our questions. How much of your money does Additions have that it shouldn't? We'll let you know what we find out.


  • Jeffrey A.
    Yeah, like they're just going to own up and tell you.
  • RealMancsAreBlue
    I love it when you pretend you have an office, always makes me laugh. You're just a bunch of unemployed illiterates.
  • Paul N.
    Personally I prefer it when we pretend to work from a fortified underground bunker and less than avid BW readers think it's true.
  • sgandtg
    Very & marshall Ward (owned by Shop Direct) do the same. If I order via my catalogue and return the goods, I have to chase up a credit for the delivery charge.
  • Chris
    They kept my delivery charge after cancelling the same harddrive. When I saw they didn't refund the delivery charge, I called them up (was in a rather bad mood at the time too) but got it refunded. They'd still have my £3.95 if I hadn't. Scumbags. I had only registered with them for that deal too.
  • Junkyard
    Yup, same product, same result for me. Even weirder though - they cancelled my order and never charged my card for the hard drive, yet they still charged me the delivery fee.
  • Spankypants
    Yeah, the fuckers did it to me too on a CSI boxset. I will have the last laugh though when they spend eternity roasting on a spit in Hades. Shit, I forgot; I'm an Atheist.
  • NOT B.
  • Anon
    SDG leave themselves open to the criticism that their business model is partially based on holding on to legitimate customers money than actually retailing products, if they answer your query, maybe they can deny this? Additions and all SDG retailers have serious issues with their processes and practices, changes to their IT systems are ongoing but are highly unlikely to improve anything for customers, that is clearly not a priority to SDG. They even call you after a delivery to ask how the delivery went, but if you have a complaint they tell you that they cannot help and you should call customer services! (The call is actually a sales call for extended warranty). Also if you have interest free items on your account and interest bearing ones, and make an overpayment to reduce your balance, it will only come off the interest free items, it is not possible to pay off interest bearing balances if you have interest free items, how many people have spotted that little trick? And finally, do NOT believe the catalogue descriptions, they are more wrong than right, Always check the specs of anything you buy by using an external suppliers web site, I have been stung twice by this one as well. Shoddy practices by a shoddy organisation, use them at your peril. I will never buy another item from them regardless of discount or deal. Rant over!
  • Grunty
    Same as "Junkyard"..... billed only for delivery. Which got refunded as soon as I rung them! Although the woman did ask me if I wanted to leave it on the account for the next order I make.
  • Dave
    Just looked at my statement and I only ever got charged the £3.95 which hasn't been refunded. I shall be complaining.
  • Benjimoron
    Same for me, several calls required to get the delivery charge back. Ordered something else and once shipped cancelled the order so it'll have cost them the delivery charge for that (hint hint!).
  • Benjimoron
    Oh, and calling this number to query something with them costs them money as they pay for the call: 0800 180000 And I thought it was 30 days required by law for the refund to be actioned, not 60 days as your article says? And they promised me that all customers would be refunded automatically so you can add that to the list of lies they told me!!!
  • screw y.
    additions arnt all that bad.....i orded some flowers for mothers day years ago for next to nothing (£30 voucher?) which arived the next day
  • math t.
    Good luck in receiving a response!
  • The B.
    I closed my account with them 7 years ago, I'm still waiting for the £2 my account was in credit to be refunded, that reminds me, my Virgin credit card (account closed 2 years ago) is still in credit. I can't work out if I'm very lazy or very busy.
  • me
    AHA !
  • dunfyboy
    Good luck Bob. Virgin Mobile are still due me £40 from 2002. Branson seems to base his business plan on being a thieving little shit. As do Additions. Took 3 emails to get my postage back from them. In case any of you haven't dealt with them, here's their reviews on HUKD.
  • greg
    woolworths did exactly the same with me, £3:85 postage i had to enquire about just to get back. scum
  • Steve B.
    @screw you. It seems that your 'spelling for cretins' book didn't ever arrive, however.. I'd chase that one up.
  • ScottC
    They probably wont reply, but fair play for at least trying. I had to fight them at the time for the refund. Typical SDG crappy service My issue got resolved pretty much immediately when I copied in one of the directors of SDG - [email protected]
  • Bill B.
    Haha additions is teh sux0rs lol lol rofl :)
  • Junkyard
    Yeah, they refunded mine without argument... or claimed to do so on the phone, I'm still waiting to see if it appears on my statement. This was outside of the 60 days too. Like Benjimoron said, make sure you ring them on their freephone number so it's costing them money to talk to you, rather than ringing the number they actually advertise, which is a national-rate rip-off. 0800 180000
  • AK
    Wankers have my money too - only realised after this article - will be chasing the wankers up on this. Wankers. Has anyone had a reply/apology/explanation for these tactics?
  • JT
    Whew! Thanks for the warning. I was just about to send Additions £799 for a Samsung 50in HD Freeview plasma TV but, if they are the dodgy operators you all say they are, I'm going elsewhere. I hate dealing with crooks like that!
  • Online B.
    [...] shoe-wear for the staff wandering around the office moaning about people wanting their money back. We covered it when Additions decided to keep the delivery charge for a product that hadn’t even been [...]

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