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The latest casualty of the economic slowdown appears to be pureplay internet retailer 247 Electrical, which has closed its online store.

The 247 Electrical website currently displays a “we are having some technical difficulties” message on its homepage (the only page that works), but a closer look at the title bar presents a more ominous statement: “STORE CLOSED”.

The retailer is not accepting any calls, with inbound enquiries diverted straight to voicemail. A message advises customers to “visit the website”, or to call back during trading hours (I called during the middle of a weekday).

A call to 247 MD Dominic Yacoubian for clarification also diverts to voicemail.

As such, I’ll stop short of saying the firm has closed down (it remains active, as far as Companies House is concerned), but the signs aren’t good.

Retailers do not display ‘store closed’ messages on their website for no good reason, nor do they close their doors for five days during the busiest trading period of the year.

It is also worth mentioning that the firm was running a ‘clearance sale’ a couple of weeks ago.

The website has been offline since Saturday, according to beleaguered customer Linda McArtney, who is struggling to find some answers from the firm about the status of a recent order.

She says:

“Perhaps Dominic Yacoubian could tell me what has happened to my oven that I bought from his company on 11th November. His company took my money from my bank account (debit card) on the 12th November. I had an email on 13th stating that my order had been dispatched and I would be hearing from Hi Way express about delivering my order. I heard nothing.”

“I tried to then email his site to ask where my order was last Saturday 23rd November only to be shown a "site closed" and it still is. I have rung two telephone numbers and been advised by an automated message that the offices are closed.”

“I would like to know where my oven is and when I am going to receive it or when I am going to get a refund. I am out of pocket by £159 with Christmas coming up. I cannot afford to lose this money. Perhaps he could tell me how I am going to cook Christmas dinner for my family?”

We’ll have to see how this unfolds, but if the company has gone under then the messaging needs to change to provide customers with more information.

And if not then, website issues aside, it needs to turn on its telephone lines and start communicating with worried customers. It should also ditch that 'store closed' notice.

Additionally, there’s little point in 247 continuing to buy ads on Google Adwords, as it is doing, when the website doesn’t work...

UPDATE: As per Jonathan Beeston's comment below, the company has confirmed that it has ceased trading due to cashflow issues. Bad luck to all concerned and affected by this.

Chris Lake is editor in chief at E-consultancy and can be found Twittering here.

Chris Lake

Published 26 November, 2008 by Chris Lake

Chris Lake is CEO at EmpiricalProof, and former Director of Content at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter, Google+ or connect via Linkedin.

582 more posts from this author

Comments (12)

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WMD

I am in the same unfortunate position as the above person! I have spoken with trading standards etc...but as i was trusting this company with my money by debit and not credit card there are little options open!!

The e mail address for the MD is dominic@247electrical.co.uk and he appears to be replying to e-mails-but actually giving no answers!

There is another consideration that i am looking into and that is under the new Fraud Act. Unlike the old legislation it may be the case that we can use it and therefore it may fall under criminal law rather than civil. Again, i need to look into this a bit more.
Any other suggestions would be most welcome!

over 7 years ago

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Jonathan Beeston

The message on the web site has been updated to say that they've gone bust. Good luck if they owe you money.

over 7 years ago

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Chris Hoskin

What a terribly sad day. MFI, Woolworths and 24/7 all fall.

over 7 years ago

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sam gamble

I have also been unfortunate and paid for a dyson ball vacuum cleaner for £220 from 247 electrical. I was told this was due on the 24th November, but obviously I have since found out they have ceased trading. What happens now?? I unfortunately paid with a maestro, does this mean I will not be insured?? Help, advise, please.

over 7 years ago

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Emily

Take a close look at http://system.fastcommerce.com. It is low-cost, high-powered e-commerce. Take a close look at Fastcommerce. It is FREE for up to fifty products, or $30 for 2,000 products. and it is great. beautiful templates, complete back end for order processing. beautifully designed, easy to use.

over 7 years ago

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Lynne

WMD's comment - PLEASE NOTE - I too have been caught up by this unfortunate close of business. I paid by debit card but my bank are taking this on. Ring your bank and tell them what has happened. They will send you a form to fill in and they need proof of "liquidation" etc., which quite clearly is now stated on 247's website. (In the meantime, I will have to wait for my £320 back - precious cash that I could have done without "losing". I have sourced and paid for an identical item elsewhere and it has been delivered, but £320 down, I'm staying positive however and will get the cash back, eventually).
Good luck.

over 7 years ago

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Kevin Barnes, Head of E-Commerce at Ben Sherman

I believe 247 are part of a company that supply some high street retailers websites with their white label electrical solutions- they are currently still selling these products, so i'm not sure if all companies linked to 247 are finished.

over 7 years ago

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Alice

Good points. Thanks...

over 7 years ago

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Double

247 are a side sister company of Bridisco. They sell the same products and BDC is for trade customers only. 247 is the way in which BDC sell to the public.

I know this due to running an ecommerce website and we are always competing with 247. However they are off the scene and has helped us for now. BDC still runs under a new name so no doubt 247 will be back as a 'new company' too as have BDC done now.

Getting money back now is left to the administrators Ernst and Young and Alan Hudson. Big debts need to be paid off first and then the smaller debts, such as customers etc.

Good luck to you all -  For you info, my website is:

www.premierproductsonline.co.uk

Thank You

over 7 years ago

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eletrochave

Section Break Branch: Information and free solutions for problems with switches and wiring in www.eletrochave.com.br

over 6 years ago

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Sue

I have just checked my bank account and found that 247 electrical refunded £212.18 to me and then took it back out of my account on the same day. I have never shopped with them or even heard of them before, even more suspiciously money was taken the day after for vodafone who I have never used. My card was cancelled and the bank is looking into this. Just thought I would let people know.

over 5 years ago

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John Murray

I purchased toner for my printer from 247 electrical via Amozon.co.uk on Feb 2011, my order was for a 2500 page coverage pack but they sent me a 1000 page pack and charged me for a 2500 page pack, I have emailed them regarding this issue but to date got no response.

about 5 years ago

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