News: Company Turns £10k Mistake into PR Hype

Cookware company ProCook is now around £10,000 worse off after a website glitch listed one of its products at £0.

Online shoppers quickly snapped up a large batch of frying pans, usually priced at £18 each, after spotting the offer on on Friday. It soon emerged the deal was too good to be true, but not before 600 customers had placed orders for over 1,600 pans.

After the company realised its mistake, it was well within its rights to apologise and cancel the orders. In an unprecedented show of fantastic customer service, ProCook instead decided to honour the orders, sending one free pan to each lucky customer.

So why did ProCook take the expensive route out of the situation, when it had no legal obligation to do so? The company realised it had stumbled across a piece of good PR. Those 600 happy customers will not forget the great service they received, and will tell everyone they know. The story has also spread quickly across the media, raising the company’s profile considerably in just a couple of days.

Perhaps ProCook learned from Tesco’s mistake. When the supermarket giant listed a batch of iPads at £50 each on its website back in March, it quickly refused to deliver on the offer. Tesco came away from the situation looking incompetent, but ProCook has emerged from its predicament as the good guy.

Small business owners should take note: customers will never forget a gesture of goodwill, no matter how simple… but it does help if you have deep pockets.

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Kasey writes about the latest small business and website news for bOnline. Find Kasey on Google+, or follow bOnline on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+

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