Website glitches lead to free gift bonanza for shoppers

19 December 2013

A rash of website pricing glitches has led to some shoppers picking up completely free Christmas gifts, according to a leading deals website. says it has seen a rise in the number of glitches appearing on major retailers' sites, including Boots, M&S and Thorntons.

The biggest glitch came earlier this week, when M&S ran a 50% sale on all of its products – at the same time as running an offer for 50% off Christmas gifts. With both discounts running alongside each other, shoppers could order some products, such as toiletry gift sets, for free. M&S also had a free delivery code in operation at the same time.

One user of the website claimed to have ordered M&S gifts worth £630, with a total shopping basket of 55 items.

Other recent retailer glitches include:

  • Thorntons held a half price sale, as well as offering 'buy one, get one free' on Classic milk chocolate plus a discount code for 15% off the total order, resulting in the boxes of chocolates being sold for £2.12 instead of £10.
  • Boots ran a series of discounts that resulted in customers being able to get £60.50 worth of beauty items – including Sanctuary and Boots No.7 gift sets – for just £17.50.
  • Sodastream offered its machine with three flavour packs at £24.47 instead of £44.99 – but then offered codes for £10 and free delivery resulting in a 67% saving.

HotUKDeals said all of the above retailers have honoured the glitches and discount codes.

A HotUKDeals spokesman said: "The retailers' response to the price glitch has been first class. They don't have a legal obligation to honour it, but they are savvy enough to realise that a swift, fair response will enhance their reputation with shoppers."

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