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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 November, 2004, 15:01 GMT
TV auction channel shuts up shop
Still from Auctionworld
Auctionworld invited viewers to bid for items
Satellite shopping channel Auctionworld has gone into administration with debts of 14m ($26m) and 27,000 customers owed money, some thousands of pounds.

The news comes a week after the channel was fined 450,000 by Ofcom, after the regulator received an unprecedented number of complaints about the station.

Apart from the people owed money, Ofcom found Auctionworld was exaggerating the value of items on sale.

Auctionworld invites viewers to bid for items such as jewellery and TVs.

Based in Hertfordshire and launched back in 2001, it employs 300 people.

Closure threat

One customer was alleged to have received an independent valuation of 500 for a piece of jewellery the channel said was worth 14,000.

It is unlikely that all the money owed to creditors will be repaid in full from the assets of the company
Administrator Philip Long

Accountants PKF have been appointed Auctionworld's administrators, and say that retrieving any money for customers is the priority.

"In light of the heavy fine imposed by Ofcom and the liabilities of the company to dissatisfied customers it is apparent that the company is insolvent and not able to continue to trade," said Philip Long, partner and head of corporate recovery at PKF.

"The creditors are our main priority and we are working extremely hard to find the best solution for all of them. It is unlikely that all the money owed to creditors will be repaid in full from the assets of the company.

"Customers who have paid by credit cards and whose orders have not been satisfactorily fulfilled may be able to rely on their debt being repaid (or goods supplied) by their credit card company."

In its ruling against Auctionworld last week, Ofcom also criticised the broadcaster for failing to deal with customer complaints and for sending out purchases late.

Ofcom ordered Auctionworld to put out a statement three times a day to say it had been criticised by the watchdog, and said it would be shut down unless it complied.

Auctionworld - your reaction to the company:

I ordered a camera - waited six weeks for no delivery - tried for a week to get through to customer services and still have no refund. Thanks a lot Auction world!!!!
Colin Lindley, Didcot UK

Anyone who spends thousands of pounds on jewellery after only seeing it on TV is a 'fool'.
Daniel Coombs, UK

I have been waiting for goods since Sept and have not received them. The customer services number was always engaged so i have been left in the dark as they have not replied to my emails. I did receive a letter stating goods would be delivered in 14 days but that has not materialised
MR Doug Hicks, Banbury, England

I ordered a ring (for 305) which I ended up sending back and three months later I still haven't had a refund. I have phoned and emailed so many times and each time I'm told thing. I think it is absolutely disgusting that a company can get away with this really bad service. It now looks like I'm out of pocket.
Karen Noden, London, England

It never ceases to amaze me how consumers can be so gullible. Any fool who thinks a TV shopping channel is the place to buy a piece of jewellery valued at 15,000 needs their head looking at. If something seems to be too good to be true, then it probably is.
Paul Derrick, Hull


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