NEXT shoppers have been left furious after the VIP sale online crashed the website and hundreds of customers missed out on bargains.
The retailer is launching the 50 per cent off sale tomorrow, July 2, but loyal shoppers were able to book VIP slots for early access yesterday.
But due to technical problems with the online system, some customers couldn't buy anything in the sale.
Scores of shoppers have complained about the problems on Twitter.
Some shoppers said they kept on getting error messages when trying to access the sale, while others had their slots pushed back to later in the day.
When they were then given access to the sale, the retailer had sold out on most items.
One customer said: "@nextofficial So disappointed, my first ever VIP sale preview and I’ve had error messages all evening, so frustrating.
"Are there still going to be preview slots before the main sale please?"
While another added: "What total waste of time #Next VIP sale booked for 19.00 previewed what I wanted then tried to login to find my slot had been moved to 21.00!!!
"Took 40 minutes queuing to find everything had gone. Total waste of my night."
And a third one said: "I didn’t realise VIP stood for Virtually Impossible to Purchase! #nextsale #nextvipsale"
How to get a Next VIP sales slot
VIP slots are offered to customers who have a Nextpay credit card and account.
There's a list of stringent criteria to get a slot.
To be selected, customers must:
- Have a Next flexible credit account with at least £250 credit available
- Have placed and kept an order from the Next Directory within the last year
- Have an up to date email address registered with Next, and be registered to receive sale and promotional emails
- Have received a copy of the Next Directory
- Have returned less than two thirds of the items they’ve ordered
Time slots are restricted to one slot per customer but you can update your slot at any time.
All slots are allocated on a first come, first served basis and the number of slots are limited.
Users advise getting the first slot you're offered as you're likely to get better deals.
Even if you haven't had an email yet telling you to book your slot, it's worth logging into your account on a computer as some customers are saying you can get access to slot booking anyway.
Think carefully before taking out any store card though.
The interest rate is typically 23.9 per cent, so you want to make sure you can pay off the items in full each month.
Otherwise the amount you pay in interest will wipe out the savings you make in the sale.
And a fourth customer said: "You spend hours previewing the sale and for what… oh yes Next to allow too many people to register for the 5pm slot so it crashes.
"Keep trying is not good enough. Complete waste of time. Far from VIP!!!"
The retailer said on Twitter yesterday evening: "Sorry if you are having problems accessing our VIP sale online.
"Our systems teams are working hard to resolve this issue as fast as we can. Please keep trying."
The Sun has asked Next whether the issues have now been fixed and if those who missed out will get a new slot.
We haven't heard back yet, so we'll update this article once we do.
If you missed out, it could be worth trying the main sale when it launches at 5am in Next stores and on its website via the clearance tab.
There should be great bargains on offer, with discounts apparently starting at 50 per cent off.
It is not yet clear how high the discounts will go, but the retailer has previously slashed prices by up to 70 per cent.
Next has reopened a majority of its stores following coronavirus lockdown.
If you haven't already popped by your nearest Next store, we explain its social distancing measures and what shops look like.
The retailer closed all 700 stores across the UK in March.
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