Wedding list company, Wrapit, finally went into administration yesterday, leaving a good friend of mine with little hope of receiving her gifts.
Unsurprisingly, she’s none too chuffed with the whole state of affairs and neither am I, as I spend the morning trying to get through to the administration helpline to obtain a refund.
Wrapit’s managing director, Peter Gelardi, would have us believe that its evil bank, HSBC, is the sole cause of its demise. In an astonishing email to all Wrapit’s customers, he slams the bank for its decision in May to retain income from purchases made by credit and Visa Debit cards which, he claims, has crippled the company’s cash position and scuppered any potential rescue deal.
Not only that, the email publishes the names and email addresses of individual HSBC staff involved in the decision and (at least tacitly) encourages disgruntled Wrapit customers to round on them to vent their anger and frustration.
Whatever the circumstances, that’s a deeply unethical move in my book – even more so, since Gelardi’s account is patently ridiculously one-sided…
Far from being the innocent victim of the credit crunch and a change in the bank’s policies regarding chargeback risks, it’s clear from the most basic investigation that Wrapit has had serious problems for some time.
The BBC’s coverage of the story cites supplier, Stephen MacGraw, who’d had to resort to legal action to recover five figure debts for goods it supplied to Wrapit last year. And the web is abound with stories of couples who’d had major complaints with the company long before May.
There’s even a Facebook group (Wrapit’s wedding list service – worst customer service ever?) with nearly 700 members, one of whom took final delivery of her gifts in April, six months after her wedding.
Maybe I’m being uncharitable, but I can’t help feeling it takes a special kind of mismanagement to arrive in such a position. You’re charging retail prices, without having many of the retail overheads; you’re not ordering anything until you know you’ve sold it; and your customers’ money is in the bank long before you actually fulfil the order. That’s an outstanding cashflow proposition in anyone’s book.
Sorry, Peter. HSBC’s move may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back, but if you want to blame someone for Wrapit going bust, I suggest you start by looking in the mirror.