Wrapit’s directors can’t blame the credit crunch

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.

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Wrapit’s directors can’t blame the credit crunch

  1. Jennifer Dashwood-Begg

    Many thanks for this blog. My husband and I got married Feb 23rd this year and have only received about 10% of our gifts. Following the obvious delays and many excuses (including that of a flood in the warehouse in Feb and a member of staff expeiencing a family emergency) my husband, a trainee solicitor, began legal proceedings. Two weeks before wrapit went into administration, we received an email from the head of fullfilment confirming that the managing director had agreed to settle out of court for the amount discussed and that we would receive that amount within 7-10 working days.

    We are still waiting. My husband is following up, threatening legal action against the md as he settled knowing that accounts had already been frozen.l but it looks like we will not be receiving anything. We are in our early 20’s setting up home and are now without the generous gifts friends and family kindly got for us to help us on our way.

    The whole experience has been very upsetting. Particularly wathcing Peter Geraldi diverting blame, hearing him say that if the money had not been frozen in May, everyone would have their gifts is absurd, particularly given the fact that in May, there were already many couples who had been waiting month beyond the max 12 week mark wrapit claimed. So upset, but glad to hear someone lay out the situation as clearly and eloquently as yourself.

    Kindest regards,

    Jennifer

    Like

    Reply
  2. AlexM

    I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!

    Like

    Reply
  3. Dan Gray

    Hi Jennifer – thanks so much for sharing your experiences, which undoubtedly put paid to any claims of innocence from Geraldi.

    No-one deserves to be treated so shoddily, least of all a young couple just starting out on married life together, and I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed that some kind of solution can be found for you.

    Like

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s