In less than a month of its debut in the UK market, Xiaomi UK has had to issue an apology for “misunderstanding” caused by its classic flash sales. On November 8, Chinese smartphone maker officially embarked its presence across the United Kingdom starting with devices like Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro, Redmi 6A and Mi Band 3.
Xiaomi UK held a promotional sale called ‘Crazy Deal’ as part of which 10 Xiaomi phones were made available in the UK for 1 pound (which roughly converts to 94 rupees in India). Ahead of the launch, however, the promotion was renamed “Flash Sale,” something the company has always been fond of in global markets including India.
And that, Xiaomi believes led to the misunderstanding. As the name suggests, a flash sale is all about selling a limited number of handsets until the stock lasts, which often ends in a matter of seconds. For this particular deal Xiaomi had only 10 device to sell for 1 pound leaving many buyers disgruntled. Xiaomi UK received massive flak for it. BBC report cited UK’s ads watchdog as saying that it received a complaint and was deciding whether to investigate.
A Twitter user @phil_williams81 accused Xiaomi UK that their promotion was a scam. He shared screenshots of the website's code alleging that the ‘Buy Now’ button was automatically switched to ‘Out of stock' when the timer went off using a script, without checking for the availability of stock.
Responding to this flak, Xiaomi UK released a detailed statement apologising and explaining the situation. Here is what Xiaomi UK said in its statement:
This is not the first time Xiaomi buyers are angry over the company’s flash sale policy. Earlier this year, the company faced a similar furore in the Indian market when the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro went out of stock in seconds.