Kiwi customers who bought the 512GB Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max off Fly Buys for a low price are signing a petition that urges the Commerce Commission to force the company to honour their deal.
Fly Buys website crashed overnight after the latest iPhone 11 was being offered to customers for only 805 points - or at least 50 points and $140 in an error.
After realising the mistake this morning, Fly Buys revealed that it will refund anyone who bought the 512GB Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max off its website.
"We are aware that a 512GB Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max was displayed on the Fly Buys website over the weekend with the incorrect number of points required for redemption, a Fly Buys Spokesperson told the Herald.
"This was an error and we apologise to our members for any inconvenience this caused.
"We will be refunding any points and/or money that our affected members spent on this product and we will be contacting these members directly today.
"Our website, which was unavailable overnight on Sunday, is now up and running."
However, many customers are not happy with the refund and one Kiwi has gone as far as making a change.org petition urging the Commerce Commission to force Fly Buys to honour their deal so they don't abuse the system and take advantage of their consumers.
The Kiwi who made the petition, Sam W wrote on behalf of New Zealand citizens that he believes that the Commerce Commission should play an active role and not let Fly bBuys NZ get away with free publicity and recklessness.
"Now it 'could' be understood this was done in error but the fact is this is not the first time Fly Buys NZ has shown recklessness on this magnitude," Sam explained.
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"In 2016 there was a similar case where they priced the iPad at a discounted rate - at that time the outcome resulted in the deal not being honoured and left many citizens annoyed and frustrated at the injustice.
"It was speculated that Fly Buys NZ pulled this 'discount' to get news exposure because the fact is that the blunder had caused every single new agency within New Zealand to publish the article and create mass brand exposure for Fly Buys NZ.
"The exposure was related to Fly Buys NZ having a discounted product and very little to no articles published about how or why they didn't honour the deal. This type of behaviour is reckless, misleading and outright fraud for the end consumer."
Sam said that because a similar error with Fly Buys has happened before, he believes the iPhone 11 pro "discount" feels like the same shady tactics they tried to pull back in 2016.
"The fact that something like this happens on this magnitude for such a long duration of time without it being rectified immediately is just negligence," they wrote.
"The deal was on from 2pm and kept going until 11pm before the website fully crashed. This is a very long duration for a 'mistake' on this scale to have not gone unnoticed."
Sam also urged the Commerce Commission to ask Fly Buys "damning questions" about the incident including how did the company let the "mistake" happen and leave the page up for such a long duration of time?
From 2.40pm 40 people have signed the petition, where 100 people have been asked to sign.
However, despite pressure from Kiwis for Fly Buys to honour the cut-cost price, the Commerce Commission says its hands are somewhat tied.
In a statement to the Herald, a Commerce Commission spokesperson said they cannot force a business to honour a deal on any given day.
"We have not investigated this particular matter at this time, but generally speaking business are able to correct pricing errors, including refunding customers when they have made a genuine mistake," they said.
"The Commission cannot force a business to honour a deal on any given day, though we can investigate if consumers consider they have been misled in breach of the Fair Trading Act and take enforcement action as required.
"Enforcement action could include a formal warning or prosecution, depending on the circumstances of the case."
Overnight, thousands of Kiwis jumped on to the website to get the 512GB Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max, worth $2849, after the "crazy deal" was shared through word of mouth and on social media including local Facebook groups and Reddit.
The page showed the product being sold for 805 points, or customers could choose to use the points they have and top it up with their own money.
In comparison, on the same page customers could get the 256GB iPhone 11 Pro Max for 17,955 points.
People accumulate Fly Buys points by shopping at the loyalty scheme's partners. For example, a $25 spend at New World earns 1 Fly Buys point.
Many reported that they successfully bought the phone, even more than one, but are concerned that Fly Buys won't honour the deal.
After the news got out on social media and word of mouth, the website and app crashed overnight, giving users the message "We're sorry, too many people are accessing this website at the same time. We're working on this problem. Please try again later."
The website is now up and running and the page that was selling the cheap product has been removed.
"Sorry, the reward you are looking for doesn't seem to exist on the Reward Shop any more," the website reads.
One customer told the Herald she was emailed a receipt for an iPhone 11 and her account was debited but when she went into her Fly Buys account it said she had purchased a Marbotic Smart Kit, not the iPhone.
A Marbotic Smart Kit is a learning kit for children, who can use wooden interactive numbers and letters on a tablet screen with seven educational apps.
Another customer, Karl Close, who bought the iPhone for 800 points around 2pm yesterday, said he also received a receipt from Fly Buys.
When asked how he would feel if Fly Buys didn't honour the deal Close said it didn't worry him.
"I knew what was I was getting into to. They will probably try and back out of it," he said.
"It's too good to be true. I had nothing to lose, it's only Fly Buys points."