Customers who pre-ordered an iPhone 6 from Phones 4U will not receive a refund from the administrators / PA

The administrators for the collapsed retail chain has said that it cannot honour refunds to people who pre-ordered an iPhone 6 before the firm went bust

Collapsed retail chain Phones 4U has backtracked on its promise to refund consumers who had pre-ordered an iPhone 6, now claiming it is unlikely they will see their money.

Phones 4U went into administration on 15 September, leading to the closure of 550 stores and thousands of its workers with unpaid salaries. The iPhone 6 was released on 19 September.

The stricken firm told The Independent at the time: “Any orders that have not already been dispatched will be cancelled and any payments refunded to customers.”

However, this pledge will be unfulfilled, after administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) confirmed it did not have any iPhone 6s and emailed the over 130 people affected to let them know they “cannot process a refund”, the BBC reports.

“Customers who have paid using credit cards should contact their credit card company to try and seek resolution to this matter,” a statement to the dozens of customers, who could have paid as much as £699 for a handset, said.

“If you are unable to obtain a refund through your credit card company and wish to register a claim, your claim (to the extent you have one) will rank as an unsecured claim in the Administration.”

“Please note, given the level of secured liabilities, if there is a dividend to unsecured creditors, any payment if made at all, would not be for many months and is likely to be negligible,” the firm adds.

Those who paid with a credit card will have more protection under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.

Customer Gavin Banks told the BBC that he paid £99 for his iPhone, on a contract with Vodafone: “I thought I would be refunded after speaking to people at the call centre for Phones 4U. I'm angry, £99 is a lot of money to lose for no product.”

Following Phones 4U collapse, more than 2,000 staff will be guaranteed jobs in new workplaces – including the 800 already working in Phones 4U concessions with Dixons Carphone, and 887 transferred to Vodafone after the telecoms giant bought 140 of its stores.

EE has also acquired 58 Phones 4U stores and has preserved 359 jobs.

However, 362 other stores have not been saved and 1,697 staff will be made redundant.