Chain apologies for double-charging error

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The Independent Online

Retail giant H&M apologised today after thousands of shoppers were overcharged following a computer error.

The glitch affected 141 of the fashion chain's stores on Saturday and resulted in some transactions being charged twice.

Shoppers only realised the problem when they checked receipts which revealed their debit and credit cards had been double-charged for items.

A spokeswoman said: "H&M has become aware of an unfortunate situation, whereby many customers who shopped at an H&M store in the UK on Saturday 24th January 2009, and paid by either credit or debit card, were charged for their purchase twice.

"H&M sincerely apologises for this situation and regrets any inconvenience this has caused our valued customers."

H&M said the error occurred due to a technical problem with a software package used by one an IT supplier to process credit and debit card transactions.

The duplicate charges have already been refunded and customers should have the funds owed back in their bank accounts within three to five working days, the company said.

The spokeswoman continued: "H&M takes this matter very seriously and, together with our external provider, we are currently investigating the situation and how the technical problem occurred, in order to ensure that it does not happen again in the future.

"Once again, we are truly sorry for the inconvenience this has caused our customers."