Phones4u couldn't have folded at a worse time. The upcoming expiration of reseller contracts forced the company into administration earlier this month, three days after it opened up preorders for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. While hard-up employees are finding new homes and empty stores new owners, customers who were eager for Apple's newest aren't so lucky. Today, in an email to iPhone 6 preorderers (that's definitely a word) that laid down an upfront payment, Phones4u came clean about the refund process, or more accurately, the lack of one. You see, Phones4u previously stated it would refund any iPhone preorder payments it'd taken, which it probably wasn't in a position to say since, you know, it'd gone into administration by that point.
Long-story-short, the email tells ex-customers there basically won't be any refunds, and suggests they contact their credit card provider to dispute the charge. If news of this backtracking wasn't enough, Phones4u sent the mass email out with all recipients' addresses visible, inspiring more frustration and several reply-to-all gibes (Business Insider has a few of the emails). Perhaps Phones4u's biggest blunder, however, was waiting to tell people. Since administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers took over, refunds were just as unlikely as they are now, and the page explaining as much has been live on PwC's site for some time, if a little buried.
Anyone that can't go to a credit card company for help is pretty much out of luck, although there is another option that involves submitting a refund claim to PwC. The problem with that is there's a high possibility it'll be more trouble than it's worth. A disclaimer on the claim page reads "Please note, given the level of secured liabilities, if there is any dividend to unsecured creditors, any payment if made at all, would not be for many months and is likely to be negligible." In normal-speak, this means if you seek a refund, your request will join a long line of companies/individuals Phones4u owes money to as a priority. And considering the company's just folded, there's unlikely to be any left for you when all the larger debts have been squared away. Sadface.