RTE HAS moved to distance itself from 'Shopping From Home' -- its daily half-hour 7am television offering on RTE1 -- after complaints were issued to the station that viewers who paid for items on the programme had not received them.
Others have complained they could not contact the US-style television shopping programme via its advertised phone number, which tells callers that 'Shopping From Home' is dealing with another customer, before cutting them off.
Numerous complaints were also posted on askabout- money.com, including one from a person claiming they hadn't received an item they'd paid for before Christmas.
Askaboutmoney's Brendan Burgess added: "You have to question why RTE allows this on air and why a public sector broadcaster shows a paid-for programme which is obviously not distinct enough from regular broadcasting to prevent viewers thinking it's something to do with RTE."
Yesterday, David Hoffman, husband of the programme's presenter Kathy Hoffman, admitted buyers had been let down.
He blamed delays in the post and alleged that items had gone missing en route.
He admitted that the phone line had not been working "for a couple of days" and blamed any problems on "an issue with the call centre".
"Those who are not prepared to put up with delays will have no issues getting a refund."
He then provided the Irish Independent with a landline number through which he says queries and complaints will be dealt (see below).
The production has run since 2010 and is described on its website as "Ireland's first and only home-made shopping series".
It is listed in the RTE Guide television schedule, with no obvious distinction to separate it out as an advert.
Despite this, RTE has insisted that 'Shopping From Home' is not a television programme.
In a statement, RTE said: "'Shopping from Home' is a television shopping segment, as opposed to a television programme. It is a commercial offering to the public and is clearly marked as such.
"The presenter of the programme is not an RTE presenter. Rather, she works on behalf of 'Shopping From Home' as a demonstrator of the products offered.
"Where any member of the public contacts RTE to help them get in contact with any company offering any products, RTE will in all cases use its best endeavours to make sure they have all the relevant contact details.
"RTE is mandated by Section 210 of the Broadcasting Act to maximise commercial revenue and to demonstrate to the minister that this has been done."
Those with outstanding deliveries should call the Hoffmans at 01-4405966.