AN ELDERLY woman has been left more than £600 out of pocket after Comet failed to deliver her new cooker.

Joan Willson, 86, paid the cash in full at the Southend Comet store on October 27 - just five days before the company announced it was going into administration.

The widow who lives in Southend was told her new Hotpoint cooker - which she had spent almost two years saving for - would arrive on November 6, but there was no delivery.

Tired of waiting she went to the store in Eastern Avenue.

Mrs Willson, who lost her childhood sweetheart husband in 1996, said: “I got a taxi to the Comet shop and they had one of the same cookers on show, but they said I couldn’t have that one.

“The man there did try.

“He called head office and asked if I could have it but they said no.

“They told me I could have it if I gave them another £600, but I’d already paid.”

Mrs Willson, who has had two knee replacements and survived several brushes with death including in July when she spent a month in hospital with septicaemia, added: “I am pretty tough. I was born in the Chinese Year of the Tiger so as a cat I reckon out of my nine lives I have used up four of them.

“The first was in the war when I narrowly missed boarding a bus which was hit by a bomb.

“Then I had two pulmonary embolisms and then nearly died in July so I suppose I count myself lucky but this is really disappointing because all the money I saved on food by being in hospital for a month went to the cooker.”

Deloitte has been appointed as the administrator for the firm, but there seems little indication of when or if customers will get the goods they paid for or refunds.

Mrs Willson said: “They told me at the store I probably wouldn’t get any of my money back.

“I had been really looking forward to getting the new cooker because it has a grill at the top instead of the bottom like my one so it would be a lot easier for me.

“I just use the microwave now but I like cooking so it’s not the same.”

Neville Kahn, joint administrator and restructuring services partner at Deloitte, said the immediate priorities were to stabilise the business, fully assess its financial position, and begin an urgent process to seek a suitable buyer to preserve jobs.

He added: “In the meantime, all stores will continue to trade and all employees will continue to be paid.

“We appreciate the co-operation and support from the management, staff, customers, landlords and suppliers at what is clearly a very difficult time.”