Argos is facing huge criticism from customers over its handling of orders and deliveries following the Black Friday weekend sales.

The retailer has received complaint after complaint about delayed and cancelled deliveries, and lengthy waits to speak to customer service teams at its call centre.

Argos said it was forced to take on extra staff over the weekend in a bid to cope with the huge demand, which saw 18 transactions made per second on Black Friday.

It apologised for the delays and cancellations on its Facebook page, but a spokesperson said that 90% of customers who wanted its 'Fast Track' same-day delivery service were offered it, and an "overwhelming majority" were completed.

Argos launched its 'Fast Track' service early in November in an attempt to position itself as a heavyweight in the online shopping market. It spent millions on new vans, drivers and advertising.

Argos said: “We apologise where customers have experienced a problem with a home delivery and we are working through all individual cases as a priority. This is the busiest time of year for all retailers and despite our best efforts, occasionally we don’t achieve the high standards we set ourselves and we are really sorry.

“We are also very sorry if any customer has tried to contact us unsuccessfully. We are bringing in more people to help us deal with customer enquiries and will respond to every query as soon as we can.”

One customer posted on Argos' Facebook page: “Placed an order from Argos in Farnham for fast track delivery Sunday night.....did not turn up! Rang to re-arrange delivery for Monday night … did not turn up!!! Rang back to re-arrange AGAIN for delivery this morning between 7.00 and 10.00am … did not turn up!!!!!!!!! Have just phoned AGAIN to complain and the girl hung up on me … If this is Fast track delivery I’d hate to think what their ‘normal’ deliveries are like.”