UPDATED: JB Hi-Fi just poured fuel on the next-gen console pre-order dumpster fire

Another gigantic cock-up set to go straight to the lawyers

To say the pre-order sales of Microsoft’s new Xbox Series X and Sony’s PlayStation 5 have gone smoothly, would be an absolute lie. In fact, retailers in Australia have managed to balls pre-orders up so badly they’ve set a new low in customer satisfaction. None, however have gone as low as JB Hi-Fi whom now appear to be in breach of Australian consumer laws.

We always knew this was going to go badly. Between supply shortages, mixed messages about availability and a heavy reliance on website infrastructure not au fait with incredible spikes in traffic, ordering a next-gen console was always going to be a tits-up affair.

Many have had to cancel customer pre-orders or shift the goal posts when it comes to delivery dates, with many retailers taking weeks to confirm if your pre-order was even valid.

Target has recently told many of their pre-order customers that stock of the Xbox Series X would not arrive until December, meanwhile JB Hi-Fi have only just confirmed order validity with those that have already forked over cash. Hell Amazon just missed the boat entirely for the Xbox and didn’t put local links up until half way through the day.

Today they’ve taken things to a new level advising confirmed order customers they’ll need to pay for their consoles in full and cannot do so using JB Hi-Fi gift cards and vouchers. Failure to make payment by October 11th renders the pre-order void, with customers questioning the fact gift cards are specifically excluded as a form of payment.

Gizmodo contacted JB Hi-Fi for comment, where the company again confirmed the fact they wont be taking payment in any other form than what was outlined in the text messages received by pre-order queue members.

“Unfortunately gift cards are not be accepted as a payment method for this pre order via the link we send to you. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

Meanwhile Byteside’s Seamus Byrne reached out to consumer advocacy group CHOICE who commented that. “JB Hi-Fi is at real risk of breaching the consumer law…” and that “Penalties can be as high as $10,000,000, three times the value of the benefit obtained or 10% of the Australian connected group turnover in the preceding 12 months.”

At present those who’ve ordered directly from Microsoft & Sony appear to be in best stead, with EB Games of all groups, having a “relatively” seamless pre-order process.


UPDATE: 8/10/20 @ 1pm

JB Hi-Fi have done a complete back-flip, bowing to consumer pressure likely to result in legal action and have developed a new portal for console pre-order customers to pay for their items using gift cards.

I pity the poor devs who worked all night to get this up and running. I hope you’re OK.

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