After weeks of no announcements, Australia's largest speciality video games retailer has begun changing the way they operate in the face of the global coronavirus pandemic. EB Games will be suspending their Reboot repair program, will stop accepting trade-ins of older video games and hardware, and will no longer accept cash payment from today.
Staff at EB Games were informed of the changes through the company's intranet this afternoon, which can be accessed through the computers at every store. The changes are a direct response to the effect of the coronavirus on regular trade, and are fairly new. Just yesterday, EB employees were telling customers that they were still accepting trades:
I actually called EB yesterday if they were still accepting trades(which they are), to try and get some self isolation games ????
— Damien Burgess (@TheD_Unit) March 25, 2020
A staffer at a major Sydney store confirmed to Kotaku Australia over the phone that any existing orders in the company's Reboot repair and maintenance program would still be processed, but as of tomorrow the company will not offer any further orders for repairs to consoles, iPhones, Samsung Galaxy phones or iPads.
The biggest change will be to the suspension of the trade-in program, where users could get credit on older games, hardware and toys. The service is a popular one, particularly among EB World members who get extra credit depending on the games and hardware being traded in.
Customers from tomorrow will also only be able to purchase or pay for pre-orders via contactless payments, a change that is commonplace now across businesses worldwide.
Multiple EB employees confirmed that no changes have been made to the company's handling of pick-up pre-orders, however. If someone has a game pre-ordered for pick-up at a store, the EB system is incapable of converting that order to home delivery, meaning customers in self-isolation or quarantine will not receive their upcoming games until they can visit the store in-person.
Kotaku Australia contacted EB Games for a statement regarding the suspension of services, but did not hear back at the time of writing. After the publication of this story, EB Games announced the suspension of the above services over Twitter.
???? An important update for our community ... pic.twitter.com/zo44TY4ceK
— EB Games Australia (@EBGamesAus) March 25, 2020