We Asked JB Hi-Fi Why It Won’t Accept Gift Cards For Xbox Series X and PS5 Pre-Orders

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We Asked JB Hi-Fi Why It Won’t Accept Gift Cards For Xbox Series X and PS5 Pre-Orders

This week, JB Hi-Fi began sending out texts to customers who had pre-ordered PS5 and Xbox Series X and Series S consoles. There’s been backlash for a number of reasons, including the revelation that gift cards won’t be an acceptable form of payment.

Other frustrations have included some customers being bumped from launch day delivery due to the sheer volume of orders. There has also been some confusion around when some customers will receive their consoles. However, this has been an issue across a number of online retailers.

The first round of texts from JB Hi-Fi went out on October 5, which was a public holiday in New South Wales.

“Your spot in the queue for your PS5 Console pre-order is confirmed! We’ll SMS you soon with a link to pay your remaining console balance. Pay by Mastercard, Visa or PayPal. Gift Cards not accepted. More info: https://jbhifi.com.au/2020consoles,” one of the texts read.

Customers on social media were quick to declare that no such restrictions regarding gift card payments were disclosed at the point of sale. JB Hi-Fi did not say whether this was accurate when Gizmodo Australia contacted them.

The landing page sent to customers via text reiterates the lack of gift card payments available. However, the retailer’s gift card terms and conditions doesn’t state that there is restricted usage on certain products.

The original pre-order pages for the consoles don’t mention these restrictions either.

Unfortunately for customers who were planning on using gift cards to pay for their next-gen consoles, time may be running out. A fresh round of texts that went out on Wednesday implied that customers only have a few days to pay for their pre-order, otherwise they’ll lose their place in the queue.

“Great news! Your PS5 Playstation 5 Console pre-order is ready for final payment,” the text reads.

“Be quick and don’t lose your spot in the queue! Link expires Sunday 11 October 11:50pm (AEST).”

There has been some speculation that JB Hi-Fi is not accepting gift cards in this instance due a system bug, but that is yet to be proven.

When Gizmodo Australia contacted JB Hi-Fi for clarification this was the response from a customer service spokesperson via email:

“We can confirm the pre order payment can only be updated via Mastercard, Visa or PayPal as advised in the sms sent to you.

“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.”

According to consumer advocacy group CHOICE, JB Hi-Fi could be in hot water for not accepting gift cards.

“Gift cards are meant to operate like cash. Any onerous restrictions on gift card use have to be clearly explained at the time of purchase [of the gift cards],” Julia Steward, Head of Policy at CHOICE, said to Byteside.

“JB Hi-Fi is at real risk of breaching the consumer law here by misleading customers about gift card terms and conditions.”

And as per the ACCC’s website: “Businesses must clearly state: all conditions and restrictions on use of the gift card.”

According to customers, this was not the case when they put down deposits for the next-gen consoles. As for JB Hi-Fi, it didn’t answer this question when asked.

Gizmodo Australia has also reached out to the ACCC for comment.

Comments

  • I’m 100% with you. It’s garbage that they have tried to pull this stunt. Hopefully they change their tune before they lose a whole lot of customers. By the way, your ‘response’ you got from the customer service rep wasn’t really, it’s the same canned email we all got. Go get them, guys!

  • Yeah, not legal. At all. Also, that email response offers zero clarification.
    I’m avoiding frustration this time by not preordering.

  • That’s extremely dodgy and I’m curious if it has something to do with many gift cards essentially being money already in their pockets and not wanting that to impact the profits from the next gen consoles.

    If it is a glitch then they better allow the option to use your gift cards to get refunds on the cards amount ASAP!

  • 100% illegal. The ACCC will fine them over this. This is going to be interesting. Anyone who’s worked retail knows JB just done f***ed up…

    • Changes were made to the system to make it fairer for consumers but you’re absolutely right, you should only ever buy gift cards when you know 100% that they’ll be used.

    • From what I’ve seen gift cards are the most cost-effective use of credit card rewards points, which might be why some people have them.

  • Hahaha that non-reply is farcical. I suspect they will backflip on this but it will be when it is too late for the first waves arrival… Glad ACCC has been contacted.

  • I think the reason is on the event they have to cancel your pre-order.

    You can charge back most third party payments including Visa and Mastercard .. but their system may not be set up to put money back onto a gift card. (also gift cards are disposable which creates other issues).

    They could refund a gift card but it would be either
    a) Sending a new gift card
    b) charging the refund to the customers bank account of choice.

    This creates opportunities to exploit and may be a financial risk and corporate risk. Cause while you allude a gift card is like money and should not be restricted, its not actually money or JB HiFi would be a Bank.

  • So you still have to come up with the remaining $$$$ first within the 4 or 5 day time limit….

    Which could be as much as $700 if u only put down the $50 preorder

    Then you use giftcards and refund your money …..

    Still doesn’t really solve the issue if you have been buying gift cards to pay this out …. I think transparency needed to given at time of preorder too that the item needed to be paid off buy a certain date too

    I missed the launch shipment but have the ps5 2021 shipment from eb and have been jumping in store every pay to throw some cash down

    I feel for you people who preordered at jb who will be screwed by this

  • They made the decision to accept gift cards a couple of weeks ago. Not sure why this article would be a promoted one but it’s not really applicable anymore.

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