JB Hi-Fi has backflipped on its stance to not accept gift cards on PS5 and Xbox Series X pre-orders. But it’s still complicated.
Originally no gift cards were allowed
On Monday JB Hi-Fi began sending out text messages to customers who had pre-ordered the next gen consoles. This included a note about how gift cards would not be accepted as a form of payment on the remainder of the pre-orders.
“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.
This resulted in backlash from customers on social media, claiming the restrictions weren’t disclosed when they originally pre-ordered the consoles. The original pre-order pages for the consoles didn’t mention these restrictions once pre-orders had been closed.
Gizmodo Australia asked JB Hi-Fi about the accuracy of these claims but the retailer did not offer a response to this question.
Further frustrations were voiced by customers after a second round of text messages implied that they only had until October 11 to pay off the rest of their pre-order.
“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),” the text read.
JB Hi-Fi Reverses its decision
Now the retailer seems to changed its mind on the policy. On Thursday a new SMS went out to customers stating that JB Hi-Fi would now accept gift cards on pre-order payments for the PS5, Xbox Series S and Xbox Series S.
According to the text, this also applies to anyone with a gift card who has already paid off the remainder of their pre-order.
“Hi there, we’ve heard you and we can now accept gift card payments for your console pre-order. If you’ve already paid, or have yet to pay, and would like to use JB Gift Cards towards your payment, follow the link to find out how and our team will help you out,” the text reads.
— Peter Anderson (@zerogeewhiz) October 8, 2020
But it still won’t be as simple as just using your gift cards. You still need to pay by a credit or debit card, fill out a claim form and then wait for a refund.
While the retailer states that it has heard customers on this issue, consumer law may have played a part. According to the ACCC website, “Businesses must clearly state: all conditions and restrictions on use of the gift card.”
As we reported on Wednesday, this was not the case when it came to the pre-order landing pages, at least according to customers.
“Businesses must act in accordance with the terms and conditions attached to gift cards at the time of purchase,” an ACCC spokesperson said in an email to Gizmodo Australia.
“All businesses have responsibilities under the Australian Consumer Law to not mislead or deceive consumers, and must display relevant terms and conditions in relation to the purchase of goods or services.”
This story was originally published on October 8 at 12:46pm. It has been updated to include comment from the ACCC.