JB Hi-Fi changes course on gift cards for console pre-orders (but it’s still messy)

JB Hi-Fi has finally seen common sense and has created a new system for pre-order customers to pay for a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X with gift cards. But the system requires customers to pay up front and then get credited refunds after the purchase is finalised.

The retailer created a new FAQ page that accepts its console pre-order process “has not been to the standard we usually provide for online orders”.

As we covered earlier this week, and asked consumer advocacy group CHOICE to weigh in on, JB Hi-Fi was refusing to allow pre-order payments to be made with gift cards, while also allowing just five days for customers to pay or lose their pre-order a month ahead of consoles being delivered. CHOICE said JB Hi-Fi was at “real risk” of breaching consumer law by taking this course.

The issue of forcing people to pay a month early than other outlets that took pre-orders is still garbage. The issue of some buyers unexpectedly finding themselves on a ‘before Christmas’ shipment is still garbage. But the gift cards was the thing that was more than garbage, so it’s great to see this decision changed.

At least this time, the customer gets a small victory.

But the system should still not require jumping through these extra hoops. Many customers will have bought gift cards or saved them from family gifts and won’t have the credit card access required to make this work.

Second-hand reports suggest this is all due to a new online payment system that was not fully tested prior to being used for this process. Which seems like a terrible time to test out a new system…

Here’s the full statement from the JB Hi-Fi website:

Can I use JB Hi-Fi Gift Cards for my PS5 or Xbox Series S/X pre-order payment?
Yes. We understand that the experience for customers wanting to use JB Hi-Fi Gift Cards for console pre-orders has not been to the standard we usually provide for online orders, however we’ve got a solution for you.

To redeem JB Hi-Fi Gift Cards towards your console pre-order
1. Complete your console payment through the link we sent you using a credit card, debit card or PayPal.
2. Submit a request with your order details and JB Hi-Fi Gift Card(s) you would like to redeem.
3. Our support team will redeem the full remaining balance of your JB Hi-Fi Gift Card(s) and process a refund back to the account you paid for your pre-order console with. We’ll email you once this process has been completed. This usually takes 3 – 7 business days.

Updated 8 October 14:15 to reflect the complex nature of the arrangement.

About Author

Seamus runs Byteside. You may also have spotted his words at the Australian Financial Review, the ABC, Junkee, Gamespot, The Esports Observer, CNET, Gizmodo and a few other spots over the years. He's very happy that he gets to nerd out for a living.

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