Update: Several customers have reported that Smyths had emailed them saying that their Xbox All Access pre-order had been cancelled, before sending a follow-up email stating that the email had been sent in “error” and their pre-order is still secure.
We do know that both Smyths and Game have re-opened pre-orders via Xbox All Access, though Game seems to only have Xbox Series S pre-orders left – which can only be purchased in store. Here’s the message shown to new customers who try to sign up for Xbox All Access online at Game:
“Xbox All Access is currently not available for new online orders. Please visit your local store if you wish to place an Xbox All Access Series S pre-order as limited stock is still available”.
Meanwhile, current Xbox All Access customers of Game get the following message:
“We are sorry but due to technical problems we are temporarily unable to offer Xbox All Access if you have previously made an Xbox All Access purchase from Game. The good news is that your new console is guaranteed if you wish to upgrade, so you will not be missing out! Keep checking back for updates.”
TechRadar has not heard back from Game or Smyths, while Microsoft is only directing us to the Twitter thread mentioned below.
Xbox Series X pre-orders went live on September 22, allowing gamers to snag themselves a new Xbox ahead of the release on November 10.
As we saw when PS5 pre-orders went live on September 17, the Xbox Series X pre-orders launch was somewhat of a disaster for many customers – with sites crashing and stock disappearing within minutes. But it’s Xbox All Access online customers in the UK who have been left in the lurch following a problematic first wave.
As with cash buyers, customers have the option to pre-order an Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S through Microsoft’s financial payment plan, which allows customers to pay off their new Xbox monthly rather than in one lump sum – as long as they pass the relevant credit checks imposed by financer Klarna.
But some UK customers found that, due to the high demand, by the time they had actually got through the checks online, thinking their pre-order was secure and had been accepted for Xbox All Access, they didn’t get a confirmation that the pre-order had gone through from their retailer, but had a direct debit set-up confirmed by Klarna.
This left some customers wondering whether their pre-order had actually been confirmed and concerned about the direct debit that had been set up – and worried over the impact on credit scores.
So here’s what seems to be happening.
This story is developing and we will update it as soon as more information becomes available.
A confusing mess
Xbox has said in an official tweet that customers who have confirmation of their application acceptance for Xbox All Access have secured their pre-order. And, while they may not have received an email confirmation from their retailer, the company is “working to resolve” this.
Some customers on Twitter reported that they did receive an email from Smyths.
It seems that some of the Xbox All Access pre-orders didn’t go through – apparently the ones with no confirmation email – and so the retailer has stated the direct debit will have “expired automatically as an order was not generated”.
However, the retailer will offer those customers who were affected the opportunity to continue on with their pre-order. The email goes on to say that the customer will not be charged if they do not choose to continue with their pre-order but, if they choose to do so, further information on how to complete the pre-order will be sent out “shortly”.
For new Xbox All Access customers who have proof of their application acceptance, but have not yet received email confirmation from either GAME or Smyths, we are working to resolve. Please get in touch with the relevant retailers’ customer service teamSeptember 22, 2020
The email also stipulates that no further credit check will be carried out if the pre-order is completed within six days. At time of publication, TechRadar has seen no evidence of similar emails from Game.
So, in other words, it seems like the retailers and Xbox are committed to fulfilling Xbox All Access pre-orders for customers who have proof that their application was accepted – though only Smyths has confirmed this to customers. Though Xbox does say in its tweet to contact your relevant retailer’s customer service team for further information.
TechRadar has contacted both Smyths and Game for comment and clarification that this is the case.
TechRadar spoke to Klarna, which confirmed that it’s working with retailers to understand what the current situation is. The financer has since published a blog post that highlights where the error occurred:
“A number of consumers were approved for financing but were unable to complete their orders on the retailers’ website,” the blog post reads. “This happened because, in response to the high demand, the retailers ran out of stock and had to close online orders whilst consumers were partway through the checkout, or had just completed their credit applications. We would like to reassure consumers who have received notification that they have set up a direct debit but were unable to place their order that we are working with our retailers to ensure a satisfactory outcome for these consumers.”
With regards to the concerns from customers who applied for Xbox All Access finance more than once in an attempt to secure an Xbox Series X pre-order amidst the retailer site issues, and who were concerned that the going through the hard credit check more than once would impact their credit score, Klarna has stated that any further checks following the initial one, will not affect customer’s credit scores.
“The further searches you can see after the initial credit check are known as quotation or soft searches and are not visible to any other lenders, just to yourself, and do not affect your credit score,” Klarna’s blog post reads. “If you are however concerned or believe you have seen more than one hard credit check, please let us know and we are happy to investigate. If an error has occurred, we will work alongside the Credit Reference Agency to ensure a hard credit check made by Klarna only appears once.”
It’s worth noting that those who had their finance rejected will still have an impact on their credit score.
At the time of writing, Smyths has now reopened it’s Xbox All Access pre-orders, and it looks like those who had direct debits set up without a pre-order confirmation will still be able to secure their console. However, the situation at Game is less transparent.
TechRadar advises contacting your retailer’s customer service team for clarity on whether your pre-order is definitely secured.