Xtra-vision forced into U-turn over Xbox sale

Retailer required customers to buy game when collecting consoles

The new Xbox has already sold out in Ireland. Photographer: Patrick T Fallon/Bloomberg

The new Xbox has already sold out in Ireland. Photographer: Patrick T Fallon/Bloomberg

 

CONOR POPE, Consumer Affairs Correspondent

Xtra-vision has been forced into a climb-down after a row broke out over its refusal to sell the Xbox One games console unless customers also bought an additional computer game at a cost of at least €50.

People who placed orders for the widely anticipated console were angry when it became clear that the retailer would only honour their “pre-orders” if they also bought games.

Such is the demand for the console that is has alread completely sold out across the Republic which means that parents who had pre-ordered it as a Christmas present for their children would have struggled to find it elsewhere.

Customers took to online forums and social media networks yesterday to complain about the stance of the company.

Just after lunch today it issued a statement in which it changed its policy. “In response to the situation regarding pre-orders of XBoxOne consoles in Xtra-vision stores, Xtra-vision can confirm that from today onwards, any person who collects their pre-ordered XBoxOne console at any Xtra-vision store will not have to purchase an additional game in order to receive their console,” the company said.

“Customers who have already collected their XBoxOne console and purchased an additional game can return the unopened game to the Xtra-vision branch where the purchase was made between November 22nd and November 26th, and the cost of the game will be refunded on presentation of proof of purchase,” it continued.

The company concluded its statement by saying that it regretted “any upset or inconvenience that may have been caused to customers”.

Following the intervention of the National Consumer Agency, Xtra-vision has agreed that consumers who pre-ordered Xbox One consoles do not have to purchase an additional game in order to collect their consoles.

Xtra-vision was forced to act after the National Consumer Agency (NCA) launched an investigation into the practice following a number of complaints from affected consumers.

“Through our intervention with Xtra-vision [we have] achieved a positive outcome for affected consumers by securing compliance in line with consumer legislation,” the chief executive of the NCA Karen O’Leary said .

She also urged consumers to understand and assert their rights. “If consumers have pre-ordered and paid a deposit or in full for a product then a contract is in place and unless the contract provides otherwise, consumers should not have any additional charges or conditions imposed upon them.”