When JB Hi-Fi started sending out SMS’s confirming people’s next-gen preorders, they included a small proviso in the text advising that gift cards couldn’t be used to pay for the systems. This is obviously completely different to how JB Hi-Fi would normally run and even looks to potentially put them in legal trouble, as this could be a breach of Consumer Law in Australia. Now, JB have advised that they’ve listened to customers and you can use your gift cards, but only if you have a spare $700 laying about.
While JB Hi-Fi has confirmed that you can redeem your gift cards towards your next-gen console, you can’t actually pay for it using them. Instead, as per their website, you first need to pay upfront via credit card or PayPal, then send them the gift card details and they’ll organise a refund for you. Obviously, this requires you to have an extra $700 sitting there that you won’t need for the next week or two or a credit card you can stick the money on. Hardly an ideal process.
While this is speculation, this seems to have been caused by JB’s desire to take a deposit on preorders, which is something their site and store doesn’t normally do. What this has required is effectively selling you a deposit, which was paid for and competed upfront, and then taking a secondary payment via a different payment channel later on. Our speculation is that this second payment channel is likely one generally used for suppliers or commercial orders, which wouldn’t generally need to support gift cards as a payment option, hence the predicament. Either way, it’s a terrible situation for consumers, especially with demands of full payment within five business days.