UK retailer Very has cancelled a significant number of next-gen console orders, many of which are believed to have been placed by a scalper group targeting Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5 shortages.
CrepChiefNotify claimed on Sunday that it had managed to order over 1,000 Xbox Series X consoles, understood by VGC to have come from Very.
UK-based CrepChiefNotify, which has thousands of paid members, is said to utilise bot software to circumvent online retail queues and automatically purchase sought-after products as they come in stock.
It recently rose to prominence after it boasted that its members had obtained some 3,500 PS5 consoles to resell for profit.
And on Sunday it said it had secured over 1,000 Xbox Series X consoles.
Xbox Series X/S at retail
- Buy Xbox Series X at Walmart (US)
- Buy Xbox Series S at Walmart (US)
- Buy Xbox Series X/S at Best Buy (US)
However, Very has since told Sky News that Xbox Series X and PS5 consoles purchased through its website on Sunday were only able to be ordered due to a “technical error”. Those orders, which were placed by legitimate customers as well as scalpers, will now be cancelled and refunds issued within 10 days.
“As a result of a technical error, some people were able to place orders for PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles for a short time on Sunday,” the online retailer said.
“However, these items are not on sale and affected customers have received notice that the orders have been cancelled. We apologise for the confusion caused.”
Unsurprisingly, CrepCheifNotify has attracted negative comments from consumers struggling to obtain PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles this month, with units sold out at virtually every major retailer and auction sites listing consoles for more than double their retail price.
In a statement issued by the group last week, it defended its actions and claimed that many of its members were struggling financially but could now “put food on the table” thanks to console profits.
PlayStation 5 at retail
“Lots of our community have been furloughed, made redundant, or at some form of disadvantage due the pandemic,” it said.
“These people have managed to cover their bills, put food on the table and supply Christmas presents to their children.
“It may be unfortunate that a child won’t wake up to a PS5 this Christmas, but another child may have woken up to nothing. We have no regrets.”
In a statement published last month, Sony suggested PS5 has enjoyed the biggest console launch in history after beating PS4’s record.
“We want to thank gamers everywhere for making the PS5 launch our biggest console launch ever,” it said. “Demand for PS5 is unprecedented, so we wanted to confirm that more PS5 inventory will be coming to retailers before the end of the year – please stay in touch with your local retailers.”
Xbox Series X/S also broke Microsoft’s own 24-hour launch record of over one million sales, according to the platform holder.
As with PS5, demand for Microsoft’s console is expected to outstrip supply for the foreseeable future, with Xbox head Phil Spencer recently suggesting Xbox Series X/S shortages will continue into spring 2021.
UK technology retailer Box is holding ballots to decide which customers will be able to purchase Xbox Series X/S stock when it goes on sale later this month.