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SimplyGames boss won't end ransom on PS4 pre-orders

"Offer was manifested by how the distributor allocated stock... we're not changing tack"

SimplyGames has sold out of its PS4 stock and will not reverse its policy of forcing pre-order customers to pay more for the console than they initially signed up for, an executive at the retailer has said.

On Monday it was revealed that the UK retailer had told those who had pre-ordered a PS4 that they must now pay between £415 and £470 in order to stay in the pre-order queue for launch day. Those affected have been offered a choice of unofficial bundles, which are not affiliated with Sony.

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Company director Neil Muspratt told CVG on Tuesday that most customers were pleased to be paying more, and that "it's just commentators who have stirred it up".

"The vast majority of customers have understood what is going on and have updated their order," Muspratt said.

According to Muspratt there were various cases of misreporting in the press, but he failed to specify any errors when asked to cite them.

He went on to say that there's no chance of SimplyGames changing its policy in light of the criticism.

"We have no stock left. All of our day one allocation is sold, and our offer was manifested by how the distributor has allocated their stock to us, so we're not changing tack."

Muspratt also suggested that not all those who pre-ordered PS4s are affected. He explained that SimplyGames expected a certain number of standalone consoles from Sony, but received more bundles than anticipated. Therefore, those first in the pre-order queue will still get a solus PS4, but customers further down the line will need to upgrade to a bundle.

This claim does not explain why SimplyGames is asking customers to upgrade to the retailer's unofficial bundles, or how it's accommodating second consoles added to existing orders.

Muspratt did not have answers for these issues when they were put to him.

He added: "This is a retailer-led initiative, it arrived through some of the choices that we've had to make, manifested by how the distributor has allocated their stock to us. It's not uncommon knowledge that Sony has bundled some of their consoles now."

Asked what his message was for those who claim they feel betrayed by SimplyGames, he said: "We take customer service very seriously. We don't want to lose customers, and we're saddened if that's been the case."

A Sony representative previously denied it was forcing retailers to up sell.

"Sony is not and would not force anyone to buy something they don't want," they said in a statement. "We value our consumers and offered the bundles precisely to give them choice and value. And the key word there is choice.

"We continue to work closely with our retail partners to ensure we offer this choice against the challenges of managing demand and inventory in the climate of amazing excitement and unprecedented demand for PlayStation 4."

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