Blockbuster UK goes into administration, cancels all Xbox One and PS4 pre-orders

It may be hard to believe but there are still some Blockbuster video and game rental stores operating in the U.S. and U.K. Indeed, the U.K. version started taking pre-orders for both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles in late May. It later sent out a press release stating that its orders for the Xbox One console had broken all of its previous pre-order records in the 24-year history of the company.

But now it seems that those "record" pre-orders, along with any placed for the PS4, are apparently null and void. According to Reuters, Blockbuster UK announced today that it was entering into administration for the second time in less than a year. While the company claims it will continue to operate its 264 stores in the UK, it is also telling customers on their Twitter account that they will be unable to fulfil any pre-orders for the Xbox One or the PS4.

There is also a post on the Blockbuster UK Facebook page that offers information on how customers who have pre-ordered the Xbox One and PS4 from the retailer can get a refund.

While Blockbuster UK wasn't the biggest retailer in that country, this new situation means that both Microsoft and Sony could be dealing with the prospect of thousands of units of their next generation consoles that were previously pre-ordered by customers that won't be shipped in time for their respective launch dates in November.

We have emailed both Microsoft and Sony to find out if they will be able to help these UK residents with this last minute issue, so stay tuned to Neowin for the latest developments.

Source: Blockbuster UK on Twitter

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

U.K. ISPs ordered to block 21 pirate sites, including top torrent destinations

Next Story

Dell officially turns into a private company again Wednesday

33 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

I feel sorry for the headache that people are going to go through to get their money back from the administrators. I've been through this myself with a company that went into administration. It took me 3 months to get my money back from a pre-order which done my head in

To anyone whom has a preorder with them, I'd advise to follow up the refund as soon as possible. Situations like these in the past haven't always gone so well for consumers and many people end up losing money with no chance of recourse if the liquidator takes everything.

Circaflex said,
Who in their right mind would preorder from Blockbuster? This company is barely hanging on/around anymore.

Agreed.

Even discounting the fact they've already been in administration once fairly recently there are numerous other retailers that offer a far better customer service experience than Blockbuster.

DARKFiB3R said,
I presume there was a deposit required for the pre-order? Will people be getting their money back?

I don't think there was a deposit.

Unfortunately if there was customers become "unsecured creditors" and will be at the back of the line for getting their money back.

boo_star said,

I don't think there was a deposit.

Unfortunately if there was customers become "unsecured creditors" and will be at the back of the line for getting their money back.

Looking at another site it would appear that isn't strictly true, they may offer refunds or they may decide not to, it's up to the administrators.

Often times they refuse to honour previous obligations (gift cards, deposits, refunds, even refunds when cards have been charged but no goods sent.)

boo_star said,

I don't think there was a deposit.

Unfortunately if there was customers become "unsecured creditors" and will be at the back of the line for getting their money back.

In the US, small deposits get a priority. You're not issuing a loan or buying a bond, so you're not considered a creditor. Large deposits are a different deal and have to be handled by the courts. That would something more like you paid $10,000 up front for renovations. Something this small might just be covered by your credit card company, and they would go after the company for the total outstanding amount of all their card holders independently.

Spicoli said,

In the US, small deposits get a priority. You're not issuing a loan or buying a bond, so you're not considered a creditor. Large deposits are a different deal and have to be handled by the courts. That would something more like you paid $10,000 up front for renovations. Something this small might just be covered by your credit card company, and they would go after the company for the total outstanding amount of all their card holders independently.

Sadly in the UK customers and staff are last in the queue, suppliers are first.

However we do have "Section 75" of the Consumer Credit Act which makes the credit provider jointly and severally liable for the transaction. The bad news is you need at least £100 of the transaction paid via credit for this to apply.

Spicoli said,
What happens to all the units they had allocated? I would keep an eye for another retailer suddenly taking new orders.

Good point.

Had to look up WTF "entering into administration" meant. LOL (explanation for us idiots in the US would have been nice hehe)

ir0nw0lf said,
Had to look up WTF "entering into administration" meant. LOL (explanation for us idiots in the US would have been nice hehe)

I guess the rough equivalent is Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

From what I can tell though, the main difference is that under Chapter 11, the company usually remains in control, in "Administration" an accountancy firm takes control of the finances and tries to find a way to bring the company out of insolvency (which may or may not work.)

Shocked it didnt happen sooner i think everyone knows the age of the video shop is over.

Hollywood and the rest of the entertainment sector needs to change. The future is online.

They should not be playing with release dates when someone is done sell it don't hold on to it.

I have downloaded a few movies i wanted to go out and see because i didn't have the time for cinema

I have downloaded TV shows because they don't come out over here till months later.

I would have gladly paid to watch that movie at home at my convenience in full quality and i would also pay to watch the shows i like the same time as it gets first aired.

They need to stop holding release dates back the whole sector needs to change now not piracy.

Blockbuster died because of limited titles in stock, loads of on-line competition so prices to high, and just didn't fit into modern times people can download a movie quicker than going to the shop now.

Streaming offers better choice, less effort for less money it's no wonder they died.

Franchise owners of rebox's would argue differently. They are a money maker for the majority of the kiosk owners. Streaming will only be a replacement for physical media when download speeds and caps are changed. The theater industry is also doing well, the profit margins on popcorn and soda alone make them very profitable.

jerzdawg said,
Franchise owners of rebox's would argue differently. They are a money maker for the majority of the kiosk owners. Streaming will only be a replacement for physical media when download speeds and caps are changed. The theater industry is also doing well, the profit margins on popcorn and soda alone make them very profitable.

Which it is in many countries. Not just an ancient technique to only keep Americans happy, we in Europe have broadband coverage up to and over 90% in several countries already. The only people I know with no broad band at home, have no cable tv either, or a television.

Guess what countries have the highest piracy rates, oh yes, the countries where they try to stick an ancient practice too.

Anyone that pre-ordered from them was taking a gamble anyhow.

Still, now I don't have to return Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment on VHS

What are the late fees from something originally due back in 1986? $$$
Maybe if you paid your late fees they wouldn't... eh never mind.

knighthawk said,
What are the late fees from something originally due back in 1986? $$$
Maybe if you paid your late fees they wouldn't... eh never mind.

HAHAHA

leesmithg said,
This is old news, they went into administration 16 months ago and started closing stores.

it was bought out, this is ANOTHER bankruptcy.

We had two stores. One closed a long time ago, but the one we have now has managed to survive. Even after the last administration, it was still saved. I somehow think that our only store will now close this time though...

torrentthief said,

it was bought out, this is ANOTHER bankruptcy.

Who the heck bought those guys out at this point in time?