It looks like Sony isn’t the only company having problems keeping up with the demand for its console.
In anticipation of the release of the Xbox Series X, a Swedish financial company partnered with several game distributors in order to help gamers pay for the upcoming console over the course of two years. Unfortunately, a slew of technical errors has left some fans with permanent marks on their credit score.
Klarna is a Swedish banking company known for helping customers pay for high-end products in multiple installments, making it easier for some to afford items like brand new consoles. In an attempt to help people pre-order an Xbox in time for the holidays, Klarna teamed up with GAME and Smyths Toys, offering a Series X for £28.99 a month and a Series S for £20.99 a month. This special deal also includes 24 months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
While this seems like a great deal, poor execution has led to many issues surrounding some people’s credit scores. These problems arise from the fact that customers needed to qualify for the deal based on their credit score, as well as establish a direct debit line with Klarna in order to ensure that payments go through on time.
The type of credit check that Klarna uses is the primary suspect behind these issues. A “soft” credit check occurs when a lender analyzes data from third-party sources in order to predict a user’s credit without ever directly interacting with a user’s credit file. A “hard” credit check happens when a lender looks at a user’s credit file, leaving a mark that will inevitably negatively affect their credit score.
When this Xbox deal launched, Klarna’s servers were flooded with traffic from hopeful buyers. After applying for the hard credit check, users were treated to a slew of error messages. The website, trying to accommodate the influx of users, was unable to keep up with the demand for the consoles, trying to process the credit scores.
When the servers finally returned to life, people who were approved were shocked to see that the consoles were out of stock. During the time that the website was down, Smyths Toys and GAMES sold out of preorders. Even though they were unable to purchase the console, Klarna still set up the direct debit lines and users received a hard credit check on their permanent record.
Consumers were outraged at being approved for an Xbox and receiving nothing but a negative mark on their credit score. Users complaining on social media attracted the attention of Microsoft, who stepped in despite not being involved in the original deal. Microsoft is currently in talks with Klarna and are working towards resolving this situation.
Console preorders have been a big deal over the past few weeks, with Sony failing to keep up with the global demand for the PS5. If you want to grab a new console but haven’t had the chance to find one yet, make sure to check back to find out when more become available.
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