If you've been trying to buy a PS5 lately, you'll know that's been extraordinarily hard to pull off, due to vanishing stock and ludicrously high demand. But imagine ordering a PS5 and getting the wrong item in the post when launch day arrives – say, a Nerf gun, or an air fryer you didn't even order.
According to a number of Twitter posts, that's just what happened to some of those buying a PS5 from Amazon UK.
Journalist and presenter Rebecca April May (hey, she interviewed Pedro Pascal for TechRadar!) posted that she received an air fryer from Amazon UK, after offering up a delivery password for a PS5 order:
Happy #PS5 day everyone. Tried to document our one’s unveiling, but Amazon have tricked us with an unsolicited air fryer instead (after giving delivery password). Anyone else had this problem today? pic.twitter.com/99IUSzSJUUNovember 19, 2020
In a clear sign this is not an isolated incident, either, writer Patrick Dickens of Push Square posted something similar on Twitter – this time receiving a Nerf gun instead of Sony's next-gen console:
So, @AmazonUK looks like someone has stolen my (day late) PS5. Right outer box, wrong item. Where can I get help? @AmazonHelp @PlayStationUK pic.twitter.com/qBIZ3RHl1INovember 20, 2020
Additional reports on Twitter (which we can't verify, it's worth pointing out) mention receiving a foot massager, a George Foreman Grill or even just a bag of rice.
Now, while the exact answer of what happened here is unclear in all cases, it's definitely not good enough from a retailer as big as Amazon. On the surface, it looks like theft occurred before the box reached its destination.
An Amazon spokesperson told Eurogamer that it is investigating the complaints. "We're all about making our customers happy, and that hasn't happened for a small proportion of these orders. We're really sorry about that and are investigating exactly what's happened.
"We're reaching out to every customer who's had a problem and made us aware so we can put it right. Anyone who has had an issue with any order can contact our customer services team for help."
TechRadar approached Amazon UK for further comment, and got the same statement. Amazon also mentions that this is the customer services link to use if you've been affected.
Why a refund doesn't quite cut it
Now, a refund seems like it'd be a reasonable conclusion to this matter, but the problem is that getting hold of a PS5 was a feat in the first place during the past few months.
What you were paying for was the chance to go first with Sony's console, knowing that further stock is unlikely to be widely available, and to avoid scalpers who are predictably ruining the whole thing by selling consoles for close to £1,000 (around $1,328 / AU$1,819) on eBay.
Getting your money back, then, is probably not enough by itself – hopefully Amazon will make good by replacing those PS5 orders with priority stock when the next wave comes in.
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Samuel is a PR Manager at game developer Frontier. Formerly TechRadar's Senior Entertainment Editor, he's an expert in Marvel, Star Wars, Netflix shows and general streaming stuff. Before his stint at TechRadar, he spent six years at PC Gamer. Samuel is also the co-host of the popular Back Page podcast, in which he details the trials and tribulations of being a games magazine editor – and attempts to justify his impulsive eBay games buying binges.