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Last Updated: Monday, 5 December 2005, 10:53 GMT
Gamers decry Amazon Xbox shortage
Gamer Ian Plumb gets to know his brand new Xbox 360
Gamer Ian Plumb was one of the few to get an Xbox 360
Amazon UK is facing criticism from Xbox 360 customers who have not got the console they ordered months ago.

On Xbox forums and websites customers are complaining that Amazon has not kept them informed about shortages.

The stories talk of consoles being delivered out of turn and long delays that will mean some get a console in February 2006.

Amazon said it faced the same delivery problems as all console retailers and that it had kept customers informed.

Queue management

Although Microsoft's Xbox 360 only went on sale in Europe on 2 December many websites and shops allowed customers to pre-order a console that would be delivered on launch day.

Amazon UK started taking pre-orders for the console on 17 August and many eager gamers placed an order on that day.

We apologise if anyone has been disappointed, we are trying to be fair to everybody. This is not a situation unique to Amazon
Spokesman, Amazon UK
But for many of those customers the Xbox 360 launch day has come and gone without the delivery of a console.

Many are venting their frustration on the forum pages on Xbox websites and some are contributing to a dedicated page set up on the Digidots website that is collecting complaints.

At the time of writing Digidots had collected more than 400 stories from Amazon customers.

There are also unconfirmed reports that some customers who placed orders long after 17 August have got their consoles but those ahead of them in the queue have not.

The customers complain that guarantees of delivery before Christmas have been changed and that Amazon has not done enough to pass on information about supply problems.

Some that ordered long after 17 August report that their delivery date has now slipped to February 2006.

Many said their frustration has been compounded because Amazon has delivered Xbox 360 games but no console to play them on.

'Fair to everybody'

To compensate for the inconvenience some Amazon customers have been offered a 10 voucher.

Xbox 360 customer playing Call of Duty 2, PA
The closest some gamers have got to an Xbox 360 is in shop displays
"Like every other console retailer in the UK we have issues with supplies of the Xbox 360 console," said a spokesman for Amazon UK. "We have tried all along to be completely transparent regarding the availability situation."

He said on 2 November Amazon UK put a message on its site saying that orders placed after this date would not be fulfilled before Christmas.

The spokesman added that it had also sent an e-mail to all Xbox 360 customers saying that they may not get their console in time for Christmas.

"We apologise if anyone has been disappointed, we are trying to be fair to everybody," he said. "This is not a situation unique to Amazon."

Amazon UK had allocated Xbox 360 consoles on a first-come, first-served basis but, he added, there may have been isolated incidents where this has not taken place.

He urged frustrated customers to contact customer service to find out what was happening with their order and said Amazon was working to get more stock.

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