Harvey Norman Games Sale Goes Awry As Customers Bemoan Unfulfilled Orders

When Harvey Norman staged a 50 per cent off games sale last month, it attracted lots of buyers keen for a bargain. However, not everyone is happy with the outcome: some shoppers are reporting extended delays in receiving their games, along with poor and conflicting information from customer service.

Picture by Chris Hyde/Getty Images

One Lifehacker reader contacted us with a detailed account of what went wrong for him. He ordered Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 for the PlayStation Vita on March 28, and received an order confirmation the same day. On March 29, he was told there had been a delay in fulfilling the order, but told it would be ready within five days. On April 12, he lodged a query about the order's status, and was told in a brief one-line message "we are trying our bet [sic] to have your order completed next week". The reader queried why Harvey Norman thought this was an appropriate response or timeframe, and was told the retailer was still awaiting stock. A subsequent message on April 15 said the game would ship "this week". Then on Tuesday this week, he was told:

Hi sorry about the delay in order we are still waiting shipment of your game in from supplier

None of this suggests an organisation with a good handle on either stock control or answering customer queries.

There's a thread at Whirlpool where many shoppers recount similar experiences, though it's also worth noting that plenty of people have received their games. Regardless, a sale shouldn't be an excuse for shoddy customer treatment. It's an area where Harvey Norman needs to be particularly careful, given its often shaky reputation for in-store service and founder Gerry Harvey's wildly-oscillating view of online retailing.

Had your own experience (good or bad) with the games sale? Share it in the comments.


Comments

    Ever seen that guy and Mr Burns in the same room together?

    I actually ordered a game and chose pickup from store (Even though it wasn't in stock on the website, I went to the store and they had a few copies on the shelves. What really pisses me off, is they actually had the item in-store on the day I ordered it, but refused to let me take it because the floor stock was 'already reserved for other internet orders'.) Anyways, I assumed they would be able to deliver to the store faster then it would go to my house. After 3 weeks of waiting I had still not even received an invoice or order confirmation number.
    I e-mailed Harvey norman and received a reply 3 days later (Even though it says 24hours on the website), turns out my order had gone missing and I had to provide proof of purchase (via bank statement) to pick up my item.
    I did eventually get the game after nearly 4 weeks. I will not EVER be shopping at Harvey Norman again, for anything. You really dropped the ball on this one.

    Kind of a sensationalist story isn't it - how many shoppers are we talking about? Is it a large percentage of buyers? We all know how loud one dissatisfied buyer can be, so if this was a large scale issue, there would be a huge outcry.
    Even reading the Whirlpool thread, it seems that people were receiving 2 games and were still waiting on a 3rd as an example. It does suggest that certain games ran out faster than expected which would validate your stock control statement.

      Take a look at the OzBargain thread for the sale, especially the last page or two -- there are definitely a lot of people affected.

      http://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/66621

      You seem to have missed the point. Real online stores don't keep selling when stock runs out.

      You like people taking your money and giving you your product weeks later? Amazon don't do this so why should Harvey Norman.

      It shows you can't just slap on a website and overnight compete in the online sales space.

      Hey RavenPoe,
      I ordered 1 game on the 29th of March. Mass Effect 3. My delivery address is in the Perth CBD. I am yet to hear from Harvey Norman cust reps or anyone for that matter. I've sent repeated enquiries to them and am yet to receive a single response. It has been over 4 weeks. So no, its not sensationalist. I believe the shops are inundated with request and CBF'd responding to customers.

    So HN advertises stock for sale, without actually having the stock on hand. I thought there was some sort of rule about not doing that without notifying the purchaser....

    Haven't received my games either..

    I thought it was pretty shady. I received my game about 3 weeks after ordering, which I'm thankful for, but the whole process left a bad taste in my mouth.

    had a similar thing happen with jb hi-fi's ordered a ps3 off them with next day shipping from one of the online departments sales and it took 2 weeks and a dozen phone calls to find out what was wrong first week they wouldnt even answer the phone then i finaly got the same message as the story about waiting on stock from the supplier

    always wondered why are companies allowed to have sales on products they dont even have in stock

      changed what i was typing but didn't clear it out completely, need an edit function :(

    My games took about two weeks to arrive (for in-store pickup). It didn't really bother me too much, since I wasn't planning on playing them straight away anyway, but it's still a little crazy that I could have ordered them from the UK for around the same price, and received them quicker.

    I ordered online and chose 'store pickup'.

    Rang the store and they said I could come in so long as I have proof. Got there and showed a guy a printout of the page after you click 'Pay/Purchase'. (Lucky I did since I didn't get the email confirmation that day).

    So anyway he gave me the game only because someone else already told me over the phone that I could come in. He didn't give me an actual receipt. He said i'd get a proper one on my email address.

    BTW I still haven't gotten my proper receipt yet via email, not that it's important but still WTF?

    I ordered 3 games. Unit 13 - vita, Skyrim - ps3, Uncharted 3 - ps3, and they all arrived on the day I ordered. Funny thing is, there was no postage stamp or usual markings from the post office on the package. I assume someone from the Harvey Normans up the road dropped it off on his way home!

    Same thing here - 20 day delay and some angry email ping pong. Glad I finally got my what I ordered - but I certainly won't be ordering from there again.

    I ordered a couple of xbox games for in store pick up and they both arrived within a reasonable time. Don't as a rule set foot in HN but this time the price was right.

    When Buying anything is it fair to say a lot of you think you are the only one buying that item? Be real! you are buying it cheap, you want it yesterday and you spit the dummy about poor service and/or delivery time? Lets face it would you buy from a site that says you will receive your item in three weeks? I doubt it! Lets be honest, Your expectations are unreal, Its only about you and your own instant gratification. If you expect it now, find it locally in stock and pay the price asked for it or get it cheap on the net and wait if you have too but stop blaming others because you choose to be or need to be cheap.

      Steve,
      Almost 5 weeks for a sale with no response to emails ? Is that justifiable. Pull you head out of your arse mate. The customer service in these HN and DS is absolutely abhorrent. There is a reason why HN has a 25% drop in revenue this quarter. Even in-store, the sales staff lack product knowledge and are quite unhelpful at the best of times. In contrast, online retailers like PCCG and the like have an extra-ordinary level of customer service for prices that are a fraction of these big retail chains. So, somehow it has become acceptable to provide shoddy piss-poor customer service if the stuff is cheap. The comment you made was asinine at best.

    Got mine (2x PS3 titles, relatively new/big games) delivered within a few days of ordering. Guess I got lucky.

    Everything and anything related to HN or "Derni Group" is dodgy, full stop. I think that someone should get them hard because the management people are the ones that are the dodgy ones. I feel sorry for the people that work there, because they have to "obey" HN workplace dodgyness. From falsifying invoices to fake price protections ... I honestly wish the someone would document and report them for what they do. And Gerry is wondering why people would not buy from his stores. It is because of him and his puppeteers, not the people that work for him.

    I had an awesome experience with Harvey Norman during the game sale.
    My games came in 3 days, my copy of Halo CE Anniversary wasn't working so the manager of the local store called me and offered to drive to my house with an exchange and try and help me work out what was wrong.
    Turns out my disc tray was stuffed, but I was happy with the service :D

    I ordered a ps3 game and it took about 2 weeks which is pretty good as everything takes an extra week to get out here. My biggest problem was that oz post didn't tell me it arrived.

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