Amazon.co.uk Xbox 360 order cancellations a 'mistake'

Demands £12 'sourcing fee' for some 360 games

Griffin TuneCenter iPod dock

Exclusive Amazon.co.uk today admitted that the cancellation of a raft of Xbox 360 'standard edition' orders had been a "mistake". The company told Reg Hardware it would contact all affected customers to re-instate their aborted orders.

However, the online giant has also courted controversy by demanding a "sourcing fee" for certain Xbox 360 games.

The cancellations affect the Xbox 360 that's bundled with a 20GB hard disk, wireless controller and other peripherals. Customers began receiving cancellation notices this week. They were provided with no clue as to why Amazon.co.uk could no longer supply the console.

"This item has now been cancelled from your order and we can confirm that you have not been charged for it," said a number of Amazon.co.uk emails seen by Reg Hardware. "Please accept our apologies for any disappointment or inconvenience caused."

The company today apologised again, this time for the cancellations, which a spokesman said had been issued in error.

"We fully intend to fulfill these orders," he said. The orders will be fulfilled by 31 March, as previously promised - we have always kept customers in the loop on ship dates, he added. The cancellations were a "mistake".

The spokesman stressed the supply problem is one the whole games industry is facing, not just Amazon.co.uk. The issues doesn't affect the Xbox 360 Core system, which lacks the 20GB HDD pack and the wireless controller, he said.

The supply issues appear to extend to software too. Amazon.co.uk has begun charging an extra £10-12 for certain Xbox 360 titles, including Call of Duty 2, Dead or Alive 4, Project Gotham Racing 3, Full Auto and Kameo: Elements of Power.

Other online retailers we checked with today do not appear to be levying the 'finder's fee', which a number of consumers claimed lifts the effective UK price even further above what US buyers pay for Xbox 360 games.

A £49.99 title now costs £61.99 from Amazon.co.uk, including the £12 sourcing fee. That's the equivalent of $108 - compared to the $59.99 Amazon.com is asking. ®

Sponsored: 5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup