If you were lucky enough to nab a SNES Classic Edition last Friday from Walmart, you may have seen several complaints from users online about their orders being canceled. Some claimed they were told it was due to a payment error, while others claimed to know employees who had confirmed all orders were certain to be canceled. Perhaps you’ve seen your bank account debited the amount of your purchase, which seemed as though it’d be a sure bet you’d be getting your system.
That all seems to have come crashing down, however, as today Walmart continued to send more volleys of cancelation emails to hopeful fans looking forward to beating the rush when the SNES Classic Edition makes its way to store shelves. A brand new series of emails stating that individuals’ orders went through thanks to an error in the retailer’s computer system went out today, noting that said orders will indeed be canceled if they weren’t already.
The news was broken via boilerplate email stating the following:
Thank you for your interest in the Super Nintendo Entertainment System – Classic Edition. As you are aware, this is a highly sought after console that will launch later this fall.
Unfortunately, due to a technical glitch, the Super Nintendo Classic Edition was mistakenly made available last Friday evening ahead of the official release date. We, regrettably, will have to cancel this item on your order. We know that this is incredibly disappointing to you, and we’re truly sorry for this mistake.
In regards to the cancellation of this item, if you paid by credit card, your card has not been charged. Any authorization holds placed on your account will automatically expire in accordance with the card issuer’s policy. If you paid through PayPal or with a gift card, your payment will be refunded when the order is cancelled.
The official launch date for this item is 9/29, please check the product page on Walmart.com prior to that date for any updates.
I do hope you’ll give us another chance to earn back your business.
Previously there were some murmurings from buyers who had contacted Walmart customer service and other retail representatives, who were either informed that “all preorders would be canceled” or similar responses, but I personally received this cancellation notice after reaching out in an official capacity to Walmart’s press team and Twitter account asking for clarification on the matter and receiving nothing in return. I’ve yet to receive any sort of information on the cancelled orders other than what I’ve seen shared online, though it seems as though this is the real deal.
But the real issue isn’t that there was a system error or some sort of glitch that kept me from getting a SNES Classic Edition, which will be going up for preorder at a later date. It’s Walmart’s handling of the situation that bothers me. Without having official numbers of how many people were able to get in for the 30-45 minute window it appeared that the systems were available for preorder during, it seems that this was a massive problem and one that continues to plague the retailer. Tons of people obviously got through, and are now being let down with a generic “customer service apology” message that does little to engender the desire to continue shopping at Walmart.
Walmart needs to come up with some sort of plan to take care of the customers it seems to refuse to want to give explicit answers to. Right now the mixed messages and signals it’s sending to confused customers is nothing short of ridiculous, especially when additional emails are going out to customers at the time of this writing that state the following:
We wanted to let your know that your preorder item release date has changed. The updated release date is 09/29/2017.
Please review your order details below.
We’re sorry if this date change is an inconvenience. The product manufacturer controls the release date for this product and we’ll ship it to you as quickly as we can once it’s released.
If you have any questions, please visit our Help Center. Please do not reply to this email. This mailbox is unmonitored.
It seems even customers who have gone to speak to customer service agents online have been given the runaround, throwing an additional wrench into the system. What does this even mean, Walmart?
With the SNES Classic Edition in such high demand, those who were able to secure a preorder likely thought this would be the end of the frustrating search awaiting them when the system drops. When it comes to items like these that retailers have decided to begin bundling (see ThinkGeek’s NES Classic Edition bundles) to sell at higher prices and scalpers selling the items for hundreds of dollars, you’ve got to think beyond the “we’re sorry about that” mentality and look to the future.
Is this going to keep customers coming back? Is it going to ensure anyone will actually purchase their SNES Classic Edition when it’s available for real next time? If you received one of the aforementioned emails, is your order canceled or is it not?
Mindblowingly, it seems, at this point even Walmart has no earthly idea. Hopefully, we’ll be able to share some definitive answers as time stretches on.