As a result of today's news that Australian retailer GAME has gone into administration, select GAME stores will not be receiving stock of Diablo III. Kotaku AU has just been informed that if you have a pre-order with a store not receiving Diablo III stock, no refunds will be provided.
The following text message has been sent to consumers who have existing pre-orders with stores not receiving stock:
Due to the appointment of an administrator to our business this morning, it is with regret that I inform you all that our stores will not be receiving any stock of diablo 3. Because of this, we regrettably will be unable to fulfill any pre-orders. Also, we will be unable to refund any deposits paid towards a pre-order of diablo 3. If you need any more info, please email email@example.com
We called up one of the stores not receiving Diablo III stock. According to that store manager - cash placed on Diablo III pre-orders cannot be used to buy other games and it cannot be used to pre-order other unreleased titles. It is simply money the consumer will have to write off.
Incredibly this is not illegal.
It's a complex situation. Apparently you're in a much better position to do something about the pre-order if you paid with credit card, in which case you can dispute the payment itself. Another solution, which some may find unwieldy, is to actually register as a creditor. GAME Australia's website actually provides details on how you can do this, by sending Proof of Debt forms to this address:
GPO Box 2650
Technically, with GAME going into administration, consumers with paid pre-orders have become unsecured creditors. The Corporations Act determines the order that creditors are paid, and unsecured creditors are generally at the bottom of a long list. You can find more information about your specific rights here.