THOUSANDS of Klarna and Xbox shoppers are being urged to check their credit scores after direct debits were set up to a sold-out subscription.
The new Xbox Series X is being sold as a subscription model for £25 a month with access to more than 100 games.
Although it won't be available until November, shoppers could start pre-ordering it this week through Game and Smyths Toys which both use buy- now, pay-later service Klarna.
Due to high demand, some shoppers have found their orders were unsuccessful, yet Klarna has still set up direct debits for their payments.
The service has also conducted hard credit checks, which could affect your ability to get credit products, such as a loan or mortgage, in the future.
Angry shoppers have vented about the problems in recent days, with one user saying: @Klarna bought an Xbox yesterday through all access signed credit agreement. Set up direct debit. Hard credit search done.
"Clicked finish. No stock. So now no Xbox and impacted credit score. What the hell are you doing?"
Another user said: "The latest @SmythsToysUK Xbox ballache - @Klarna
have set up a direct debit for an order that didn't go through!
"Apparently I wasn't successful for credit, but they went ahead and set up a direct debit anyway.
"Oh, and did a hard credit check. For a console I didn't order. Thanks lads!"
And a third one added that she was given confirmation of credit by Klarna, only to be told the item was out of stock.
She added: "So am I now just going to have money taken for nothing?"
Klarna said the problems occurred as retailers ran out of stock and had to close online orders whilst consumers were part way through the checkout, or had just completed their credit applications.
My Xbox order didn't go through, what do I do?
Klarna said affected customers will be contacted by the retailers and receive the bundle when it becomes available again.
The Sun has asked both Game and Smyths Toys when it'll receive more stock, so we'll update this article if we get a response.
Klarna also insisted that no one will be left paying for a product they didn't receive.
Consumers who no longer want the Xbox bundle should contact Klarna, which said it'll make sure the check is removed from their credit score.
Klarna shoppers can get in touch on the In App chat, via 0808 189 3333 or by emailing [email protected]
How can I view my credit score for free?
ALL three credit referencing agencies offer you the chance to view your score, report and more for a monthly fee BUT you can get hold of your score for free without paying for a subscription.
For on-going monitoring, here's what the three credit reference agencies provide:
You also have a legal right to access your report from each CRA for just £2 - but this won't include your score.
Alternatively, you check your credit score for free using the following third parties:
Salman Haqqi, personal finance expert at money.co.uk, told The Sun: "It is important to check your credit score, as the Klarna application will be visible to other lenders on your file.
"If you don’t receive an Xbox and you still have Klarna on your file, ensure that you contact the company and ask for the reference to be removed, so it will not affect any future credit applications.
"If you made lots of applications while trying to order your Xbox, Klarna would have made one initial hard credit check, after that any subsequent searches will have been soft credit checks, which are not visible to lenders.
"If you can see multiple hard credit checks recorded on your file, or if your order was unsuccessful and you don't think you should have been credit checked at all, you should contact Klarna directly to resolve the issue."
Martyn James, consumer expert of complaints tool Resolver, added: "The important thing here is that consumers aren’t impacted.
If you're in the process of getting a mortgage, several hard checks on your credit file can affect your chances of getting one, he added.
Having the checks removed from your file can also take time, so in the meantime, contact the credit referencing agencies and ask them to make a note on your file.
If you're not getting anywhere with Klarna, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman, Mr James said.
Klarna said in a statement on its website: "We recognise this has been a frustrating experience for many of our consumers.
"Please rest assured that we are working hard with our retailers and we are extremely sorry for any inconvenience or distress this may have caused."
The Sun contacted Smyths Toys and Game for comment.
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A few months ago, a charity warned that Klarna's new loyalty scheme "encourages overspending".
Buy-now, pay-later firms have been criticised for the long term affects of short-term payment plans if shoppers can't afford to pay it back.
If you're unable to pay then it may be passed onto a debt collector.