Lu seems to have annual run-ins with stubborn gaming retailers. Last year, a simple GameCrazy purchase racked up illicit fees and an apology from the chain’s district manager. This year, he writes that Gamestop decided to just deny an online purchase with no obvious problems. Why? Apparently Gamestop’s system just doesn’t like Lu.
I’ve written to The Consumerist once before, regarding my misadventures at Game Crazy. Well, I seem to have the worst luck with game specialty retailers because just today I had a very peculiar problem with Game Stop. This isn’t a typical Game Stop story about how the sales associates badger customers for memberships, how a used game was in horrible condition, or general ranting about how used game companies “rip people off.” The story is short and simple: I wanted to order something from Gamestop.com, and my order was almost immediately cancelled, with absolutely no cited reason.
The long story: I placed an order last night on Gamestop.com because they had a coupon code for 20% off all orders over $29.99 with free shipping. This morning, I checked the order status and to my surprise, it said that it had been cancelled. I did recently get an AMEX, which is the card I used in this transaction, so I thought that maybe it was an issue with that (though, I am doubtful because I’ve used it successfully everywhere else for the past month). So I placed the order again with my Mastercard (which is many years old, and never been denied anywhere).
After an hour or so passes, I check the order status, and it’s cancelled yet again. I called customer service this time. (By the way, I have to admit the Game Stop customer service “on hold” music is awesome — started with 8-bit Mario and moved on to stuff like Castlevania and Final Fantasy VII.) Anyway, I detailed my issue to the CS rep, and she tried to look into it, typing away. After a few minutes, she asked if I could be placed on hold because she didn’t see anything wrong with my order and it’s not giving her any details about the cancellation. She also asked if this is the first time I’ve ordered from Gamestop.com, and I said yes.
When I got placed off of hold, she told me she had her supervisor look at my order and they still don’t know what’s wrong. Then, she literally said, “there is just something with your information that is clashing with the system — there isn’t anything we can do.” I was (and still am) confused by this comment. She said that this sort of thing is very rare and it’s just some supposed complication with their system. I responded, “so basically I can *never* order from Gamestop.com?” and she, a bit embarrassingly, confirmed this assertion. I asked her if it was something wrong with my credit card, or maybe my shipping address. She said she just didn’t know, and repeated her statement regarding my information “clashing” with the system. I also asked if it had anything to do with the coupon code then. The answer to all my questions were met with a blank “I don’t know” response.
A few minutes after my call, I finally received an automated email saying my first order was cancelled. I’ve attached an image of it with my comments.
I’m not sure what to say here. I am not really outraged, but rather exceedingly baffled as to how unwilling (or perhaps incapable) customer service was to help me solve the problem. No suggestion that I should try a retail store, no assistance whatsoever to help me complete my order. They basically told me that I am not allowed to order from their online site. I’m not sure how common this problem is, but in this day and age, it bewilders me that any company would turn away paying customers that have a simple problem like placing an online order.
Baffling. In the end, though, it sounds like this is a case where you should just take the hint and take your business elsewhere.