Gamestop Screws Up Pre-Orders, Still Hasn't Fixed Them

It almost goes without saying that you should never trust Gamestop, but you’d at least expect them to honor ads that they’ve approved and printed. Gamestop pre-sold a Consumerist reader the new Medal of Honor game for Xbox 360 back in August. Part of the deal—according to their ad—was a card good for 400 free Marketplace Points for use on Xbox Live. But instead, they cancelled the card from his order, then gave him an incorrect reason for the cancellation, then admitted fault and promised to make everything right. As of today—almost a full month since the game was released—he still hasn’t received the points.

When Bill noticed the card had been removed from his order, he contacted Gamestop’s customer service. Their response:

Unfortunately, the MOH 400 XB Points Card was cancelled from your order due to product cancellation.

He wrote back and pointed out that the item was a free promotion, and that it was available when he pre-ordered the game. On September 5th, they responded:

The 400 point card was cancelled from all MOH: Airborne orders; however, we were previously mistaken as to the reason.  The card was removed as all 400 point MS codes are being emailed out to customers digitally instead of a physical card.  Customers will still receive the 400 MS points offered with the order, but will receive them via email.  We apologize for previous any misunderstanding concerning this order.

That same day, they sent out a form email that announced the same message. And nearly a month later, still nothing. (Well, email does take a long time to arrive, what with the tubes being clogged up by BitTorrent and all.)

To readers, this might look like gross incompetence, but try imagine what Gamestop execs must be thinking—probably something along the lines of, “What a cost-effective way to extend the value of our ad budget! Great idea, Johnson! Harrumph!”

(Thanks, Bill!)

original ad, still available on Gamestop’s servers


Edit Your Comment

  1. Geekybiker says:

    Gamestop incompetent? I am just *so* shocked. I hate those boutique stores. Worthless.

  2. d0x says:

    First mistake was buying the horrid game, the second mistake is trusting GS to do anything…

    I pre-ordered a Xbox 360 there, in fact i was #1. They promised no matter what since i was #1 in the store I would get one on launch.

    Fast forward to 3 weeks before launch they call me and tell me “We have lost your pre-order and have no record of it”.

    What!? First off, if they have no record of my pre-order why are they calling me? How would they know it call? Do they call every customer to inform them they didnt pre-order a 360 and then just say they lost the order? It just doesnt make sense.

    So i try to work it out and they end up finding it. Well its too late because they have already made the calls saying who gets a 360 on day 1 and im off the list.

    Launch day comes, i wait outside for 17 hours in the freezing rain at target, 1st in line and I pick up my new 360 and go home. A few hours later GS opens so i go there to pick up the 5 games I’ve paid off for 360…Ooops we lost those too!

    So i go home and find my receipts for all but 2 of the orders showing they were paid off. I pick up my games 3 weeks later cause they were sold out and I lost $120 in the process.

    At the time GS was still not keeping computer records of orders. They did everything with paper slips and a freakin box! I vowed never to shop there again but one day they hired a new manager who listened to my story of horror and she hooked me up and got me back in the store shopping. Now she is gone and I hate all the new people..they are almost as bad as the old people so im probably going to no longer shop there now that I have my Halo 3 Legendary Edition.

    Oh and do yourself a favor, call the DM from inside the store. That works everytime..I would know I used to work at EB.

  3. Echodork says:

    You’re not getting the points, friend. Gamestop is notorious for advertising a free “tag along” promotion for pre-releases, but such promotions are good “while supplies last.” If they advertise a t-shirt and you aren’t one of the first three to pick up your pre-order, no shirt for you.

    I’m a former Gamestop manager… so is this a CONFESSION OF A FORMER GAMESTOP MANAGER? Maybe. Maybe.

  4. Steel_Pelican says:

    I’m betting the reason he hasn’t gotten his points code is that GS doesn’t have (or has an inaccurate version of) his e-mail address.

    A good CSR should have been able to handle this, though. If they couldn’t get him into the system to get the e-mail code, a gift card to pick up, say, 1000 MS points would have been fair, I think.

    But if GS trains their CSR’s like they trained me (a former GS drone), that’s probably an unrealistic expectation.

  5. Uriel says:

    Gamestop is a good name for a store that makes you stop gaming, or is that too redundant?

  6. nursetim says:

    But how did he get the form e-mail stating that GS didn’t have the cards to send out and would instead send them via e-mail if that is true?

  7. BillDoE says:


    You are correct. I have done thousands of dollars worth of business at since 2005. I have never had a problem receiving emails, or any orders for that matter, that weren’t caused by UPS losing my package.

    Yes,I know the game wasn’t to great. I’m just a sucker for WWII Games. For the first time in my life I have pre-ordered a game (CoD 4)from Best Buy. I hope they deliver.

  8. MT says:

    After several Gamestop employees openly laughed in my face and called me a liar for saying I was purchasing Madden ’07 for myself (I’m female) as opposed to buying it for a boyfriend/brother, I vowed not to go there again.

  9. exkon says:

    I’m generally very satisfied with my service at my local Gamestop/EBgames. No really big issues with them other than the religious “Would you like to pre-order XXXXX” which I politely decline, unless there is something I want.

    My one gripe is that some of people just don’t know what’s happening or they’re not allowed to say anything.

    Example, a week before the new Slim PSP is supposed to be released, I go two Gamestops, they don’t even know when the system is coming…do they NOT go on the internet? I don’t really care, I’m just curious to ask and see if they know there stuff.

  10. freakinalex says:

    I wouldn’t say that you should never trust Gamestop. I’ve been shopping there for a good 5-6 years or more, and the only problem I’ve ever had with them was buying a used DVD that didn’t work, which they replaced with no hassle.

    Or maybe the people working at the Gamestops here just really care about their customers.

  11. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    Pre-order anything at GameSnot and expect them to have it?? Doubtful. Unless you work there or know someone who does.

  12. yg17 says:

    @Echodork: I preordered Guitar Hero 3 at GS/EB and the promotion was I’d get a free poster (big deal). I thought I’d get it when I got the game on release date, but they gave it to me when I preordered (which has been sitting in the back of my car for the past month).

    Now I just hope GS actually has my copy of GH3 on release date. If not, I’m gonna have to choke a bitch.

  13. 82300sd says:

    Wow, people still pay retail+tax at overpriced mall stores?

  14. ShadowFalls says:


    I know what you mean. I was talking to someone in line about the PSP and all and he brought up why he bought a Slim PSP was for hooking it up to the TV. Basically, he was having difficulties finding the cable at other stores. He asked the employees at the counter who had no idea about it, luckily I had spotted it about 10 minutes earlier on the wall and pointed it out to him.

    It seems to me, working in a stores that sells games, knowing something about it should be a requirement. If I went to a bank and asked a teller about their CDs and they tell me they are not sure if they do that… well.. just wow would come to mind.

    As for this issue, what Gamestop did was essentially illegal in many states. They baited you to purchase something, and later removed the item that baited you into that transaction when you had an agreement to purchase the said item along with the free item.

  15. Raziya says:

    I am sure Shadowfire (my fiance, he posts on here) will have something to say about this later, since he worked at Gamestop for 11 years until this April, but I will say that I have never had a problem with them messing anything of mine up…but this might come from being engaged to the boss and going to high school (and being friends with) our new manager now that Shadowfire has left.

    I think, like all stores, it really depends on the people who are working there. But, I will say that Gamestop as a company has significantly gone downhill since they merged with EB, and I am glad that my fiance got out of there when he did!

  16. gapboyt says:

    On a whole I think GameStop does a decent job at what they do. Some people fail to remember that in a company the size of GameStop, is that things do mess up! Especially when you have multiple layers of managament that has to filter everything to their people.

    My reccomendation, if it is really that bad stop complaining and put your money where your mouth is. Go somewhere else like Best Buy, and don’t flame me because I said that. You have a choice where to spend your money. Make the choice.

  17. SaraAB87 says:

    The service you get really depends on the store and the store manager, and this goes for all retail chains. The gamestops where I live must have a fairly good manager as I usually get good service in their stores, and believe it or not as a female I feel like I get some respect in those stores. They do not hassle me for preorders (strange I know) and they don’t ask me to sign up for their edge card. However they usually charge 5$ more for new DS games, and I am not fond of them selling opened games as new so I try to shop elsewhere whenever possible, usually at an online store. They have also raised the prices on many gamecube games, despite the fact that they are not selling at all and its an outdated system.

  18. Buran says:

    @MT: I hope you dropped the box on the floor, turned on your heel, and walked out. I would have. (I’m not a sports gamer, but I am a female flight sim/action gamer).

  19. Shadowfire says:

    I’m just curios… did the OP check his spam box? I mean, that’s where my Call of Duty 4 beta code ended up…

    As for the rest, enough people have mentioned that whether Gamestop sucks or not depends largely on the management at your particular store. My store still gives me the hookup, because they know me (11 years in the company will do that), and because the employees there genuinely care about customers having a good experience. Other stores? Not so much… welcome to the sad reality of retail. :(

  20. Buran says:

    @Echodork: Oh, he is getting those points. Or it’s fraud.

  21. yg17 says:

    @82300sd: Cheaper than retail+shipping at online stores. And even if it is cheaper online, it will only be by a few dollars, and you have to wait, unless you get overnight shipping which will knock the price way over the retail cost.

    I’ll stick with my retail stores. When I’m at home and not at college, I’m 10 minutes away from a 2 GameStops, an EB Games, Target, Circuit City, Best Buy, Wal-Mart and Slackers (local music/game chain). A lot quicker than any online retail store can get a game to me. I’ll take Instant Gratification for 500 Alex!

  22. BlackestRose says:


    I’ve had the same problem with Gamestop and EB. When I went in to get my PSP, they insisted I was getting it for my husband standing next to me. He kept having to walk away from the counter to get them to deal with me instead of him.

    But the creme de la resistance was when my then 9 yr old girl was playing one of the Donkey Konga games and the clerk went up to insist on “showing” her how to play – elbowing her out of the way. She then gave him a disgusted look, waited for him to finish and then beat his score. Though I was proud of her, I was really p*ssed at him. Never one to be quiet I asked to speak to the manager, who listened smirked and never said he was sorry.

    I try not to go in there anymore though my teenage son loves the place. Even Wal-Mart is better.

    What they fail to realize, is that I, the 40 something yr old mom, control the purse strings and Gamestop lost my business.

  23. Echodork says:

    @Buran: No, he really isn’t. The fine print on the offer very likely says “while supplies last.” YANAL.

    Going to sue over 400 MS points?

  24. Thanatos- says:

    I never shop at gamestop i refuse, though recently when the Valve Orange Box promotion came out (TF2 Beta Key) I was tempted i called my local GS on the day the promotion started and low an behold they had no clue what i was talking about. So i called the next day and talked to a different person, same thing. The next day i talked to a manager and he didnt even know what i was talking about. But when i called on the fourth day they said they were out of beta key, which sounded fishy because it was my understanding that the key would be emailed to you? So they helped resolidify my resolve to never shop there again.

  25. biff2kplus1 says:

    I had pre-ordered Halo 3 last year at Gamestop when the price for the Legendary Edition was still $100. And I know the price increase was set by Microsoft but I just don’t understand how a company, in good faith, can advertise an item for a specific price and then when the publisher changes the price just say “oh well”. These types of problems are such a common place because they know we will pay and we will get the game even without the extra items or pay the extra money because we already are shelling out so much for “entertainment”. I walked in to pick up my copy and said “here is the $100 for Halo 3” and they said “Sorry but the price has gone up since you pre-ordered so we will need the extra $30 if you’d like to get your copy.” And the thing that pissed me off the most was the fact that they said “To make up for this issue we’d like to offer you an extra 10% on game trades if it goes to Halo 3”. “Sweet,” I thought to myself. So now instead of giving me $2 for a game that you will sell as used for $30 you’ll give me $2.20 Wow. I’d have to bring in $300 (trade in cost) to make up for the $30 that you should have fought with MS about because YOU are THEIR outlet to sell their product. And if you get burned by loosing customers then that means people will just go to Best Buy and the instead of coming to you. Now MS wins and you loose. Unless they are giving out something for free, I won’t be going back their any time soon.