When you buy a video game from Barnes & Noble online, the order is actually fulfilled by GameStop. A nice little bit of corporate synergy and specialization, right? The problem is that when you make a mistake or something goes wrong with your order, you enter a strange state of e-commerce purgatory, with each retailer claiming that the other is the only one empowered to change or cancel your order. That’s what happened to Patrick, whose order has now lurked in corporate synergy purgatory for an entire month.
Here’s a horrible Gamestop shopping experience that we never would have expected: a customer bought a few inexpensive used games, got them home, and discovered that they were terribly buggy. And by “buggy,” we mean “the cases were filled with dead roaches and roach eggs.”
The bad news: the GameStop where Ambyr went to buy a copy of Call of Duty: Black Ops for her husband only had enough copies of the game to fill pre-orders. The good news: In GameStop’s universe, to “pre-order” means that you leave the store that just refused to sell you a game, order that game online, and then return fifteen minutes later. Bad for logic, good for Ambyr.
Last week, we learned that at least one Gamestop employee won’t even sell to you unless you sign up for a rewards card. Why might that be? Reader Dragonfire81 has mysterious inside knowledge, and warns all good Consumerists to stay far, far away from the new rewards program that Gamestop is pushing.
Did you know that GameStop is a membership-only establishment, like a warehouse club? You’re only allowed to shop there if you have their rewards card. I didn’t know that, and neither did Jeff. He tells Consumerist that he foolishly tried to purchase a game, but refused to join the rewards program or give the cashier his phone number. The cashier, in turn, refused to sell anything to him.
Tyler says that on four different occasions now, the Xbox Live points and subscription cards he’s bought have been invalid when he redeems them. He had a friend at Gamestop help him out with the invalid subscription card, but he’s stuck with useless paper when it comes to the points cards.
A California court has ruled that software makers can forbid buyers from reselling a copy of a program they bought. This is not about people making illegal copies of games, this is about buying a CD with a program on it and not being able to resell that CD. Expect this to go to appeal, but watch out, Gamestop.
If you play games on the website Kongregate–its founders say 10 million players stop by every month–then congratulations, you’re about to become GameStop’s new BFF. There’s no word yet on how this will affect the Kongregate community; the site lets people play online games for free, and GameStop says that the its founders will continue to run things for now. If we start seeing offers to pre-order an upcoming online free game, I guess we’ll know the takeover is complete.
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.
With average prices of around $60-$70 for a new title, video games are a pricey prospect, especially for skilled gamers who can finish some games in an afternoon. GameStop and others have capitalized on this buyer’s remorse by buying back used games, the money for which is often spent immediately at that same store. Tired of watching others capitalize on this model, Best Buy has announced a plan to allow customers to trade in their old games.
Jason went into GameStop to trade in his Xbox 360, and experienced something odd. He says they refused to take his trade-in unless he bought new non-HD cables so they could test the system with the non-HD TVs they had in the store.
A former GameStop employee and Consumerist reader wrote in to share her story of why she decided to quit her gig as a “Game Advisor” after learning that her store was knowingly reselling video games heisted from the local Best Buy store.
Adam tried to buy some games at GameStop by using his credit card, but balked when the clerk demanded he show his ID. He alerted the higher-ups that the denial was a violation of the MasterCard merchant agreement, but the complaint fell on deaf ears. He writes:
A man in Michigan grew so angry that GameStop wouldn’t take back his Xbox without a receipt that he threatened to kill someone and went to get something from his vehicle. The GameStop clerk called 911, and “Four Troy police officers, armed with rifles, stormed into [the] Oakland Mall store” and subdued him. He had an illegal stun gun on him but no firearm.