I Hate Gamestop – Reason 387,832

I. Hate. Gamestop.  It feels wonderful to type those words. When I read them I feel like Andy Dufresne after he crawls out of a sewer pipe to freedom.

I hate Gamestop.  There’s nothing more absolute in this world.

There are dozens, hundreds of thousands of reasons for the unprecedented level of hatred I feel towards the Gamestop Corporation (many of which have been referenced on our Now Loadin’ Podcast.)

As a quick refresher, here’s a small, off-the-cuff sampling of reasons:

  • Reason 34:  Gamestop’s in-store experience is awful.
    • Exhibit A: Every Gamestop I’ve ever visited has half-broken, filthy demo station controllers. The only sensible conclusion is Gamestop christens the demo stations by bringing a bunch of fat kids to each store to spill cheetos and RC over everything and sit, and most certainly chew, on the controllers.
    • Exhibit B: There are  junk bins of old games nobody wants.  i literally saw a copy of Doom ’95 in a store. That happened a few months ago. It was 2011.
    • Exhibit C: Gamestop displays their games on the wall like you’re browsing in a Blockbuster.  Flag to Gamestop: things didn’t end well for Blockbuster.
  • Reason 2,356: Their employees are shockingly clueless about gaming, or perhaps more nefariously they intentionally provide misleading counsel to susceptible customers
    • Exhibit A:  I saw a Gamestop employee try to convince an innocent mother to buy her son Tony Hawk Ride.  NOBODY liked Tony Hawk Ride and EVERYBODY knew it. I’m damn sure the Gamestop employee knew it as well.  Thankfully the game was so bad that even the non-gaming mother knew something was rotten and didn’t go through with the purchase.  Regardless, this attempted scam reminded me of the classic prank call where a radio station calls a woman who’s clueless about cars and convinces her that the first engine doesn’t need repair but the second engine needs to be replaced.
    • Exhibit B: When I was buying Assassin’s Creed II an employee told me that if I liked the Assassin’s Creed series I should really pick up Super Mario Galaxy. In related news, he also told me if I enjoy a good steak there’s no way I wouldn’t enjoy a heaping plate of brusselsprouts!
  • Reason 56,523: Gamestop is light years behind other retailers.
    • Exhibit A:  Gamestop just got in-store pickup and it’s not even available for a large portion of their items.  Best Buy has had that for 3 years.
    • Exhibit B: Gamestop just launched downloadable games. This is likely because they see the writing on the wall and it clearly says that the next generation of consoles will have direct to consumer downloads for all games.  Unfortunately that writing has been on the wall for about 4 years now. Too little, way too late.
  • Reason 100,773:  Their corporate headquarters routinely makes terrible and possibly illegal decisions
  • Reason 274,743: Gamestop started as Babbages.  Babbages was awesome. I loved Babbages.  I hate Gamestop.

Due to the reasons above and thousands of unlisted reasons, my hate for Gamestop reached such a pureness that I swore off ever patronizing the store again.  When it comes to buying games I’m now an Amazonian first and a Best Buyer second. So why the new reason for hating Gamestop?  Why have I been dragged back to the devil’s doorstep?

It starts with Christmas. My girlfriend’s brother and his wife know that I’m a gamer so they decided to give me a gift certificate to use toward games. Both of them not being gamers and being completely unaware of the crimes continually perpetrated by Gamestop, they gave me a Gamestop gift card. It was very sweet gift yet at the same time  [insert massive frowny face.]

So that brings me to my latest reason:

Reason 387,832

My girlfriend and I are close friends with a couple who just bought FIFA Soccer 12.  They love soccer and play the game extensively so I thought it would be great to acquire so we can play 2 v 2 matches. So in the interest of being slightly more social I decided to buy FIFA Soccer 12.

So I clicked my way to Gamestop, navigated through their awful navigation and purchase system (Reasons 235,835 and 235,836, respectively.)   Everything was looking just fine, they had a pre-payed copy and after tax and shipping costs were added in the order total was $49.37.  The gift card amount was $50.

“Perfect”, I thought to myself as I placed the order.

Anger Rises

The next day I receive the following email:

This intrigued me for several reasons

  1. that i received it in the first place
  2. that Gamestop uses such generic language that it’s clear they have no idea i paid with a gift card.  since my “credit card company” is GAMESTOP (insert three thousand swear words!)
  3. that Gamestop uses email subject replies to trigger actions in their order system.  How delightfully confusing and archaic!
I hate you Gamestop.

Hatred Explosion

So i went to my account to look at my order and what to my wondering eyes should appear but:

This made steam blow out of my ears for two reasons:

  1. my order was invalidated because the actual tax was $1.19 more than the estimated tax.  Thus my order total exceeded the $50 gift card amount
  2. I NEVER AGREED TO PAY $50.56 .  I agreed to pay $49.37.

Firstly, you can’t just change an agreed upon order total because you have an inaccurate tax estimator. This is the 21st century, Gamestop. It’s time you calculate actual taxes just like real companies do (e.g. Best Buy.)  Secondly, if you do change the total order amount you better damn well let me know before you charge it to my card.

I hate you Gamestop.

Hatred Explosion Part Deux

A day later I tried to purchase the game again and further infuriate myself so I cancelled my original order and tried re-ordering.  This time I entered my gift card information but also my credit card information in hopes that my credit card could cover the small overage. NICE TRY, CHAS BUT YOU ARE A FOOLISH IDEALIST NOT FIT FOR GAMESTOP’S WORLD!  Since the consistently inaccurate tax estimator still calculated my order at $49.37 the Gamestop system didn’t even log my credit card in the order. So one day later I received the same form email telling me my credit card company declined payment.

Now it looks like I’m going to have to either call Gamestop support just to order a game (completely ridiculous) or go into a store to scrounge for a used copy of FIFA Soccer 12. Hopefully I can find a copy sandwiched between a water-damaged Earthworm Jim on SNES and the Horde starring Kirk Cameron on MS-DOS (ludicrous speed).

I hate you Gamestop.  I hate you with every fiber of my being.

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