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Feelin’ Criminal

October 17, 2008

So I walk into Gamestop yesterday to cancel my pre-order of Little Big Planet. I have decided that I will not have the time to utilize the level creation in the game and would rather purchase it later than having the box, still in shrink wrap, collecting dusk on my shelf. Casually, I tell the clerk that I would like to cancel my pre-order and she tells her manager that another pre-order has been canceled. The Gamestop manager proceeds to insinuate that I had purchased it from the Mom & Pop video game store across the street, Gameplay. Apparently, said store had broken the release date and started selling the game.
Now, I am not the biggest Gamestop fan but I am not a dissenter of the store chain. My brother had worked at an EB Games before the merger and I too had once worked in retail. But I do not appreciate that the fact that I am treated as some sort of criminal for cancelling my pre-order. I almost considered cancelling my Fallout 3 pre-order on the spot. This poor customer service is probably the largest fault of Gamestop–other than their status is a faceless, retail abusive corporation. I have no problem with the used-game market as it is more power to the consumer, though I do disagree with Gamestop’s policy on buying used games from customers.

The difference with the Mom & Pop store, Gameplay, is that the customer/retailer dynamic is much different. I can talk to a Gameplay employee for extended period of time without feeling compelled to purchase from the store that day. However, every employer at Gamestop feels like a salesman insisting me to pre-order a title, by some peripheral, getting a rewards card, or trying to sell a subscription to GamePro. It is a feeling of intrusiveness and dynamic where you seem more like commission number. And for the manager to relay a tone of accusation to an honest customer is down right insulting.

Though Gameplay is in the wrong for breaking the release date, it does not excuse this particular Gamestop to take out the frustration onto the customer. Though I still feel empathy for the lowly Gamestop employee that hates his manager and deplores the fact the he is required to push these ridiculous products and deals onto an unwanted customer, Gamestop can seriously f*ck off in the future.

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