Pre-Paid Reminder

July 1, 2007

Store: GameStop
Location: Round Rock, TX
Employee Description: Apathetic goon with bumbling sidekick
Name: Howard

Highly anticipating the release of Odin Sphere, I went against my best judgment and pre-ordered at GameStop. A friend went along and pre-ordered his copy too at the same store. Another friend at another location did the same thing. We all paid for our orders in full to “guarantee” a copy.

Fast forward a couple of months. We all get the off-pitch machine recording reminding us that the game is released and will be in stores that day.

So after work, we each head off to our respective GameStops to retrieve our game. My friend and I enter the store, which is basically empty. A customer is already standing in line with her indecisive child. Apparently now is also a good time to train a new employee as we stand behind the customer. The child says “Yeah, I want that one.” Not a pre-order I see. The clerk hands her a sealed copy of Odin Sphere. ‘Sealed’ is the magic word for this story. She completes her transaction and I’m next. The senior clerk instructs the trainee to open up the other register to assist my friend. Both of us simultaneously request to pick up our Odin Spheres. Only one clerk reaches behind the counter. Out comes a ‘gutted’ disc of the game. Apparently, they only had one.

“So you didn’t set aside my pre-ordered copy that I paid in full?” Awkward silence.

The questioning continues.

Me: “Why is that copy gutted?”

Goon: “Well, it’s store policy to leave the last copy on the shelf and the contents behind the counter.”

Me: “How many copies did you receive?”

Goon: “Well, our store had 4 pre-orders and this other store had 2 pre-orders. They didn’t get their shipment so they came over and I gave my buddy two of our copies.”

Me: “…”

Goon: “Dude, I’m really sorry.”

Me: “Why would you gut the last copy to showcase to customers when you don’t have enough for pre-orders?”

Goon: “… it’s store policy to leave the last…”

Me: “Well, I don’t want the opened copy.”

I look over at my friend, who’s fuming at this point. He doesn’t want it either. The trainee just stands there. Apparently she’s ‘like, whatever’.

Goon: “It’s still new. I just gutted it this morning.”

We ask for a refund and the trainee fumbles through that. The employee apologizes again for his deliberate blunder. Who would have thought that people who have paid for a product in full might actually want to pick it up? What a concept! While waiting for the refund, my phone rings. Even before glancing down, I’m guessing it’s the other friend. It is.

“Did you guys get one? My store opened mine since it was the last. Why would they open up any games to showcase when all of the copies are already spoken for? Luckily, another nearby store actually had a sealed copy. I managed to get one. How about you guys?”

A pre-order at GameStop is just paying them to call you for a reminder when the game comes out.


One Response to “Pre-Paid Reminder”

  1. David Says:

    Never ceases to amaze me how stupid people are…

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