Store: GameStop
Location: St. Louis, MO
Employee Description: Surfer Dude and Older Woman
Submitted By: Ed Button

I walked into my local GameStop today to snag Stranglehold on release day (what can I say, I wanted the faceplate), and asked Surfer Dude at the counter if I could get a copy.

“Oh, we haven’t got that yet. Our computer says it’s been delayed until the 17th.”

“…the 17th,” I asked. I keep up with gaming news all the time and had heard nothing of this delay.

Older Woman chimed with: “Yeah, we’re horribly sorry. It turns out Midway wanted something to compete with Halo 3.”

I was stunned. No way could something like Stranglehold compete with the Halo 3, possibly the most anticipated game of the year. “Sooooooooooooo do you wanna pre-order a copy of Halo 3,” Surfer Dude asked. I said no, and that I’d be back. Then I left. I’ve never had an issue with EBuncolandStop. All the people that have worked at them have been nice and polite, and dare I say it, knowledgeable, so I was quite shocked by this statement.

I called the EB about a mile down the road and asked if they had it.

“No,” the guy says, “our computers say its been delayed until the 17th. From what I heard from corporate, it’s been pushed back because Midway had some issues with the shipping.”

A 13-day delay because of shipping?

“Well, your website says its out now, and so does everywhere else,” I said.

“Well, I checked Best Buy before I came in today, and they don’t have it,” he said.

After getting off of the phone with him, I call Best Buy.

“Yeah do you guys have Stranglehold for the 360?”

“Yes sir, we have it.”

Pre-Order Piracy

August 12, 2007

Store: EB Games
Location: Invercargill, New Zealand
Employee Description: It was a woman. Sounded fairly knowledgeable about gaming, as you will encounter.
Submitted By: beans

I was bored one day and decided to step into the local EB Games and see what was new there (which usually isn’t much, since it’s a fairly small store which services a population of about 90,000).

The clerk at the counter recognized me and said we went to primary school together many years ago. However, I have a selective memory and trying to remember names from 15 odd years ago is hard to come by. Even her name tag didn’t give me any clues.

So I decided to change the subject. I picked up a pre-order case of Pokémon Diamond and asked her how the pre-orders were going (this was June/July – the game didn’t come out here till recently). She beamed at me and said very well – they had enough to justify doing a midnight launch (I don’t know if they actually went ahead with that or not).

Putting the box down, I went over to her and we just started talking about the game – I ordered my copy online from Canada back in May and was halfway through it. She leaned over to me, looked around cautiously (we were the only two people in the building) and whispered…

“I downloaded my copy and put it on a flash cart.”

Online vs Store

July 21, 2007

Store: GameStop / EB (Both Stores)
Location: La Habra/Fullerton California
Employee Description: GothicGuy (Fullerton) / Nerd (La Habra)
Submitted By: Rafael Hernandez

I ordered a game on GameStop’s website. It came to my home. This was during the transition of EB and GameStop merger. Well the game I ordered came scratched and not playable on my PS2.  So I called the 1 800 GameStop number. They tell me I can return it to any EB or GameStop store in person. Also on their official website it stated the same thing too.

So I call my local La Habra EB Games. Which I hardly go to. The nerdy manager over the phone tells me, I can not return it to his store. Mailing it back was the only option. I explain to the manager that his headquarters has the policy on their website in plain english. Which I quoted to him. He got angry and and said to check with Corporate since he NEVER got the memo, or knew anything of this matter.

I call my Fullerton shop which is in the next town. I frequent this place a lot. I call them before driving anywhere. Again, we can not do that. Also I do the quoting of their corporate web page. This time I tell him to check the website while I wait on the phone, He brushed me off and said he had other customers that needed to be attended to. I yell at him “Who do you think I am! I am your customer I bought the game from your company’s online shop. It clearly states you can exchange or return my money back GUARANTEED!” Again their reply is, “I never got that memo.”

So I called Corporate and threw in both managers to the fire. Then corporate told me to hang on. Corporate called the managers at both stores and straightened them out. I checked by calling both places 20 minutes after my conversation with corporate. Both were very happy to do this transaction. The guy at the Fullerton store remembered me and said to come on down. I went down to the Fullerton store and he gave me my money and APOLOGIZED! I left the store and now I order most of my games online. I hardly use GameStop unless they have a game that is very cheap and used.

That’s MY Bully

July 19, 2007

Store: EB GAMES
Location: Richmond Center, Richmond B.C. Canada
Employee Description: skinny guy –way too stressed
Submitted By: Geordie McGillivray

I rarely go to EB. But I had Bully for the PS2 that I wanted to trade in. Now – I ended feeling sorry for the guy working there after this was all said and done. One employee working during the lunch rush seems like cruel punishment.

I go to EB at lunch time during a weekday. I get there – and there are a few people in line. Now – I have gone during lunch time in the past and I know it can really get busy – so I felt lucky. The guy working there was all alone and looks pretty frazzled. I guess the other employees were out on lunch. So I walk in with bully in my arms and I go back to the discount rack. 2 games for $20 etc. I pick 2 ps2 games I want – I go and wait in line. I am about 3rd in line. Takes 5 minutes or so. Now I know this blog is about annoying employees – but let me just say that almost every time I go to an EB – some of the customers are equally as annoying and clueless. Anyways – I get to the front of the line.

I hand him my copy of bully and say I want to trade it in – he types it in the computer and I get like $30 for it. Fine with me. So he puts it back on the counter by the register. I then hand him the two games I picked out and he looks at them and says sorry – these are mismatched. One is 2 for $20 and the other is 2 for $30 – so I can’t have the deal. It turns out someone had probably just placed a game back on the wrong rack. No big deal. He says let me show you how it works – and starts to walk over to the racks. By now – there is already 5 people in line behind me. We leave bully on the counter.

We go and look at the racks – he shows me what I can get – which I already know – but some of them aren’t labeled so you just can’t tell. Anyways he leaves me alone and goes to help the other customers. I take about another 5 minutes and I cannot find another game in the price range I want so I say screw it. I decide to go get Bully – and just leave.

I look at the counter – there is now more than 10 people in line. I am not going to wait – so I go over almost behind the counter and get the employees attention – I say “hey can I just get my copy of bully and I’ll come back another time”

The look of absolute and total confusion on his face was actually pretty funny – except it scared me at the same time. See – I had been with this guy not 10 minutes ago – and he says “bully?” and looks at me. I say “ya it’s on the counter – can I get it back?”. He then says “Bully, well some kid just returned that a few minutes ago” he then opens a drawer and pulls out MY copy of bully. I say “well – that is mine – remember – you said I get $30 for it and you took me to the back racks to get some other games?”. And he just looks so confused. I think this is what happened:

The employee walked me back to the racks. We left bully on the counter. Frazzled goes back to the counter – sees Bully – forgets all about the previous 10 minutes of his life – then asks the next person in line if they are returning Bully? That person will say of course – and take the $30.

I can see this flash in the guys brain. He says “but I already paid $30 for it.” I say – not to me and I would like my game back. Remember this is in front of more than 10 other people in line. So – I felt bad for the guy. He didn’t seem like a bad guy – think he was just over worked – and in the end was taken advantage of. He then handed me my game and I left. I was kind of pissed that someone had $30 that should be mine… but who cares. I returned it the next day and got my trade in I wanted.

Take a pledge to help raise awareness about young worker safety. Visit www.raiseyourhand.com*

*[ed. note] This isn’t part of the story but it was in the signature of the person who sent this in. Since it looks like a good cause I left it in!

Bold-Faced BS

July 3, 2007

Store: EB Games
Location: Meadows Mall, Las Vegas NV
Employee Description: Store manager, lanky African-American with a buzz cut, looks like he’d be more at home at Sports Authority than Electronics Boutique. We’ll call him Lying Manager.
Submitted By: JChaos

A little background before I start. I’d been a loyal customer of this particular Electronics Boutique’s former manager, the most awesome gamer you’d ever know, for a good three years. I’d followed him through three stores as the company moved him around as needed. Unfortunately, when the merger between EB and GameStop went through, it was pretty easy to see that he was not a favored manager in the company in spite of having awesome numbers. I’d routinely do my part to keep him employed, often pre-ordering up to a game a week from him. Sadly, this was not destined to last. As we’d predicted, he was terminated from employment. Also not surprisingly, the district manager of Las Vegas was quick to replace him with someone who was less of a gamer, and more of a businessman. Remember, children, it’s all about the numbers.

Now, this story took place several months ago. When the wonderful manager was fired, I had no reason to continue patronizing the company any longer. I also had several pre-orders that I no longer cared to follow through on, and would really rather have my money back for. So, into the store I went. Lying Manager was on the register, so I’d figured that this would be fast and easy.

How mistaken I was.

Lying Manager: Welcome to Electronics Boutique, are you looking for anything today?

Me: Hate to say it chief, but I’m here to cancel some pre-orders.

Lying Manager: Oh, sorry to hear that. Unfortunately, though, we just got a memo yesterday saying that we are no longer able to cancel pre-orders.

HELLO! Talk about being blindsided by a blatant lie. I was speechless for just a moment, which he seemed to take as an invitation to continue whatever schpiel he was on. Big mistake, as the effort kicked me out of my shocked state.

Lying Manager: So, can I help you find something else today?

Me: Actually, yes. You can show me that memo.

Lying Manager got a very, very uncomfortable look on his face.

Lying Manager: Oh, sorry, no can do. We can’t show those to customers.

A semi-believable lie, if Awesome manager hadn’t routinely showed me memos before so I knew exactly what was being pushed and what good deals were coming.

Me: I’m sure. Something tells me that you can’t keep my money without giving me a product either. Why don’t you call the district manager for me? I’d love to ask about this myself.

And this was the awesome part. Right in front of me, he looks like he’s got the most brilliant idea in the world. He picks up the phone, and doesn’t even dial any numbers. Yes, right in front of me.

Lying Manager: Hey (District Manager), this is Lying Manager. I’ve got a customer here who wants to cancel his pre-orders, and I told him that we don’t do that any more.

All the while he’s looking at me intently, as if I’ll believe this farce.

Me: That’s very nice, but I didn’t ask you to check with him to see if it’s okay. I want to talk to (District Manager) myself.

This makes him look as though he’s going to drop the phone on the spot. He seems to deflate, but to his credit he attempts to keep up this act to at least save face from being caught in a lie. He keeps talking into the phone, and holds up his hand to me to keep me from reaching for the phone, or something.

Lying Manager: Just this once, huh? All right, I’ll let him know. Good news, the DM’s going to let me make an exception for you!

Me: Imagine that…

He’s quick to hand me my twenty bucks for four canceled pre-orders, which I was just thrilled to take from him at this point, when he has the audacity to speak up once more.

Lying Manager: So, can we do anything else for you today? Pokemon’s coming out in a few months, would you like to pre-order it?

Suffice it to say, I left without another word. At the rate the company was plummeting, I didn’t even bother to call corporate to complain. I doubt anything would have been done anyway, this guy was hand picked by the District Manager after all. The company seems willing to do anything so long as the money stays in their stores’ pockets. It’s a sad state of affairs when I’m starting to look at Best Buy and Walmart as a better option to get me my games.

Store: EB Games
Location: Crossgates Mall – Albany, NY
Employee Description: Nondescript, and about to become annoying
Submitted By: Good Vs. Evil

This morning, I go out to get my copy of God of War 2 (since I couldn’t get it on the “release date”). I swing by a few stores right after they open. Many of them had it but hadn’t had a chance to check it in yet, and therefore it wasn’t available for sale. This process apparently takes an hour.

Fine.

I finally got it at an EB Games store in Albany, N.Y. However, this transaction had a few hitches.

I walk in and wait in a small line. When it is finally my turn, I ask if they have a copy of the game. The clerk asks me if I pre-ordered it. No. No, I did not. He tells me that I am “lucky” because I am getting one of only two copies that they have for sale (aside from the pre-orders, which are obviously spoken for). I tell him that I am thankful for this, since all the other places I stopped at hadn’t checked it in yet, and his was the only place that seemed to be on the ball.

Then the conversation got interesting.

He proceeds to tell me that had I pre-ordered the game from them, I wouldn’t have had to go through all the troubles that I had gone through that morning.  He tells me that the game is really popular, and had I pre-ordered it, I would have guaranteed myself a copy of the game. He then says the line that sparked it all:

“So, what have we learned today?”

I responded:

“What we have learned today is that a store whose sole merchandise is games and gaming accessories that resides in the largest mall in the capital of N.Y. only ordered 2 spare copies of a game that will end up selling millions of copies. What we learned is that you have more f*cking advertisements for a game than you do actual copies of said game. We leaned that despite the fact you know this game is going to be wildly popular, you have more empty boxes of the game on the shelf then you actually have copies of the game that are for sale. We learned that by your ordering model, a typical shopping trip would go like this:

You stroll into your local grocery store on your way home from work because you need milk. You go into the cooler section and grab a carton of milk only to find that it is empty. Odd. You grab a few other cartons to find that they are all empty.

You go find the nearest clerk to ask them about this, and they tell you that that milk isn’t for sale – it’s only a display to show customers that you do indeed sell milk. However, if you really want milk, you need to go up to the counter.

But then he tells you not to bother, because they are all out of milk anyway. All milk. No 2%, no skim, nothing.

When you inquire as to how a large grocery store could be out of milk, he tells you that milk is a very popular beverage, and if you had wanted some, you should have stopped in earlier to pre-order your milk. This would guarantee that you had your carton of milk when the shipment came in. However, they only have enough to fill all of the pre-orders, and have none left.

Just like your 4 empty Wii boxes in the window. Just like your 8 empty copies of God of War on the shelf.”

I then told him how amusing it was that a store who only sells games and nothing else would order only 2 copies of a game that would sell 100 in the first day alone.

A game store in the largest mall in the capital of N.Y. only has 2 copies of the most anticipated game of this year so far for sale on release date. Stunning.

I finally told him how odd he should think it is that if I couldn’t have gotten the game at his store, I would have had to go to a store that sells not only games, but refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, DVD players, computers and all sorts of other junk, because they would have had the foresight to get enough copies to meet the demand, but his store that only sells games, couldn’t pull this apparently magical feat of supply.

I then left with my game.

AOTS Every Night!

June 26, 2007

Store: EB Games
Location: S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX
Employee Description: Arrogant F-er
Submitted By: Phil

I went in today and was talking with my wife about Grand Theft Auto (GTA) 4 coming out in October for the 360 and PS3. This guy, I’ll call him F-er, interjected that he heard last night on Attack of The Show (AOTS) that GTA 4 is ONLY coming out for the 360 now. I asked him if perhaps he had misunderstood and they were talking about the episodes but he shouted back at me that he watches AOTS “EVERY SINGLE NIGHT!”

I left the store and went by a local hotspot to look on the interwebs to see if there was any talk of an announcement pertaining to such. Of course there was nothing so I called the store and talked with “F-er” and told him that I was unable to find anything confirming his claims and he, again, yelled about how he always watches AOTS and last night, (which was Tuesday, the 19th of June) they announced that GTA 4 was only going to be on the 360. He then hung up.